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Can muffins be paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 11, 2010 at 4:50 AM

Greetings all -

First post here as a PaleoHack-er. I went Paleo less than a month ago after "thinking" about it for a year. A bunch of things coalesced and the time was just right. I am very happy with the decision as leaning out it is full effect and I look forward to ramping up the workouts. My primary reference book is Cordain's "The Paleo Diet" with podcasts from Robb Wolf thrown in from time to time.

Coming from a household with a history of severe gluten allergies, the importance of diet is not lost on me. One thing five years of gluten free has taught me is that you need to be willing to experiment and try new thing when it comes to foods that meet your dietary needs. And my better half is a food snob, so bad tasting things are not an option!

After starting Paleo, I was missing muffins in the morning for breakfast and decided if to see if such a thing as a "Paleo Muffin" can exist - or is it simply and oxymoronic figment of my over zealous imagination? After some research and fine tuning, we came up with the following recipe - so tell me what you think - Paleo or not? Is there a better Paleo solution out there?

3 cups Almond Meal 1/4 cup Softened Coconut Oil 1/2 cup Honey 1/2 tsp. baking soda Dash of salt (also leave it out if I am feeling like a purist!) 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh) 1/2 cup diced peaches for good measure

Mix all but fruit, then once mixed, stir in fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins.

So whaddya think?

EDIT: Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. Funny to be psychoanalyzed too - no addiction here but thanks for the vote of confidence buddy! Just having fun experimenting and figuring out different foods to eat that still mesh with what I believe is the most healthy and productive way to eat over the long term.

C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:14 PM

come to think of it, when I got stuck underwater I really "missed" oxygen. Man, I have a lot of psychological work to do.

C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 29, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Is this true for any foods we "miss?". I miss green vegetables if I don't eat them, ditto steak and bacon.

318374167f4c3bf3ac0f13ce48211c75

(106)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:59 PM

niice...nailed it!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 12, 2010
at 02:59 PM

I'm just saying that for *me*, this kind of food is every bit as addictive, and I didn't get healthy until I let them go. You can't argue with results.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 12, 2010
at 02:06 AM

A good replacement food is not loaded with sugar and carb and so is not nearly as addictive. So it's not the same as eating a regular muffin, neither in level of damage nor in addictiveness. Items that look like muffins are not the enemy. Things that damage the body are.

D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

(821)

on December 11, 2010
at 05:11 AM

I think the term "paleo muffin" is an oxymoron and you'd better be prepared to hear all about it, both pro and con. In fact, if you didn't sound so sincere, I'd think you were a troll trying to stir up trouble. Other than that, the above sounds awfully sweet--I'd cut the honey. But blueberries+peaches=win! Good luck.

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11 Answers

13
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 11, 2010
at 07:16 AM

I don't think you can mark a magic line where all things on either side are either 100% paleo or 100% not paleo. Our lives are not paleo because we don't live in the paleo. So what we have is a situation in which we attempt to replicate a metabolic effect that would be similar to what those in the paleo probably experienced, but also perhaps modified a bit to compensate for what we as humans have become now.

Some feel that eating anything 'muffin' is some kind of crime against the spirit of being paleo. Personally, my main concerns are on metabolic health. On that count, the honey could be an issue. It's basically sugar.

I actually sometimes make a modified version of 2 eggs, 2 bananas, and 1 cup almond butter (skip the honey). The bananas add sweetness. Of course, their sweetness comes from their sugar as well but it's probably a fair less than all that honey and bananas have other nutrients. Sometimes I add a bit of stevia, but it really isn't needed.If you add a tad of baking soda and a tad of apple cider vinegar, that will cause them to rise more in the oven. I see in your recipe you have the baking soda, but I think you also need to have an acid ingredient to make the baking soda work or it will just be sitting there doing nothing. I also sometimes use vanilla.

I think a more reasonable question is what are your metabolic issues and goals. The muffin ingredients are mostly kinda healthy or neutral unless you really need to dodge sugar. I just wouldn't eat a ton of them all the time is all. But I personally have no special problem with people using crutches or simulants in order to make the transition to healthier eating a bit easier. For many people, it's hard to change everything all at once. For those many people, why not have some paleo bread/muffin type recipes? Personally, I have found that over time, the desire for these kinds of things tends to lessen anyway.

5
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on December 11, 2010
at 09:31 AM

Many others have said the same thing to other questions, but what matters isn't really whether or not it's "paleo" but how it impacts your health. That's obvious, really, but it seems like people sometimes get caught up trying to sort out what's paleo and what isn't. Eva's already mentioned the potential issue of sugar load. Play around with it and see how you feel.

Also, I feel like the question "Is X paleo?" may be code for "Can I eat X everyday without any problems?". I think many people seriously underestimate the value of variety in food- so in so far as food X becomes something you eat all the time, it may not be the best thing. For example, it seems some in the paleo community are using coconut milk/oil all the time. I don't have any scientific evidence that there's anything wrong with that, and great if it works for them, but it's probably worth attempting to incorporate a greater variety of foods into your diet.

