Well gee! It’s about time I got a dessert up on the blog!! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long – but of course, as most of you know, the Hubby and I are now entering Week 4 of our 12-Week Challenge (holy moly! I can’t believe how fast it’s going by already!!), so we haven’t really been chowing down on desserts as of late!
As part of our challenge, every week we get what’s called a “Bonus Meal” – this means we get to choose what we want to eat as long as it is under a specific amount of calories and still contains a protein source!
I decided as part of my bonus meal last week, I would sneak in a dessert! I also have to admit I was starting to miss baking!
What?! I can’t believe I just said that.. or wrote it! Baking was (and still is), definitely not my forte, but I must say I have grown quite fond of it!
I mentioned in another post that I have had some weird cravings over the last few weeks – definitely emotionally eating related (I don’t ever eat cupcakes, yet when I can’t have them, and all of a sudden I want them!) Yes, the lovely games our minds play! Luckily, I’ve been able to keep strong and fight all these silly cravings and they are starting to slowly go away!
So anyway, I’ve had a hankering for red velvet cupcakes – and although I just couldn’t bring myself to go and buy one from a bakery (because first of all, that would easily be half or more of my alloted bonus meal calories, and I still don’t want to put refined sugar and refined flours into my body no matter how much I’m craving it!), I decided to make my own – and make them as healthy as possible!!
So, what’s the “secret” in these red velvet whoopie cakes?!
….wait for it…..
Yup..put-em-in-borscht beets! And I promise, you’d never know!
That’s how these beautiful little cakes get their nice deep red color! So not only does this skip the artificial dyes, it also adds some antioxidants and fiber that beets are a great source of!
In addition to the beets, these whoopie cakes are made with whole wheat pastry flour, agave nectar, stevia, and coconut oil! No refined sugars or flours here!
I enjoyed one after a delicious bonus meal (see below!) and it was exactly what I had hoped for… rich, sweet, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth-good! Mmmmm perfection!
So, I bet your wondering what I had for the rest of my bonus meal aren’t you?!
Well, I was looking around for different recipes that would fit the bill and I came across this recipe for delicious Crispy Coconut-Masala Chicken Thighs from Inspired Edibles (a FANTASTIC healthy food blog!). As soon as I saw it, the decision was made!
I changed up the recipe a bit but the chicken still tasted just wonderful. First, I omitted the panko breading and used coconut flour instead. Although panko breading is supposed to be healthier when frying (because it repels oil rather than absorbs it) I have yet to find a brand that isn’t full of crappy processed ingredients. If anyone knows of one – please do tell me!! The coconut flour gave the coating an even more “coconutty” flavor, and the unsweetened shredded coconut still browned wonderfully as a crust for the chicken. I also added about 2 teaspoons of lime zest to the coating as well.
Like Harry Nilsson once said …”put the lime in the coconut”.. so it just made sense! Lol!
Here is my quickly snapped iphone picture of my bonus meal which followed with a delectable Red Velvet Whoopie Cake! I would have taken nicer pictures but I just didn’t have the patience, after all this was my long awaited bonus meal!!!
Yum yum yum!
- 1¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup steamed and cooled beets (about 2-3 large beets), pureéd until smooth
- ½ cup agave syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- For the Filling:
- ⅔ cup low fat or fat free cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 stevia packets (about ½ – 1 tsp powdered stevia)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-muffin tin with liners. (or use a silpat liner like I did!)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the beet pureé, agave syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Process until completely smooth.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, be sure not to overmix.
- Equally distribute the batter between your prepared tins, and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- For the filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to fully combine and mix until smooth.
- Once cooled slice the cupcakes in half and add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the bottom half, smooth, then place the top half on and push down lightly.