Tangelo Cheesecake Muffins

While most people are trying to eat less, I have put in a super human effort to eat more over the past six months or so.  All for a great cause.  I’m trying to gain weight.  Lean mass, or muscle, to be exact.  For a munchkin like me, it’s been an almighty struggle.  At the five month mark, I’ve barely shifted my weight.  But I’m still giving it my all to eat as much as possible.

Being naturally inclined towards healthy food … hey, chocolate is not a junk food!  Food of the gods, remember????   Anywho, being a healthy eater by nature, it’s hard to rack up the calories by the end of the day.   I gave up snacking a while ago and focussed on bigger meals at mealtimes.  Not enough, CCM.  So now I’m taking up snacking again.   The best little snackeroos are those that are light but pack some quality calories with decent amounts of good protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  Good stuff that I can scoff without that omg I ate so much I feel gross feeling.

Let me introduce you to these little cheesecake muffin dudes.  Fruity, cheesecakey, and muffiny.  Wonderfully light but satisfying, slightly sweet, citrusy … they make a perfect snack or breakfast.   Just another high protein snack that gets most of its protein from egg and cottage cheese.  No need for protein powders.  Because sometimes we run out 😦  or we want to share them with tiny tot kiddies, or … hmmm sharing 😦  LOL

Winter citrus fruits are like a burst of sunshine in the middle of the gloomy, grey, rainy, total yukkiness.  I love tangelos.  They’re fantastic for those important life decisions when you just can’t make up your mind between an orange or a mandarin.  Crisis over.  Have both.  In one fantabulous fruit.  The tangelo.  Yes, you could use either an orange or a few mandarins for this recipe (very nice) but tangelos rock.  Try one.

I’ve made these with both cottage cheese and quark.  Both versions are fabulous, although, of course the cottage cheese flavour is more mild.  Use what makes you happiest.  Do not use the runny cottage cheese.  Use a proper European style cottage cheese, which is drier in texture.

You can use sugar instead of the stevia sweetener, if you prefer (the amounts are included in the recipe).  This recipe is both gluten-free and suitable for anyone with fructose and/or fructan intolerance.

A typical serve will pack around 266 kCals, 19.2g protein, 15.2 grams each of fats and carbohydrates (1.2g saturated, 4.6g sugars), and a whopping 7.4g dietary fibre.

You are welcome 🙂

They are lovely on their own but they will transport you heavenward if you split them and fill with a good (i.e. healthy) chocolate spread.  I used my newest one that I’ve nicknamed Better Than Sex Chocolate Spread.  It’s amazing.  They are also pretty amazing served with some fresh fruit and a dollop or two of thick Greek yoghurt.  Practically a dessert.

These are also great if you add a few fresh or frozen berries to them before baking.  Simply stud the muffins with some berries after you fill the muffin molds.  See what I did there?  Stud the muffins?  OK, it sounded funny when I wrote it the first time … 😉

I hope you love them too.  I’m off to scoff!

Makes 10 standard muffins or 15 financier (friand) sized muffins

300 grams low-fat cottage cheese or quark (I use Elgaar Farm Organics)
185 grams liquid egg whites (or 3 large eggs plus 1 egg white)
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon extract (I use Professional Whey Organic Vanilla Powder)
105 millilitres fresh tangelo juice (from 1 large tangelo)
grated zest of 1 tangelo
150 grams almond meal
20 grams psyllium husks
90 grams Natvia (or preferred stevia blend sweetener)*
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

*If you prefer, substitute about 100 – 115 grams of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your muffins.  This will increase both the total carb count as well as the sugars in the macros.

Preheat the oven to 180℃.  If using silicon muffin or financier molds, there is no need to line the molds.  If using standard muffin or financier pans, line with cupcake or financier liners or grease with preferred spray or brush with a little oil of choice.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the cottage cheese (or quark) and egg whites (or whole eggs).  Whisk together until smooth and creamy.  Add the vanilla and tangelo juice, and whisk until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, add the tangelo zest, almond meal, psyllium, sweetener, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.  Mix well until combined and there are no lumps.

Add the wet mixture to the dry.  Use a fork to very quickly and lightly combine the ingredients.

Do.  Not.  Over.  Mix.  We’re making muffins, not meringue 🙂

Having a light touch when deliberately under mixing muffin batter will result in wonderfully light muffins.  Beating the life out of the batter will only make you cry when you take your first bite.  Now that we’re all on the same page …

Divide the batter between the muffin or financier molds.  Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes until well risen and golden.  Do not over bake.   They will puff up with lovely domes and then fall a little because they’re cheesecake muffins 🙂

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before removing from their molds and serving.  They will keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They are lovely served warm on their own or split and served with fruit and yoghurt or with your favourite chocolate spread … because what goes so well with tangelo and cheesecake?

OK chocolate goes with everything.  Yes, even carrots.  But we don’t have carrots here.

We have tangelo cheesecake muffins … and this combination is so choccheesecitrusgasmic that even my mum loves it.  She hates chocolate, remember?  Ah, there’s always a way to make someone love cacao.  These little muffins are hers.  Fist pumping the air 🙂

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for the recipe as indicated above.  I used liquid egg whites and cottage cheese.  The macros will vary ever so slightly if you substitute whole eggs and/or quark, but not substantially.

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