4
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 11, 2010
at 07:21 PM

As far as the issue of "spirit" of paleo goes, for me it is not so much about making foods that are authentically primal, but more about whether the replacement foods, even if they don't contain non-paleo ingredients, are

(a) perpetuating a desire to eat unhealthy foods, and (b) contain foods that are unhealthy if eaten frequently, even if they are okay once in a while, or strictly better than wheat.

For me, nuts and fruit are simply not well tolerated by my body. Foods like a "paleo" muffin might make a nice alternative for a very special occasion, but ultimately make me sick when I eat them daily or weekly.

If I tend to scoff at such replacement foods, it's not because I feel above the idea of being creative with healthy alternative ingredients, but because it took me years to figure out that my health was going to stay bad if I kept eating stuff like that, and I suffered from my ignorance.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 12, 2010
at 02:59 PM

I'm just saying that for *me*, this kind of food is every bit as addictive, and I didn't get healthy until I let them go. You can't argue with results.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 12, 2010
at 02:06 AM

A good replacement food is not loaded with sugar and carb and so is not nearly as addictive. So it's not the same as eating a regular muffin, neither in level of damage nor in addictiveness. Items that look like muffins are not the enemy. Things that damage the body are.

4
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on December 11, 2010
at 02:54 PM

Just the fact that you admit to "missing" muffins you still need to conquer the addiction to muffins by not eating any kind of muffin whether it's "paleo" or not. Just eat 6 peices of bacon and 6 eggs in the morning.....loads of fat and much better than a muffin in my opinion. Or better yet IF until supper and eat a pound of steak. After you do that for a week you won't miss your muffin. Seriously though, In my opinion you need to work on the psychological addiction to muffins. Good luck you can do it.

318374167f4c3bf3ac0f13ce48211c75

(106)

on December 17, 2011
at 07:59 PM

niice...nailed it!

C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 29, 2012
at 11:14 PM

come to think of it, when I got stuck underwater I really "missed" oxygen. Man, I have a lot of psychological work to do.

C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on August 29, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Is this true for any foods we "miss?". I miss green vegetables if I don't eat them, ditto steak and bacon.

2
Fe6e37f8d4c49de1ecbc926c8900cd54

on February 16, 2011
at 09:47 PM

If you're looking to try something new, I'm pretty proud of these:

http://paleograd.blogspot.com/2011/02/practically-paleo-pumpkin-cupcakes.html

Instead of wheat flour, these use plantain and coconut flour.

1
C4ed6ba382aed2eefc18e7877999a5de

(1579)

on August 30, 2012
at 12:01 PM

I make muffins using sweet potato and eggs. Mix cooked, mashed sweet potato with eggs (ratio of about 2 eggs per sweet potato, and add cinnamon and nutmeg. These are great topped with walnuts or pecans, and they don't contain anything questionable!

1
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 12, 2010
at 03:34 PM

I would at least try for a coconut flour one, oxidized pufas are scary. And don't ask if it's paleo, ask if it's healthy. To that I would probably say no.

1
Dce0bdbb8afecb1f894a7b2fd6bacd1a

(108)

on December 11, 2010
at 09:18 PM

Food is often time a social thing. At least to me. So if it is a rare thing you do for special occasions (birthday parties, thanksgiving, christmas), this recipe sounds awesome. I would have to try it to tell if I really like it though. :-)

1
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on December 11, 2010
at 02:13 PM

Almond fat is more than 25% linoleic oil, and most of the rest goes rancid really easy, especially if we're talking about almond flour, which you buy ground. I'd avoid. You are not getting the gluten, and only a part of the carbs, but you're getting much more of some nasty oils.

Personally when I go for a carb bomb, I usually have potato scones. They have a bit of wheat in them, but you could try to make them with the almond flour to avoid the gluten.

0
707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

on August 30, 2012
at 12:47 PM

If you're missing the convenience factor and not just muffin-y goodness, I'd opt for a egg based 'muffin' (really a fritatta made in a muffin tin-- just scrambled eggs, bacon, and all sorts of veggies, bake at 350* until firm)-- I make them ahead of time and store in the fridge (they also freeze well). It's a great grab and go breakfast. Other options are to play around with your muffin recipe and add either pumpkin puree or sweet potato in lieu of all of that almond flour and to perhaps dial back on the honey, especially if you have any signs of insulin resistance.

Your current concoction, while yummy, might be best relegated to "treat" status-- not because it's not 'Paleo' but because there are likely options that provide both more nutrients AND fewer anti-nutrients. But if it works for you and you're at your fitness and/or weight goals then I say carry on, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good and all that.

0
Medium avatar

on August 29, 2012
at 10:19 PM

I had some great muffins from the paleo meal delivery company theprimalplan at summer crush. Very moist.... I think they used coconut flour

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