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By Dr. Mercola
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Recipe by Pete Evans
Muffins are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are
distinguished by the lack of yeast in their dough when baked.[i]
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.[TNAS1]
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.
1 1/3 pounds of free-range
chicken thighs, minced
5 free-range organic eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut
oil, plus extra for greasing (melted)
1/3 pound of free-range rindless bacon, diced
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 pound pumpkin, diced into 1/2-inch
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
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
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
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.
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 age-related mental decline[vi]
Reducing the risk of heart
Improving eye health[viii]
Boosting skin health[ix]
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.[xii]
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.[xiii]
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.[xiv]
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
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” will be released November 14.
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 “Moveable Feast.”
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