My friend, Melanie, requested carrot cupcakes. I was excited to take on the challenge and make a sweet confection out of as much unrefined and whole foods as possible. These have a nice fresh flavor that works for any time of the year.
If you want a healthy glow to your skin, eat more carrots! Scientists have discovered that eating foods with beta carotene, such as carrots give the skin a fresh glow. Researchers have also discovered that consuming carrots reduces the risk of macular degeneration which causes blindness as people age, they help to keep cholesterol at healthy levels, reduces the risk of lung cancer and breast cancer, improve night vision, help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and enhance the quality of breast milk. Studies suggest that eating a carrot a day may reduce the risk of a stroke by 68 percent.
Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and have high levels of L-arginine. Omega-3’s help prevent heart attacks, improve the good and bad cholesterol ratio, and contribute to proper function of the brain and nervous system. Several studies suggest that diets low in omega-3 fatty acids may be linked to depression and ADHD as well as other behavioral problems and learning disabilities. L-arginine increases blood flow and prevents arteries from narrowing.
Consumption of whole wheat is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and many types of cancers, decreased cholesterol levels and blood pressure, regulation of blood glucose levels and a healthy body weight.
Ground coriander seed has been found to have such potent antibiotic properties that scientists are discovering ways to use it to treat salmonella poisoning. When used along with ground ginger, coriander may also help calm an upset digestive system, reduce flatulence and relieve respiratory infections and coughs.
Agave has a lower glycemic index score than other sweetener making it slower to digest and doesn’t create blood sugar spikes. It is also good for weight loss because it increases satiety and decreases appetite. However, do not think of agave as a health food, it may be a good substitute for regular sugar but it should only be consumed in small quantities.
CARROT CAKE MUFFINS
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
1 cup soy yogurt – plain or vanilla flavor
1 1/2 T agave inulin powder
2 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ginger powder
4 cups shredded carrots (about 1 lb.)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Cream the agave nectar and non-hydrogenated margarine. Add the soy yogurt and agave inulin powder and blend well. Combine the next 7 ingredients to create a dry mixture and add it to the wet mixture. Mix well. Mix in the carrots and walnuts. Scoop equal portions into 24 muffin cups. Bake at 350° F. for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven cool slightly and remove muffins from pan to wire rack. When completely cool frost and sprinkle with coconut.
2 (8 oz.) containers non-dairy cream cheese (Tofutti)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 T vanilla
1/2 t stevia (Sweet Leaf)
1/8 t Himalayan sea salt*
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Cream all ingredients together except the coconut and use to frost the carrot cake muffins. When frosted, sprinkle with the coconut flakes.
©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com