Cacao Cupcakes

In Dessert, Recipe by Jennifer

It’s always a good idea to have desserts with benefits in your repertoire. We needed a treat around here that didn’t make me cringe with guilt every time someone ate one. So I created a dessert which received a passing grade.

These chocolate cupcakes are rich with moist chocolatey-ness. The chocolate flavor comes from cacao powder, the raw powder part of the cocoa bean. The other part is the cocoa butter.

Cacao is full of antioxidants in it’s raw state. The amazing health benefits include reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, reducing blood pressure, risk of having a stroke, and protecting your cells from damage. These antioxidants can actually repair the damage to cells caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of some cancers.

Cacao is also a source of some very important minerals that we all need to make sure we are getting. The minerals magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese are important for hormonal balance.

As far as hormonal health, cacao helps to lower cortisol and manage insulin. This results in a calmer you without cravings for the less healthy form of chocolate; the kind with added milk and sugar.

Raw cacao powder can be added to smoothies, baked goods recipes, oatmeal and other cooked grains, frozen treats, and more… Add only enough natural sweetener to gently adjust the food to your taste. You may not need as much as a recipe calls for and your blood sugar response will be better because of it.

Oh, and hidden deep within the batter, virtually undetectable by human taste buds, is a secret ingredient – beets! I’m telling you, no one that tested these knew they contained beets until I told them. The beets contain additional benefits like ridding excess estrogens from our body that we may have ingested through animal foods with added hormones, or the environment, or because we are naturally prone to estrogen dominance.

So it’s just crazy that a delicious chocolate cupcake can do all this good. Test them out and let me know how you liked them…

 

Cacao Cupcakes
 
Author:
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups grated beets
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • for frosting:
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cacao powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and maple syrup. Stir in the beets and walnuts and add into the dry ingredients. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Pour the batter into a paper-lined cupcake tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, then set aside and cool in the tin for 30 minutes before icing.
  4. For Frosting: Combine the cashews, cacao powder, lemon juice, agave nectar, and water in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth, adding additional 1 tablespoon water if necessary.
  5. Ice cupcakes with icing when cool. Sprinkle cacao nibs over iced cupcakes.