A diet is the first step to effective and long-term healthy changes. But not all bodies—and by extension, not all diets—are the same. Not to mention, everyone’s taste buds vary. When the prescribed food is bland and unsatisfying, it takes a strong conviction not to quit. Most diets fail because the meals are simply unsustainable.
We typically think about throttling fat and calories when trying to lose a few pounds, but a keto diet instructs the opposite. To reach what’s called ketosis—a process when the body burns stored fat—carbohydrates should be limited, with protein eaten in moderation. Sugars from sweets, fruits, and bread are all considered forbidden in order to kick-start the body’s metabolism. When there are no more short-term sugars to digest, the stored fats become the body’s energy source. The diet can elicit significant results.
But back up: We have to give up bread? Not necessarily! There are plenty of (actually good) substitutions you can use in recipes for bread-like treats. It was a happy day in the kitchen when we discovered that keto muffin recipes handle the changes incredibly well, meaning that we won’t have to abandon our favorite easy breakfast or after-school snack. Our list of recipes below offers clever workarounds and sage advice on how to make your muffins fit your keto diet.
Blueberries are technically a fruit, which is considered a forbidden food on the keto diet, but they’re small—or at least, that’s what we tell ourselves. The sugar content is negligible anyway in these blueberry muffins from Food Faith Fitness, with applesauce used for texture and almond flour used to make it gluten-free.
Arman of The Big Man’s World declares pumpkin purée as the best starch on a keto diet hands down. He even gives a helpful tip that could improve on all of your other bread-like creations if you are looking to avoid carbs in favor of fats: Pumpkin purée is an adequate replacement for applesauce, overripe banana, or mashed sweet potato, wherever recipes call for it.
With a heap of Greek yogurt instead of your typical dairy, these lemon poppyseed muffins are low-carb and still delicious. Chelsea's Messy Apron recommends incorporating lemon-flavored ingredients where possible (lemon-flavored Greek yogurt, extract, and zest) to really give them a kick.
Taylor Kaiser at Food Faith Fitness labeled these as paleo muffins, but they also can work with the keto diet. After all, there is no sugar, and the recipe calls for coconut flour rather than wheat.
Olive oil has many faces, but to anyone on the keto diet, it is a godsend. Try these savory muffins with broccoli and tomatoes from Sugar Salted which also contain little sugar.
No substitutions necessary in WuHaus’s gluten-free muffins. The only danger to keto enthusiasts lies in the apple, but it’s a price we’re willing to pay given the way it complements the generous spices.
The only sugar added to these pumpkin muffins from Gimme Some Oven is honey, satisfying one of the cardinal keto rules. The oats in it should not be too much of a turn-off either, especially because they add such great texture.
You may want to save these zucchini muffins from Joyful Healthy Eats for a cheat day due to those chocolate chips, but otherwise, they are limited on sugar. For that reason, and of course all its flavors, this recipe is a keto keeper.
If you can add avocado to your keto meal, you should. And that goes double for everyone staying strict to the keto diet. Avocados have what is considered “good” fat, which works well in these blueberry muffins from Gimme Some Oven.
Before you dismiss this muffin recipe from The Butter Half due to the Nutella, we’d like to point out that it is possible to make a low-carb alternative. As far as four-ingredient recipes go, adding one extra step for your own homemade hazelnut paste only makes the experience in the kitchen more complete.