Sunday, April 17, 2011

Springtime Chocolate Cupcakes

With the air growing warmer each day and the bunny hopping around the corner, two things come to my mind, chocolate and fresh spring green! These cupcakes are a great treat this time of year... but honestly, you can just change the color frosting to make them fit any season. In our family,  the season for chocolate seems to be year round!

Springtime Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 12 cupcakes)
1 cup organic Rice MIlk
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup organic sunflower oil
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon organic almond extract
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon  baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Fluffy Green Frosting
(makes 2 cups)
1/4 cup softened organic non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
1/4 cup organic non-hydrogenated shortening (Spectrum)
1 3/4 cups sifted organic confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 tablespoons organic Soy Creamer

For Cupcakes: (Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and line muffin pan with paper liners)
None of this ever goes to waste!
Secret Tip: Use a ladle to pour into tin.
1. Stir together Rice milk and vinegar in a large bowl, then set aside to let curdle.
2. In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients. 
3. Add all the rest of the wet ingredients to the rice milk and whisk to blend. 
4. Add the dry mix to the wet mix till all large lumps are gone. 
5. Pour batter 3/4 full into liners. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, till toothpick come out clean.
6. Cool completely on rack before frosting.

For Frosting:
1.Beat the margarine and shortening together till fluffy. Add the sugar and beat a few more minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and soy creamer. Beat for another 5+ minutes till super fluffy.
3. Add natural plant based food coloring as desired. For this cup cake we used yellow and blue to make green and some yellow for the flowers.

What makes this recipe healthy?

Organic enriched Rice Milk:
Lactose and dairy free this milk has the natural sweetness of rice, it is low in fat and one cup contains 30% of the RDA for calcium, 25% of the RDA for Vitamin D and 25% of the RDA for Vitamin B12.
Organic Powdered Sugar: 
No pesticides. No herbicides. No chemicals. No bleaches. Produced without the use of chemicals, pesticides, bleaches or animal by-products. It's what you don't eat that is healthy here.
Natural plant based food coloring: 
(We used India Tree brand) Scientists have determined a link between artificial food coloring and cancer. Other studies have linked artificial food coloring with brain tumors, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and other disruptive behavior, especially in children. It's believed that the tar and hydrocarbon derivatives as well as petrochemicals used to manufacture artificial food coloring are the culprits to these diseases and disorders. None of these additives have any beneficial or nutritional value to the human body. The concern is so great that the FDA (Food and Drug Association) has ordered warning labels be placed on foods containing artificial dyes and coloring. Plant extracts are a natural way to add food coloring to foodstuff without all of the harmful side-effects found in artificial ones. In fact, most of these extracts are high in bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and polyphenols which are beneficial when added to your diet. 
Organic Cocoa Powder: 
Cocoa Powder is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Cocoa Powder contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). 


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