Paleo friendly strawberry and coconut muffins

I’ve been playing around with paleo muffin recipes trying to find something that tastes good but is relatively low in sugar.

Rice malt syrup (also known as rice syrup and brown rice syrup) has become popular in Australia over the last few years thanks to the I Quit Sugar program.

According to the Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar for Life, rice malt syrup is “a relatively slow-releasing sweetener so it doesn’t dump on the liver as much as pure glucose”.

The challenge when cooking with rice malt syrup is that it’s not as sweet as regular sweeteners so does take a little adjusting to if you’re just starting out on the path of sugar reduction. In this recipe, I’ve given the option to substitute with a little honey if you prefer or are strictly paleo.

In place of regular flour I use almond meal which is delicious but can be a little heavy so to balance this and make the texture of the muffins as light as possible, I whisk the egg whites separately and fold them in at the end. Be sure not to skip this step.


  • 3 eggs
  • 220g/7.75 oz/2 cups almond meal
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz rice malt syrup (if you prefer a little sweeter, substitute 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup with 2 tablespoons of honey) OR for strictly paleo use half a cup of honey instead of the rice malt syrup
  • 125 ml/4.25 fl oz/half a cup of coconut oil
  • 60g/2oz/half cup shredded coconut
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (or I use substitute with half a teaspoon of bicarb of soda and quarter of a teaspoon of cream of tartar)
  • Couple of drops of natural vanilla essence
  • 12-16 strawberries (depending on the size)


  1. If the coconut oil is solid, place the container over a pot of hot water until the oil becomes runny
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius/340 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Trim the tops from the strawberries and cut into quarters (or more if using large strawberries)
  4. Separate the eggs and place into two separate bowls
  5. Add the rice malt syrup to the egg yolks and beat for 2 minutes at a high setting, then add the almond meal, baking powder (or substitute), cinnamon, shredded coconut, coconut oil and coconut cream and blend again until mixed well
  6. Stir through the strawberries
  7. Separate, whisk the egg whites for a couple of minutes until peaks start to form
  8. Gently fold the egg whites through the muffin batter mixture and pour into paper muffin cups (you’ll need about 12 large muffin cups)
  9. Bake for 35 minutes then test – if firm to the touch, insert a skewer and if it comes out dry remove from the oven. Otherwise bake for an additional 5 minutes or so until cooked through.

Makes 12 large muffins – suitable for freezing

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