At last, it’s what you’ve all been waiting for: healthier funfetti cupcakes minus sprinkles! Just kidding–I know you haven’t been waiting. Also, these have sprinkles. But not too much.
For some time, I’ve been wanting to create a wholesome, all-natural version of funfetti cupcakes. It took awhile to actually get down to it, because I don’t actually really like funfetti cupcakes. But, my lovely friend Hannah does, and it’s a birthday tradition for her to have them. Her sweet girls make her the real deal, tempting with glorious color bursts. This year I wanted to try my hand at a lighter version…the kind you could even eat for breakfast if you scraped off the frosting.
It may seem too embarrassing to admit, but some nights I found myself waking up, brain wrinkled with a torrent of unlikely sprinkles replacements. Would it be very finely grated and chopped beets, and carrots? Little dots of injected purple cabbage juice? Um, no. At least to the cabbage juice.
When I really got down to the business of funfetti play, I couldn’t bring myself to exclude sprinkles altogether, although I am sure somebody has/will with delectable success. But on this occasion I couldn’t help but conclude, aren’t the sprinkles the fun in the fetti?
This is not to say a compromise didn’t emerge. One did. With it being the holiday season, I’m going to call it Christmas magic, though it was actually obvious and convenient. For this batch of funfetti cupcakes–which, truly, could be muffins– I used just 1/4 cup of sprinkles ( a little more for decoration), and enhanced the look and flavor with chopped cranberries and raspberries. Orange juice works as well as non-dairy milk of choice; in fact, I think I prefer it. In any case, it’s worth the experimentation. Trial by error yumminess.
Happy New Year!
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond) or orange juice
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or 1 beaten egg, if not vegan
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup finely chopped cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped raspberries
- 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles plus additional for decoration
- vegan frosting of choice (I like making one with powdered sugar, tofu, and melted dark chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Mix together flour, maple syrup or sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in non-dairy milk or orange juice, coconut oil, applesauce, aquafaba or egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries, raspberries and sprinkles. Spoon into baking cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.
It’s the holiday season! Like, really, really. Christmas is just over one week away–how did it creep up so fast? Considering we’ve been doing our best to set the mood for festive spirits since Halloween, you’d think I’d be feeling prepared. Actually, I am feeling merry and bright but also over-tired, prone to overthinking, a little run down and probably on the edge of the same icky cold that has been waiting in the wings and launching onto my back at every bent, weary opportunity. Chances are, you’re not feeling all that dissimilar…because, holidays! Which makes this super easy, soothing, whole body warming pot of deliciousness perfect for you (as long as you like kimchi).
I got the idea for this lovely one pot meal from a kimchi soup recipe by Dr. Weil in a book I got to peek at while visiting my sister in San Fransisco. I had intended to go back to it to actually read the ingredients and jot down notes, but it was a whirlwind visit and there wasn’t time. When I got home, I guesstimated what might have been in the dish and hope the concoction I threw together wouldn’t offend the esteemed Dr. Weil. Either way, I sure enjoyed it, three times over so far. You can surely transform it to whatever you like in a pinch–scrap the tofu, change up the vegetables, consider simply throwing in a bag of frozen vegetables to save time. Basically, just revel in what a lovely broth base kimchi makes.
Beyond what enthusing has already taken place, I won’t wax on for once about this dish. Because, again, holidays (tiredness/everything that came before this point)! Just know, this aromatic comfort food is effortless to prepare, yet packs a steamy flavor punch that feels like an instant immunity boost. That precious combination is priceless this time of year especially, like a bonus of free expedited shipping with no restrictions Christmas week. Happy holidays, friends. 🙂
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup snow peas, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 16 ounces kimchi (of desired heat--I used mild) with liquid (appro 2 cups)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu, cubed
- approximately 9-ounces Asian noodles of choice (such as udon or rice noodles)
- Heat a large stockpot, coated with cooking spray, over medium high heat. Add carrots, garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring, approximately 2 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly.
- Add carrots and next 8 ingredients, through tofu. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender.
- Bring to a low boil and add noodles. Decrease heat to medium and cook until noodles are desired tenderness.
Remember that time–like ten days ago–when I waxed on a little about Pumpkin Spice Love? You know, pumpkin cheer, pumpkin chili, pumpkin bread, soup, pie…you name it. Well, this pumpkin gingerbread marries all that pure pumpkin sentiment with two of my other favorite things to dive into and borderline obsess over: the holiday season, and aquafaba.
Whether or not you’ve heard of it, you have been aware of aquafaba for a long time. It’s the briny liquid left when you drain canned or cooked chickpeas, and it’s a vegan dream. As well as a vegan-ish dream, apparently, since I suppose that is really the more appropriate term in our household. I was recently introduced to it by my friend Sarah, when she innocently asked me if I’d heard of it. Since then, not only have Sarah and I been indulging in a text frenzy of parallel yet distinct experimental aquafaba journeys, I seem to be making it an unconscious mission to spread the fever. Case in point, quick glimpse of text thread with my cooking queen friend Kristin yesterday:
I could, and will, ramble on much longer about aquafaba awesomeness, but not yet. Because, today Sarah and I pulled off a super efficient and productive aquafaba playdate, yielding five glorious festive creations highlighting supercalegumerific exgarbanzolisciousness. And I’ll need a little time to type that up. In the meantime, consider the warm spice and richness of pumpkin gingerbread that happens to be pretty low sugar (maple syrup and molasses sweetened), easily tweakable, vegan and gluten-free.
This was inspired by a beautiful pumpkin gingerbread from Oh She Glows. I expect you could pull off any favorite flour or gluten-free blend, but I do think that the 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup almond flour mix for half of that makes for a really nice, almost custard-like texture that works. I used 1/2 cup chickpea flour and 1/2 cup sprouted rice flour for the remainder, but only because I had a bunch of remnants in bitty bags that were cluttering my cupboard. The combination was just right, but so could have been others. Try and see.
On that note, remember that time–also ten days ago, that same time I was talking about before–when I implied I would make an effort to post recipes I wanted to record even if there wasn’t time to say a whole lot about them? This is me attempting to follow through on that. Happy Thanksgiving!
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 6 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend of choice (I used 1/2 cup chickpea and 1/2 cup sprouted rice)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamonm
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine first five ingredients (pumpkin through aquafaba) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir well.
- Stir in raisins and chopped ginger, if using.
- Pour the batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.