Low-carb diets have become increasingly popular in the last few decades with people ditching breads, cookies and muffins in favor of high-protein foods for weight-loss. Traditionally, muffins are made with refined flours and sugars making them high-carb and nutritionally devoid foods. However, you can still have your muffin and eat it too -- by preparing protein power muffins, high protein muffins that are a source of essential nutrients for the body and mind.
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Whole-Wheat Flour vs. White Flour
The refined grains used in the flours in many muffin recipes are stripped of their outer layers during processing, which removes fiber and essential nutrients. Eating muffins made with white flours and sugars causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate, setting you up for hunger cravings a couple of hours later and over-eating, which can lead to weight gain. In contrast, muffins made with whole-grains are a source of fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels to satisfy your appetite, as well as providing essential nutrients you need for energy metabolism. Choose whole-grain flours as a healthier alternative to white flour to make your protein power muffins.
Pack a Protein Punch
Protein is an essential nutrient your body needs for muscle growth, repair and recovery. Protein also stabilizes blood sugar levels to prevent you from over-eating tasty muffins, leading to weight gain from excessive caloric consumption. Instead of using refined or even whole-grain flours, which can still be high in carbs, try using a low-carb, higher-protein flour such as almond flour. Author Michael Matthews from Muscle For Life bakes a berry-cheesecake protein muffin, using protein powder as the primary flour base for a healthy snack or an on-the-go breakfast.
Use Power Ingredients
Add protein-rich ingredients to your mixing bowl to produce a muffin that has even more protein power. Eggs and milk, common baking ingredients, are sources of protein, with one egg providing 6 grams, and 3/4 cup of milk providing 5 grams of protein. Throw in a serving or two of chopped nuts and seeds to your muffin mix to increase the protein content as well as the fiber and healthy fat content.
Powerful Protein Toppers
In addition to what you put in your muffins, you can add protein-rich toppings for a fulfilling breakfast or snack. Spread peanut butter onto a split muffin for an additional 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. Sprinkle additional nuts and seeds on top for additional crunch and pour a glass of milk for 8 grams per one-cup serving.