Savory Chicken and Veggie Muffins
Recipe From Pete Evans:
Muffins are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are distinguished by the lack of yeast in their dough when baked.1 However, I generally don’t recommend foods that use grains because they can lead to a host of health problems due to their gluten content.
So how can you enjoy muffins in a healthy, enjoyable manner? In this recipe, renowned chef Pete Evans, who I partnered with in my upcoming “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook,” shows you how to make muffins more interesting by using a calculated mix of meat, vegetables and spices. If you’re just starting to adopt the ketogenic diet, this is the perfect dish because it combines healthy fats and protein in a delicious package.
Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/3 pounds of free-range chicken thighs, minced
- 5 free-range organic eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dr. Mercola’s coconut oil, plus extra for greasing (melted)
- 1/3 pound of free-range rindless bacon, diced
- Handful of silver beet or spinach, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside until needed.
- Place the diced pumpkin on a greased baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Roast in the oven for about 12 minutes or until tender. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Heat the frying pan with the remaining coconut oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for two to three minutes until slightly golden, then add the garlic and scallions and cook for another minute.
- Add the silver beet or spinach and cook until just wilted.
- Place in a bowl and allow the bacon, garlic, scallions and silver beet or spinach to cool completely before mixing through the mince.
- In another bowl add the eggs, baking soda, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken mince, bacon, garlic, scallions and silver beet and mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon until everything is well-combined.
- Add the cooked pumpkin and gently fold this through the mince mixture. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tin.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the muffins are firm and cooked through.
- Remove from the tin and serve with some aioli on the side and some raw or cooked veggies of your choice.
Healthy Fats From Coconut Oil and Free-Range Eggs Make This a Ketogenic Diet-Friendly Treat
The essential component of the ketogenic diet is healthy fat, which should be your main source of fuel from now on. Research has shown that beneficial fats burn longer and healthier compared to sugar. In addition, healthy fat plays an important role in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Without healthy fat, these nutrients won’t be absorbed as much and your health may suffer as a result.
One of the easiest ways you can add healthy fat into your diet is by using coconut oil in your cooking. It’s a product with diverse applications, goes well with most dishes and has some unique benefits of its own, such as providing a boost in energy and strengthening your immune system by helping eliminate harmful microbes in your system, thanks to its medium-chain triglycerides. The ketones produced by coconut oil may also help promote healthy brain function because it is a healthier source of fuel compared to sugar and carbohydrates.
On the other hand, pastured eggs from free-range chickens contain omega-3 fatty acids that may bring potential benefits to your health. Research has shown that they may provide body-wide benefits, such as:
|Fighting inflammation2||Improving sleep3|
|Aiding in the treatment of mental disorders 4,5||Fighting age-related mental decline6|
|Reducing the risk of heart disease7||Improving eye health8|
|Boosting skin health9||Improving bone and joint health10,11|
Pumpkin Helps Keep the Muffins Together
It may seem odd to use vegetables when making baked goods, but this is actually a great way to inject new life into your cooking. Pumpkin acts as the flour in this recipe, and helps hold everything together. Moreover, it has a great taste that blends well with the other ingredients.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, a dietary component of vegetables that plays an important role in maintaining proper health. For one, it helps increase the size and bulk of your stools while softening them at the same time. This helps normalize bowel movements. Furthermore, fiber can help maintain healthy weight, because it helps you feel full longer, thereby preventing you from overeating.12
|Vitamin A||Vitamin C|
Bacon and Chicken Provide Protein to Your Body
Protein is an essential component of every cell in your body and plays different roles, such as building and repairing tissue, and producing enzymes, hormones and other chemicals.13 Needless to say, getting sufficient amounts of it is important for proper biological functions, and one of the best sources of it is chicken meat.14 When purchasing chicken, make sure that it is pasture-raised and antibiotic-free. This ensures that the product you’re consuming doesn’t have any harmful toxins and microbes that may expose you to foodborne illness.
Bacon, on the other hand, adds a layer of juiciness to the dish because of its very iconic flavor. For those who enjoy bacon, this muffin recipe is sure to be a new favorite for you and your guests. Aside from protein, it’s a beneficial source of healthful saturated and monounsaturated fat, such as oleic oil and palmitoleic acid. Furthermore, it has phosphatidyl choline, a potent antioxidant, and fat-soluble vitamin D.
However, make sure that your bacon comes from a trusted source and is cured using time-tested traditional methods. In the same way that you should be careful where you get your chicken, the same should apply to pork. If it is pasture-raised and fed with natural, healthy feeds, it can be part of a nutritious diet.
Enjoy These Muffins, but Keep Your Protein Intake in Check
While the dish contains healthy amounts of beneficial fats, it contains generous amounts of protein as well due to the chicken and bacon. In light of this, I recommend that you consume these muffins in moderation because too much protein can trigger aging and cancer.
Ideally, people should limit their protein intake to 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass. Going higher than this can further stimulate your mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a pathway responsible for deciding whether cells should replicate now or stay alive to split in the future when nutrients are more plentiful.
About Pete Evans:
Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create a healthy cookbook that’s loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook” is the perfect tool to help get you started on your ketogenic journey. CLICK HERE to order your copy now.
Pete has had numerous noteworthy contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the general public, but he’s also cooked a royal banquet for the Prince and Princess of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented his hometown at the gala GʼDay USA dinner for 600 in New York City.
Pete’s career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances including Lifestyle channel’s “Home” show, “Postcards from Home,” “FISH,” “My Kitchen Rules” and “A Moveable Feast.”
Sources and References:
- 1 Diffen, “Cake Versus Muffin”
- 2 PLoS One, 2014 Feb 5;9(2):e88103
- 3 Journal of Sleep Research, 2014 Aug;23(4):364-88
- 4 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2014;2014:313570
- 5 Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 2011 July;11(7):1029-47
- 6 Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, 2009 Mar;5(3):140-52
- 7 Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, “2013 May-June;17(3):422-429
- 8 Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2014 Mar 28;55(3):2010-9
- 9 International Journal of Dermatology, 2009 Apr;48(4):339-47
- 10 Progress in Lipid Research, 1997 Sep;36(2-3):131-51
- 11 Journal of the National Medical Association, 1959 July;51(4):266-70
- 12 Mayo Clinic, “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet”
- 13 WebMD, “The Benefits of Protein”
- 14 BBC Good Food, “Best Sources of Protein”