Valentine’s Day is for love and sweets!

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Is it just me, or does it feel like you can never get away from the holidays?

It feels like we JUST celebrated Christmas and the New Year, and NOW it’s Valentine’s Day!

I know this day is supposed to be all about love, and romance, but for me it’s always been about food! Sweets, to be more specific. But let’s face it. Trying to cram in one or two unhealthy treats to celebrate isn’t always enough, and in my case it usually ends up in me eating an entire bag of heart shaped candies.

And I know I’m not alone on this!

Sweet cravings are one of the hardest things about dieting, and try as we might we can’t help but give into temptation. Luckily for us there are SO many healthy recipes to replace the sugar-laden Valentine’s Day treats, and I just happen to have a great one.

CUPCAKES!

Gluten-free and dairy-free, these Vanilla Protein Cupcakes aren’t just made of unicorn dust. They contain an excellent source of fiber-rich complex carbs and protein for stable energy, and healthy fat to help you know exactly when you’ve had just the right amount.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

You will need: blender or food processor, measuring cups and spoons, muffin tin, cooking oil spray (or cupcake liners)

Key: T=Tablespoon; tsp=teaspoon

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans (white beans), rinsed and drained
  • 5 eggs*
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 ¾ cup vanilla protein powder

*use the sugar if this is a dessert, but if you want to make these as a healthy day time snack, your protein powder should have some sweetness so this recipe works as more of a muffin by leaving out the coconut sugar

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 325 F. Prep a muffin tin with a little cooking oil to prevent sticking (or use cupcake liners).
2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and combined.
3. Evenly distribute the batter among the muffin tins.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes
5.While the cupcakes are baking, place the entire can of coconut milk in the fridge and chill.
6. Once the cupcakes are done, remove from oven and let them cool completely.

*I have not tried making this without eggs, so I can’t speak to how well it will work if you use a flax egg since eggs are the base for this one. 

Strawberry Coconut Frosting (optional)

  • 1 (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk or coconut cream, chilled
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped (optional, you can leave these out and use a T of cacao powder for a chocolate version, or add 1 tsp vanilla for a vanilla version)
  • 1 tsp – 1 T maple syrup (sweeten to taste)

Instructions:

1. Remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge, open it up and only scoop out the solid cream on top, don’t use the liquid.
2. Blend the coconut milk with strawberries and maple syrup.
3. Chill the mixture again until it is thick, about 10-15 minutes
4. Top the cupcakes with icing and add any fun decorations!

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