Are you a fan of cheesecake and muffins? You can combine them into low carb cream cheese muffins. This provides healthy fat in ingredients like dairy and eggs and flavor from vanilla extract and cinnamon. We usually think of baked goods as being high-carb. However, it’s really about the refined wheat flour and white sugar. Fun Fact: Ac up of refined flour has about 95g of carbs. That’s nearly double what you’re allowed in a single day for Keto and Atkins. The problem with wheat flour is it causes blood sugar spikes, which keeps you out of a state of ketosis. That prevents you from getting energy from stored fat instead of food carbs. Traditional baked goods are also usually loaded with high-carb white sugar.
Another major issue with standard baking is the cooking time. For example, basic muffins usually take about 30 minutes to bake. It might not seem like a lot of time. Meanwhile, if you’re in a hurry to prepare dinner it can seem like an eternity. In fact, it could be the difference between serving the muffins as an appetizer or dessert. The good news is a microwave oven speeds up the process. You can “bake” basic low-carb muffins in as fast as one minute, while others take a little longer.
What Makes Baked Goods High-Carb?
It might be surprising but most of the ingredients in traditional baking are actually Keto-friendly. They include milk, cream, eggs, and butter. Probably the biggest no-go used in traditional recipes is vegetable shortening for pie crusts. Consider that trans-fats were actually invented for “tub margarine.” When doing low-carb baking you can either go with a crustless pie or swap in low-carb ingredients like almond flour.
The main issue with vegetable shortening is the type of fat it contains. It’s fair to say that unsaturated fat is generally healthier than saturated fat. Trans-fat does exist in some natural foods. However, the kind in products like Crisco was invented in a lab and is the kind you’re required to ditch completely when on diet programs like Keto and Atkins.
Another of the red-flagged ingredient in old-school baked goods in wheat flour. This might be surprising since wheat is a natural grain. One of the main issues to take up is that refined flour is highly-processed and much lower in nutrients than whole grain flour. It’s sort of like comparing white bread and whole wheat bread. After the flour has undergone different processes like bleaching it’s nothing like the healthy whole grain.
How about whole wheat flour in terms of carbs? You get 72g of carbs in a cup of whole wheat flour. It’s somewhat better than white flour but still quite high-carb. These figures show why people traditionally have skipped desserts when on diets. Low-carb diets like Atkins were game-changers because they simply made some tweaks with the ingredients including wheat flour.
Another problem with traditional baking is the sugars. That includes white sugar in particular but also other sugar sources like corn syrup, molasses, and honey. All these ingredients are high-carb and cause blood sugar spikes. There are various low-sugar substitutes like stevia, monk fruit, and sugar alcohols.
What’s in Low Carb Cream Cheese Muffins?
Here are some of the main ingredients:
This dairy product is often considered “heavy” but it’s quite healthy. In fact, cream cheese is Keto-friendly since it’s low-carb and high-fat. One tablespoon has about 0.5g of carbs, which is quite low. Meanwhile, it’s also a source of healthy fat and nutrients like Vitamin D and calcium. Cream cheese also provides a creamy texture that prevents ending up with dry muffins.
They’re a traditional binder used for baking and also allowed in low-carb baking. Eggs are loaded with nutrients like protein, healthy fats, good cholesterol, and vitamins/minerals, In low-carb baking, they’re a key source of healthy fat.
The muffins also include a sugar substitute. You can use different ones including Splenda. These ingredients help to prevent blood sugar spikes caused by white sugar. It’s one of the most important ingredients to substitute when doing low-carb baking. There are several options including stevia and monk fruit extracts.
When picking a sugar substitute, it’s helpful not only to consider the carbs but also the processing. For example, the amount of processing used to make stevia.
These are also low-carb ingredients that provide extra flavor to the muffins. Both vanilla and cinnamon are plant-based foods. The key is to go with natural options like vanilla extract and real cinnamon. Studies show both of the classic ingredients can provide various health benefits. The key is to go with the real deal instead of artificial flavorings.
It’s really easy to make this recipe. After softening the cream cheese just add all the ingredients into a big bowl. Mix them up well then add to muffin cups. Microwave for 10 minutes. If you want to avoid cracks on the muffin tops then give a water bath. After the muffins are done cooking just let them cool down.
Low-Carb Muffin Ideas
1. Peanut Butter & Jam
If you’re a PB&J then try these low-carb muffins. You get sugar-free peanut butter and raspberry/chia jam. Both of these foods are often considered high-carb and unhealthy. However, it’s mostly about sugar in both. Peanuts, raspberries, and chia seeds are all low-carb so they’re perfect for a healthy low-carb combo.
2. Carrot Cake
If you’re a fan of the cake then you’ll probably love these low-carb muffins. It includes coconut flour instead of almond flour. The main ingredient is the root vegetable, which is high in Vitamin A for eye health. If you’re wondering about cream cheese icing—you get that too and it’s a low-carb version.
This one is probably a mystery. Apples and sugars are high-carb, right? These muffins go with (sugar-free) apple sauce and low-carb caramel that’s drizzled on top. If you’re a fan of caramel apples this is version 2.0 that makes it ideal for any meal and in-between snacks.
These berries are actually higher-carb than raspberries and strawberries. However, this version keeps the muffins much lower in carbohydrates than traditional ones. This one gets coconut flour and ditches sugar.
Bean/veggie combos are common but this one might sound weird. The zucchini not only adds nutrients but also moistness. It’s combined with the chocolatey goodness of chocolate chips. The muffins stay low-carb with coconut flour instead of high-carb wheat flour.
6. Grab & Go
When you’re in a hurry these are one of the best go-to breakfast options. You can add stuff like berries, yogurt, eggs, and yogurt. One of the main features of these muffins is you can easily mix all the ingredients in a blender. This makes them a cinch to prepare so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making low carb cream cheese muffins.