Salty Sweet Cacao & Chickpea Vegan Cupcakes

While I have rarely thought of myself as someone with a sweet tooth, I often find I crave a little bite of sweetness after I have eaten something salty. I have made chickpea brownies many times, but this time I decided to make them into mini one-bite cupcakes this time for a more beautiful presentation because we eat first with our eyes. I made some cacao avocado frosting to go with them and because it's spring, I added a splash of color edible flowers. These cupcakes have a rich chocolaty flavor with a pinch of salty-sweetness that is balanced and satisfyingly sweet - in a beautiful little package.

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Salty Sweet Cacao & Chickpea Vegan Cupcakes

makes 36

Ingredients

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 can organic chickpeas and liquid brine

1/2 cup organic maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chickpea flour, sifted if lumpy

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pink himalayan salt

1.5 ripe avocados

1/2 cup cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

6 tbsp organic maple syrup

edible flowers (optional)

pink himalayan salt (optional)

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350.

Line mini cupcake tins with liners. 

In a VitaMix or blender, combine first 9 ingredients and blend until smooth and no lumps. Pour batter into cupcake cups, filling 3/4 of the way up.  Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes, remove from tin and cool on a cooling rack. 

In a VitaMix or blender, combine avaocado, cacao powder, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup.  Blend until smooth. 

Ice cooled cupcakes with avocado frosting.  Garnish with edible flowers and a pinch of pink himalyan salt.

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Vibrant Beauty Food ™

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It was a stress-induced illness that had me down and out for almost a month last fall that initially sparked my interest in learning more about food as medicine.  As a Paris-trained chef and food stylist, I have always valued food for beauty and nourishment. However, while I have always had an interest, I never fully understood the power food has in healing.  I have always been a bit of a health nut, but after doing a pantry and refrigerator clean-out, I realized not everything I was consuming was whole or even healthy. 

At the start of the year, I decided to go plant-based and studied plant-based nutrition through Cornell University's Center for Nutrition Studies. I don't love eating labels and I do believe that nutrition is very bio-individual and people need to do what is best for their own health and wellness, but I have experienced such a shift in the way I feel, both physically and mentally, from eating predominantly plants. 

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I like to describe my way of cooking as vibrant beauty food. I love cooking whole foods that are vibrant in color and beautiful to see (we eat first with our eyes) because this way of cooking and eating has given me more vitality, vibrancy, energy and improved my overall sense of wellness and wellbeing. Regardless if you are a plant-based eater or not, we all need to be eating more colorful foods and I have a passion for sharing this way of cooking and eating with others in order to help people experience more vibrancy and vitality in their own lives. I hope to make this space on my site a place where people can come to find food that is healthy, creative and beautiful with a touch of sophistication, yet simple and approachable enough for any home cook to prepare. My recipes are meant to serve as blueprints and to encourage others to find their own creativity in cooking. 

If there are ingredients you feel challenged by or recipe ideas you would like to see, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out by sending me an email in the email link on my site.  And make sure to subscribe to my monthly  journal for plant-based recipe inspiration,  healthy lifestyle tips and news. Link in the navigation bar at the top of this site. 

x

Cynthia

Vitality Strawberry Walnut Bites

I love to use cashews to make plant-based cheeses, sauces and desserts.  I normally soak some on Sunday's and keep them in my refrigerator for the week to make prep for meals simple and quick. I was inspired by fresh organic strawberries and shortcake on a trip to the market and wanted to create a dessert with the flavors of a shortcake, but without all of the re-fined sugar, gluten and dairy. I have also been using a lot of adaptogenic herbs in my cooking this year and I decided to add Maca to this one for energy and vitality from its antioxidant properties.

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Vitality Strawberry Walnut Bites

makes an 8 x 8 pan

Ingredients

4 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup melted coconut oil, divided

1 tsp pink himalayan salt

2 cups cashews, soaked

1 cup organic strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup organic maple syrup

1 tsp maca 

Method

For the Crust:

Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper. In a large food processor, combine walnuts, 1/2 the coconut oil and sea salt.  Pulse to combine, leaving a small amount of texture to the crust mixture. Spoon crust mixture into the baking pan and pat down into a level even crust.  Set aside. 

In a Vitamix or blender, combine the soaked cashews, strawberries, remaining coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup and maca. Blend until smooth. 

Pour the cashew starwberry mixture over the walnut crust. Garnish with sliced strawberries (optional) and place in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours to set. Bars can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow time to thaw if storing in the freezer overnight. 

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Glowing Ginger & Turmeric Elixir

Almost every time I go to Whole Foods I get a Kor shot. It's become an expensive little habit of mine, so I went to work this creating an elixir based off of my favorite Kor combination. Ginger and turmeric both contain anti-inflammatory properties and turmeric also contains anti-oxidant properties that can possibly help restore a natural glow and luster to the skin. 

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Ginger & Turmeric Elixir

1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced

1 piece turmeric, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp raw honey

3/4 cup ph water

1 lemon, juiced

Bring water, ginger and turmeric to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 20-25 minutes. Fill a tumbler with ice and add the lemon juice.  Strain the cooled turmeric mixture over the ice and drink cold. Add extra ice if you need to.

 

footnote: health benefits of ginger and turmeric via www.healthline.com