Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yes you can with yacon

When I came up with the recipes for my raw cupcake e-book (don't be deceived by the picture; this is an e-book that saves some trees), I mainly made what I prefer to eat. It wasn't originally meant for the purpose of compiling them into this electronically shared document (that came later as a way to help support my family/keep this blog afloat when I didn't go back to work), rather just to make my taste buds happy and find a creative outlet.

With that in mind, I like to give my readers a heads up that most of the recipes are rather nut-heavy and sweet. There are a few that are nut-free (seed- and/or coconut-based), but the majority of them fall into the first category.

However, you can always make substitutions when necessary, as you'll see today (examples would be subbing seeds for nuts, carob for cocoa, liquid stevia and/or yacon syrup for agave or maple syrup, etc.). Although I wasn't planning on posting for a couple days, I felt the need to address this topic.

You see, a lovely lady (not Hayden, although she is lovely, too), who purchased my e-book, emailed me yesterday requesting a substitution for date paste, an ingredient in just about every recipe in the book. Usually, this would be a simple swap-out for soaked/pureed raisins, figs or other dried fruit, but she could not have any of those things due to the fact they are high glycemic. As a result, I needed to do some experimenting in my own kitchen to make my book work for her.

After a lot of thought, I came up with soaked/pureed yacon slices/chips (that's not a banana chip on top of that cupcake) to replace the date paste (yacon is sweet and should be able to bind the batter somewhat without being too wet). Now I'm not a nutritionist, but from what I have read, yacon is extremely low and possibly zero on the glycemic index. I just needed to test it out in a raw cupcake.

I put about a cup of the dried yacon slices in a bowl with some water and let them rehydrate for a few hours. This went faster than expected. Those are thirsty little buggers (I'd serve them up in a bowl like Frosted Flakes with some almond milk on top, but they would get soggy quick. Try it, if you like, but they are also good on their own as a snack).

Anyway, then I pureed them in a mini food processor, resulting in a slightly lumpy gel-like substance. Since I didn't have any time to do anything with it yesterday, I popped it in the fridge until this morning.

So, how did the experiment turn out today?

Well, here is the nut-free, non-chocolate, low glycemic version of my raw German Chocolate Cupcakes, made especially for that lovely lady I mentioned and anyone else with special dietary restrictions. I feel like the Baby Cakes of the raw food world.

Specialty Carob Cupcake
Tailor-Made Just for You

*This makes one raw cupcake tailor-made
for those with special dietary needs

1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp. carob powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. yacon paste (see text above)
touch of vanilla
pinch of sea salt
*coconut yacon topping (see explanation below)
*dried coconut flakes for sprinkles
*dried yacon slice for garnish

In a mini food processor, combine the seeds, carob, vanilla and sea salt. Process into a fine crumb. Add the yacon paste (see the blog entry above for directions) and process until evenly distributed throughout the "batter" (this helps break up the little gel-like pieces).

The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire). Form into a cupcake shape using a reusable silicone liner, mini teacup or ramekin.

Top the cupcake with coconut yacon topping (a combination of equal parts yacon paste, sunflower seed butter and coconut flakes; cinnamon and yacon syrup are also nice additions), a sprinkling of coconut flakes and a dried yacon slice garnish. Enjoy!


BTW, if anybody is making raw cupcakes, let me know where I can get a pic/link to it/them. I'll give you a shout out on a future blog post.

For example, Trish is rawkin' it with her first attempt. Aren't they cute? Don't forget to stop by her blog and tell her what you think :-)