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Super low-cal muffins

I stopped in my local bakery today for some iced coffee, and I was surprised to see some super-low cal muffins. And I mean low cal. The ones I bought were said to be 28 calories each. I'm not sure that's even possible, so I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on how to make these. They were oat bran muffins with raisins.

The sales clerk said that they are made without sugar (they use Splenda) and without eggs. There were not a lot of raisins, and there was a little sprinkling of oats on the top. I'm assuming that maybe applesauce replaced the fat, but there were pretty light and not gummy at all. The muffins were a standard size. But 28 calories? I'm stumped!

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  1. I can only believe that either someone in the bakery has some sort of math deficiency, or they're not engaging in truth-in-advertising.

    2 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        Just for shits and giggles (mostly giggles), I looked for the most ascetic muffin recipes I could find; none can get even remotely close to a low double-digit calorie count.

        Full disclosure: I wouldn't make any of them. I want my muffins with egg, with sugar, and as moist as I can get 'em.

        No egg, but uses apple juice concentrate (may as well have used sugar) http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/RCP00191/...
        208 cal.

        Uses egg, but no sugar (subs Stevia) and uses coconut milk.
        http://www.thecandidadiet.com/forum/y...
        Approx. 200 cal.

        Here's a vegan recipe that breaks the 100 calorie barrier, but (gasp!) it uses sugar:
        http://www.food.com/recipe/vegan-oat-...

    1. NO WAY. My guess is that they could be what some folks would call 28 "net" carbs after subtracting fiber. 28 grams of carbs would be 112 calories.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcf

        The paper liner probably has 28 calories. :)

        1. re: Kris in Beijing

          One. And it's been pretty much stuck in my throat since I ate it!

        2. Even if there were only five raisins in the whole thing, that'd account for 10-12 calories.

          Was the sales clerk a little wooden boy with a growing nose?

            1. re: Kris in Beijing

              2 TBS of coconut flour has 60 calories. Also, I promise you they are loaded with calories from Splenda uncounted because the serving size of 1 tsp is just under 1 gram of carbs so they are allowed to call it zero calorie. But a cup of Splenda has 24 high glycemic grams of carbs from bulking agents unless it's used in the form of generic sucralose liquid. Guarantee you they're not counting a single one.

              1. re: mcf

                I frequently find myself having a "discussion" with someone who thinks that "NO cal" sweetener powders or 0 cal fat substitute sprays will still be calorie free when used in 1C quantities.

              2. re: Kris in Beijing

                This recipe does not specify a single sweetener nor account for its calories, much less its quantity.

              3. I'm making these again this afternoon but they are 70 cal. They are very good.
                http://www.mensfitness.com/banana-oat...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Berheenia

                  I really doubt the carb count on this recipe; I suspect they are not including the carbs from sweeteners because they don't specify one. Most have calories and carbs, except liquid sucralose, as far as I know.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Checking the box of Splenda they say for a single serving of 1 tsp. the total carb is < 1 gram = 0. Voodoo math. My first batch (a hit) was made with 15 packets because that was what was in the box from hubby's lo carb diet (a bust). I tried using demara sugar another time and they burned so I'm back to Splenda. Going to try 1/4 cup this time.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      24 grams of maltodextrin carbs per cup of granular Splenda. I get a terrible after taste from it and mouth feel, so I use liquid sucralose from sweetzfree.com mixed 50/50 with granular xylitol, which bulks and moisturizes like sugar, but is only 40% lower calorie. I lose a lot of carbs and the icky effects this way.

                2. I did the math for a few recipes.

                  A low fat, no sugar bran muffin recipe made with skim milk and unsweetened applesauce came out to 130 calories for a standard size muffin - most of the calories were from the flour and raisins.

                  A non diet bran muffin recipe with sugar and butter came out to 220 calories per muffin.

                  This, of course, is for a recipe standard muffin, which is generally smaller than a bakery muffin - just looking up the calories in a bran muffin gives 300 calories for a medium muffin.

                  By my calculations, the flour required to hold the muffin together (not including oat bran) comes to more than 28 calories per muffin by itself.

                  So either it has been created with some sort of chemical cocktail that bears no resemblance to a muffin recipe, or the label is badly wrong.

                  1. If it seems too good to be true . . . it very probably isn't. 28 calories is 7 grams of carbohydrates (assuming zero fat and zero protein, for the sake of argument). If you weigh one of those muffins, all but 7 grams of the weight would have to come from cellulose/fiber in some form or water. I very much doubt that.

                    1. Next week, when I am back in town, I will ask them for a nutritional breakdown. Determined to get to the bottom of this!

                      1. Maybe the sign meant to say 28 CARBS not 28 CALS!

                        As for the clerk....no comment!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pumpkinspice

                          No, the clerk was a young girl who took a card out of a drawer to look up the calories when I asked. Maybe there is a reason the calorie amounts aren't displayed!

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Goodness. Perhaps that was for 1/20th of a muffin!
                            Please report back once you go back to the bakery!

                        2. I have grown wary of calorie and carb and other counts. I have a cake recipe in a cookbook that calls for lots of white flour, orange juice, dates, and raisins---and Splenda---and the blurb says "no sugar---suitable for diabetics". An old Gospel hymn warns that "Ever'body talkin' 'bout heaven ain' goin' there".