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And yes, that is a sprinkle of freshly shredded beets – thankyouverymuch.
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Red Velvet cake is the perfect foil for a Valentine's treat. It's chocolate-y, it's red, and it's just plain yummy.
And somehow, when I make bake this recipe as Red Velvet cupcakes, I am transported back to first grade and the grand party my teacher threw to celebrate Valentine's Day – complete with lots of treats and red and pink paper hearts, of course.
And why add lentils? you may ask…. Well, lentils are high in protein, high in fibre, and surprisingly high in several nutrients we need, especially iron and folate, and this is a great way to sneak them into our diet at a time of indulgence. And surprisingly, they make the chocolate taste even better.
May these cupcakes help you celebrate JOY in your home!
Red Velvet Lentil Cupcakes
these cupcakes were inspired by this recipe at Canadian Lentils
makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes
1 medium red beet, very finely shredded (about 1 1/2 cup, loosely packed)
1/2 cup butter, softened, or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (learn how to make your own)
1 cup rapadura or evaporated cane sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder (NOT Dutch process)
1/2 cup dry brown lentils + 1 cup water (makes about 1 1/4 cup of lentil puree)
First, cook your lentils. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the lentils. Let simmer rapidly for a minute or so, then reduce to a gentle simmer and let them cook until they're soft, about 20 minutes. Mash the as much as you can by hand and set aside to let cool completely.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with 18 cupcake liners.
Shred the beet and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese. (If you're using coconut oil, beat the cream cheese by itself until it's fluffy and then slowly pour in the coconut oil.) Add the lentils and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and beat once again. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs, vanilla, and beets.
Slowly spoon the dry ingredients into the batter and mix well, but do not overbeat.
Fill cupcake cups about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon beet juice (optional)
1-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream together on medium until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Drizzle in the maple syrup and mix until it's homogenous. Add beet juice to tint pink, if desired. If the frosting is a bit sticky from the maple syrup, add arrowroot powder 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth.
Spoon on top of cooled cupcakes and serve.