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Chocolate Cupcakes – Using Five Groups!

June 30, 2010 | Desserts

I just finished teaching my 14th cooking class for Operation Frontline Colorado today. As is typical in many of our classes, we ended the series with a potluck of dishes, giving all of the students a chance to show how they’ve learned to cook a little bit healthier during the 6 weeks. Probably the biggest surprise at the potluck was this batch of cupcakes baked by my nutrition educator for the class, Ellen Hart Pena. The recipe comes from Simply in Season, and I’ve adapted only the directions here. Everyone – moms in the class and their kids who joined at the end – LOVED these, yet the recipe is actually loaded with some good things, including food from five different food groups. Don’t want to eat veggies with your dinner? Get them in your dessert!

Five Food Group Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes about 16 cupcakes

Adapted from Simply in Season

2 cups cooked beets, chopped
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil (or works with a little less per Ellen)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or nuts

Puree beets and applesauce together in the blender and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, yogurt and eggs for 2 minutes. Add beets/applesauce, cocoa and vanilla and beat together for 2 more minutes. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into the batter using a spoon, mixing only until combined. If using, stir in chips and nuts then pour into a cupcake pan lined sprayed with cooking spray or lined with paper liners. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Top with your favorite frosting (pictured is a cream cheese and coconut frosting).

Note: Because this recipe is lower in fat, the cupcakes will stick a bit to paper liners. When preparing a recipe like this I therefore prefer to just spray the pans themselves instead of using paper liners.

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