Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Banana Cream Cupcakes

Easter is such a lovely holiday. This year I enjoyed a dairy-free/vegetarian Easter by preparing my own food (along with some help from my Mom who kindly loves to make a few vegan dishes I can eat on holidays).  My vegan banana cupcakes are quick and easy to make. I love making mini cupcakes, but feel free to make either size with this recipe. Skip the frosting for sweet banana muffins. 

2 cups white spelt flour
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup raw sugar or other sweetener (I love sucanat)
1/3 cup sunflower oil
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon flax meal
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, I adore Enjoy Life’s)
handful of dried banana chips (optional, to place on tops of cupcakes)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line cupcake trays with cupcake liners. Mix flour, baking soda, flax meal and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil together, then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the water and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture along with the chopped walnuts & chocolate chips, stir. Spoon into cupcake trays. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Frost if desired.

Coconut Frosting 
1 can coconut milk 
2 teaspoons maple syrup 
½ teaspoon vanilla bean

Directions: Take the coconut cream out of the fridge. Turn can upside down and open, scoop out the cream and put in a mixing bowl. Save the milk to use in baking or smoothies Add vanilla and maple syrup to the cream Whip the cream for a couple of minutes with an electric mixer until it is fluffy.

Benefits of Spelt Flour: Spelt, an ancient cereal grain, is a distant cousin to wheat. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Use spelt flour as a substitute for wheat or white flour when baking. Because spelt flour contains gluten, you are less likely to compromise the texture of baked goods. Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour is richer in many nutrients, such as protein and minerals such as copper, niacin, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
Spelt flour has a high water solubility, making it possibly easier to digest for those with a wheat intolerance. Spelt and whole spelt flour offer more soluble fiber than both standard and durum wheat flours, and soluble fiber is particularly beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels.

Benefits of Sucanat: Sucanat is to whole grain flours, as white sugar is to white, refined flours. Sucanat sugar is dried sugar cane juice that is much healthier to use when baking versus white, refined and processed sugar. Sucanat has a smaller proportion of sucrose, fewer calories and is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

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