Banana, Hemp & Walnut Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
You guys, these cupcakes are so jam-packed full of nutrient-dense wholesome ingredients, and yet so indulgently delicious I’m struggling to describe the little victory skip I did around my kitchen when I tasted them for the first time. I feel that, particularly as a mum of two little ones, I am CONSTANTLY trying to develop recipes for treats that pack a nutritional punch, whilst staying sweet and decadent enough that my kids don’t feel like they are missing out. And these hit the mark on both counts perfectly. Each one is under 200 calories, provides 5g of protein and 4g of fibre, making them the ultimate snack to tackle the dreaded 4pm slump and keep you full until dinner time. And to top it off, the cupcakes are so easy to make, with all of the ingredients just being chucked into one big mixing bowl, so little hands can definitely help with this type of weekend baking.
Going to my local health food store and having time to wander around the aisles discovering new products is like heaven on earth to me (and doing it ALONE, well…there are no words to describe that joy!). There seem to be new ‘flours’ popping up all the time, and this week I came to experiment with using hemp flour. Although the seeds from the hemp plant belong to the same species as cannabis, they only contain a teensy weensy minuscule amount of THC so fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it!) they don’t provide the same drug like effects as marijuana. The seeds are, however exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy essential fatty acids, protein and various minerals and antioxidants, particularly Vitamin E, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium & Zinc. Another great plant-based source of heart-healthy anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s and antioxidants are the walnuts. Whilst spelt flour does contain some gluten, it seems to be much better tolerated for those with sensitivities to wheat flour, but obviously, those with coeliac disease should still avoid this altogether and just substitute it for a totally gluten-free option instead.
NOTE – if you don’t have the time/ingredients/energy to make the frosting, I would add 40g dark chocolate chips to the cupcake batter instead.
For the Cupcakes
· 3½ Bananas (mashed)
· 2 tsp Baking Powder
· 3 Eggs
· 125ml Olive Oil
· 125ml Buttermilk
· 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
· 1 tsp Cinnamon
· 120g Hemp flour (substitute with almond flour if you can’t get hold of this)
· 90g Coconut Sugar
· 70g Spelt Flour
· 30g Walnut Pieces
· Optional – 40g Dark Chocolate Chips
For the Frosting
· 185g Cream Cheese
· 30g Xylitol
· Zest and juice of 1 Orange
· Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
· Place all of the ingredients for the cupcakes in a large mixing bowl and combine well (or whizz in the blender).
· Spoon the mixture into silicon cupcake moulds (or else line with paper cases).
· Cook for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
· Place on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the frosting.
· Blitz the Xylitol in a high-speed blender so that it becomes fine enough to resemble traditional icing sugar.
· In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered xylitol and orange juice and zest until thoroughly mixed.
· Smother on the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
Per Cupcake with no frosting
Calories – 198
Fat – 11g
Carbohydrates – 20g
Protein – 5g
Fibre – 4g
One serving of frosting
Calories – 35
Fat – 3g
Carbohydrates – 3g
Protein – 1g