DessertFebruary-March 2013

Banana Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream and Chocolate Glaze

MAKES 8 CUPCAKES

These single-serving treats are light and moist. They evoke a celebration with their thick swirl of banana frosting and decadent chocolate drizzle. Cupcakes can be frozen.

1 cup banana puree (about 2 medium bananas)
⅔ cup coconut sugar
10 drops plain stevia extract, optional
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk of choice
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons sunflower oil or light-tasting oil
    of choice
1¼ cups Ricki’s All-Purpose Flour Blend or flour
    blend of choice

⅓ cup sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
⅛ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8 muffin cups or line them with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, mix banana, sugar, stevia, flax meal, vanilla, milk and lemon juice. Whisk in oil.

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour blend, sweet rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.

4. Add wet mixture to dry and stir just to combine.

5. Using a large ice cream scoop or ⅓ measuring cup, fill prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.

6. Place cupcakes in preheated oven and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Rotate pan halfway through baking.

7. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove to a rack to cool completely. Frost with Banana Buttercream Frosting and decorate with Chocolate Glaze, if desired.

Banana Buttercream Frosting

This frosting firms up considerably when refrigerated for several hours. It can be frozen; defrost covered in the refrigerator overnight and blend again before using.

1 cup raw coconut butter (not coconut oil), gently melted
1 ripe banana
¼ cup coconut nectar or 3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia extract, to taste
⅛-¼ teaspoon ground turmeric, optional (for color)
Rice milk or milk of choice, as needed

Place ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add rice milk, about 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired spreading consistency.

Chocolate Glaze

If desired, replace unsweetened chocolate with 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and omit the stevia.

2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil or flavorless vegetable oil of choice
20-40 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia, to taste

1. Place chocolate and oil in a small, heavy-bottom pot and melt over lowest heat possible, stirring constantly.

2. Add stevia, stirring to blend, to taste.

3. Drizzle over cupcakes.

Each cupcake contains 226 calories, 13g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 1mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 3g protein.

Ricki's All-Purpose Flour Blend

MAKES 4 CUPS

Use this blend for all your baking needs. To make your own millet flour, process whole-grain dry millet into a powder in a blender or coffee grinder.

2 cups millet flour
⅔ cup garfava bean flour
⅔ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup arrowroot starch/powder or tapioca starch/flour or cornstarch

Blend ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks until used.

Canadian Ricki Heller is a holistic nutritionist and author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love Without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.

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