Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

cheddar jalapeno

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!! I hope that the past week has been full of revelry and sinfully delicious food!! Unfortunately, I have been battling pneumonia over here and haven’t enjoyed this week as much as I’d like! But, with Lent coming up, William and I will be trying out the Daniel Fast. It is a very restrictive diet, and we have been trying to ease ourselves into it slowly. Part of this adventure entails a focus on plant-based foods that are ALL natural. Exploring this ‘new’ world of foods has been an eye-opening journey to say the least.

The preservatives and chemicals we thoughtlessly consume on a daily basis are so omnipresent, sticking to the Daniel Fast feels like an impossibility at times (and we haven’t even started). However, the main goal is to eat healthier and eat things that were meant to be food- REAL food. So… going through the ingredients in my fridge right now this means no high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, thiamin mononitrate, methylcellulose, or disodium guanylate. What? I have been consuming all of those things- and if you asked me something as simple as what color they are- I couldn’t tell you. I don’t even know what some of those words actually mean!

This post is not a leap- it’s a stepping stone. It serves as an example of the incredible things you can do with all natural ingredients. My new absolute favorite miracle veggie is cauliflower! See- these are not ordinary muffins. They are actually gluten and wheat free, low in carbs, and high in protein! They are made of cauliflower. It is one of the coolest things I have ever made, I know I’m going to be using cauliflower a TON on the Daniel Fast. It can replace breads either in muffin form, or as a pizza crust. I am currently working on adapting this for vegan use, but for now it does contain egg and cheese.

cheddar jalapeno

Cheddar-Jalapeño Cauliflower Muffins

makes about 12 muffins

recipe largely inspired by IBreatheImHungry

1 small head of cauliflower (you will only be using 2 cups of it)
1 large jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 small clove garlic
1 heaping tablespoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

cheddar jalapeno

First, prep the cauliflower. This is the magical part where cauliflower becomes a versatile ingredient. Rinse it carefully, and cut out the stem and core.

cheddar jalapenoCut it into chunks and place it in a blender with some water.

cheddar jalapenoThis is my cheat to “ricing” cauliflower. Get that blender going and let it work its magic.

cheddar jalapenoI know this looks really strange right now. But once it gets smooth (almost like cottage cheese), you can stop the blending and drain out all the water in a strainer.

cheddar jalapenoWhile you are letting the cauliflower drain, clean and mince the jalapeño. I actually keep a small bowl of olive oil on hand when I mince hot peppers so that the capsaicin does not seep into my skin and cause that burning sensation. Be very careful during this process though, and be sure to keep your hands away from your eyes and face!

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Set it aside to cool, so that it does not cook the eggs.

Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and add in the jalapeño.

Now, move back to your cauliflower. You can check to see if it has drained by gently pressing it down with a spoon. Try to get out any left over water. Add two cups of the cauliflower to the egg mixture with the jalapeño. Mix all of this together, and slowly add in the butter. You can save the rest of the cauliflower in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. There will be a ton left, but there are so many things you can use this for (including a delicious, gluten-free pizza dough).

Next, add in all three cheeses!

cheddar jalapenoMince the garlic, and add that into the bowl along with the onion flakes, salt, and pepper.

cheddar jalapenoFinally, mix in the coconut flour and baking powder.

cheddar jalapeno

Butter a regular muffin pan generously- these muffins will stick, so you want to make sure you grease the pan very well. Fill the pan with batter. They will not rise too much, so you can fill them up to 3/4 full!

cheddar jalapeno

cheddar jalapeno

Preheat the oven to 375° F and bake for 30-35 minutes. You want them to be a dark, golden brown.

cheddar jalapeno

When I took these out of the oven, I was overeager. I immediately wanted to dig in (they’ll make your kitchen smell amazing). BUT, it is best to wait! The original recipe states that you should wait at least a half hour before trying to take them out of the pan. I think you can get at them a little sooner than that. Use a butter knife to gently separate the muffin from the sides of the pan, and slowly work the muffin out.

cheddar jalapenoEnjoy!

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