Our guest today is Linda at Savoring Every Bite
What a treat to introduce you all to Linda. We both love good food that is good for you and we know it always tastes better with family and friends. Linda has a knack for delicious biscotti and cheesecakes—you’ll want to check out her Peanut Butter Lovers Cheesecake. Her recipes have a simple elegance to them, you always feel welcome at her table. Stop by Savoring Every Bite and linger awhile, it won’t take long to feel like friends.
Hello Savoring Today readers, I am Linda from Savoring Every Bite, and so very honored and pleased to have been asked by Judy to guest post. Aside from Judy and I both sharing our passion of savoring…. days, bites, moments, experiences, life in general…I have found that she is so similar a woman to me in her faith, love of family, friends and hospitality. With that inner driving force, I know that she will find her healing, comfort and peace during this season of her life. And with all of our prayers going out to her, I am sure she feels His presence!
For those who have followed Savoring Every Bite, I’ve been a bit distracted and MIA. However, I could not turn down Judy’s request to guest post. In fact, I felt it a blessing in disguise, pushing my attention away from my distractions to a more healthy and meaningful way in helping someone else. I didn’t initially realize how close my scheduled guest post was to Easter when I was offered this date. Again, how wonderful life just falls into place when you step out of your own way!
Since I’ve been MIA, I have made some changes in my eating, though I have always ate healthy, I’ve stepped up my eating clean, less carbs and a very conscientious effort in following this for every meal. So as I began planning my Easter menu, I gave some serious thought to my traditional Carrot Cake recipe. The carrot cake recipe I have baked for family and friends since the 80’s is overloaded with goodness. Carrots, crushed pineapple, golden raisins and walnuts. Along with white flour, oil and a ton of sugar! As I began experimenting, cupcakes seemed easier to taste test, plus I just love presenting my guests with a pretty, personal dessert.
Beets are fairly new to me, it wasn’t a veggie my mother made for us and honestly I only saw them sliced from a can and that did not appeal to me to even try. So with this whole new healthy eating and learning of beets being one of the world’s healthiest, extremely nutritious foods, I decided to try incorporating grated beets along with the carrots.
As you can see, the beets turned the dough into a very pretty color! I switched the white flour to rice flour, initially concerned that rice flour has felt grainy to me in the past. I think with all the extras thrown in, there wasn’t any noticeable texture difference using rice flour. Oil was replaced with applesauce and coconut oil and sugar was switched to coconut sugar. In one batch I reduced the amount of sugar but felt that as these are for dessert and not a breakfast muffin, the full amount was needed.
Topping it off, of course, is the full blown cream cheese frosting I love. Mile high gets you all the oohs and aahs every baker/hostess craves; however, being less generous with the frosting might be a bit healthier. As for the taste, well, the women at my bible study immediately fell in love and wanted the recipe… and, well, they would never lie.
Carrot Beet Cupcakes [Gluten Free]
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces unsweetened crushed pineapple , well drained
- 2 cups rice flour (or oat or almond flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded beets , outer skin peeled off
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, vanilla, applesauce and oil together until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well. Mix in the drained crushed pineapple.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add in the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, adding in the shredded carrots and beets halfway until blended. Stir in the coconut, walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, fill each liner cup about ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan, remove to wire rack and allow to completely cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter , softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Mix together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. On low speed gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. When cupcakes are completely cooled, spread or pipe over cupcakes. Sprinkle on candies or additional chopped walnuts. Keep refrigerated; bring to room temp for serving.