Cuckoo for Coconut 

At some point in time, among the quinoa, kale, chia seeds, and goji berries, coconut became snugly nestled into the plethora of health-food crazes. And what is one of the most effectively entertaining ways to take advantage of superfood trends?…Cupcakes!

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Being like the plant-based version of what the buffalo was to Native Americans, there are many things the bountiful coconut has to offer in addition to just the “meat.” Coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut bras…if you can dream it, it seems the coconut can provide it. With many hosting a number of health benefits, these various components lend themselves to a wide array of uses in the kitchen and beyond.

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There is something so deeply comforting and indulgent, yet simultaneously light and tropical about the flavor of coconut. So much, in fact, that you may find it difficult to stop after just one of these cupcakes. No need to fret, however, as this Bottomless Stomach-friendly recipe provides only about 500 calories for an entire batch of 8. If you can find  a reduced fat version of shredded coconut, all the better, as it allows more volume for your calorie buck.

Consider the protein and fiber boost from beans (as a butter or oil substitute) and the absence of excess sugar, and you have nothing short of a wholesome, high-volume dessert to enjoy.

Of course, there is no purpose to neglect mentioning the silky chocolate frosting that tops these culinary gems. Paradise…pure paradise.

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Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse Frosting

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Makes: 8 standard-sized cupcakes

Equipment: Standard sized muffin pan; small food processor or immersion blender; electric mixer; cooking spray

Cupcake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (150 grams) granular erythritol
6 tablespoons (42 grams) coconut flour
3 tablespoons (18 grams) acacia fiber
4 tablespoons (15 grams) finely shredded unsweetened  coconut
1 1/2 tablespoons (10 grams) rice protein powder
2 tablespoons (10 grams) psyllium husks
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon glucomannan powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Scant cup (140 grams) cooked beans
1/2 cup egg whites 
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon coconut flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30 drops liquid stevia

Frosting Ingredients:
1/4 cup (50 grams) powdered erythritol
1 1/2 tablespoons (7 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
85 grams firm silken light tofu
2 tablespoons (11 grams) light frozen whipped topping, thawed
Dash of vanilla extract

Directions:
For the cupcakes, combine the erythritol, coconut flour, acacia fiber, shredded coconut, rice protein, psyllium husks, baking powder, glucomannan, and salt in a large bowl; whisk together and set aside.

Coat muffin pan generously with cooking spray; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a food processor (or separate bowl if using an immersion blender), combine the beans, egg whites, almond milk, coconut flavor, vanilla extract, and stevia; blend thoroughly.

Add the blended wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.

Empty the batter into prepared muffin pan and place on the middle oven rack. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean (approximately 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When the pan is cool enough to touch, cover the tops of the cupcakes with plastic wrap to avoid excess drying; continue to cool for approximately one hour.

For the icing, combine the powdered erythritol, cocoa powder, tofu, and vanilla in a food processor (or separate bowl if using an immersion blender); blend thoroughly until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and gently fold in the whipped topping; refrigerate 10-20 minutes.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, carefully remove them from the pan. Spread the chilled icing on top and garnish with additional shredded coconut if desired. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Nutrition Facts:
Per entire batch – 537 calories (144 from fat); 16g total fat (13g saturated fat); 0mg cholesterol; 902mg sodium; 759mg potassium; 75g total carbohydrate (46g dietary fiber, 7g sugar, 29g net carbs); 47g protein; Bonus: Calcium (17% dv); Iron (76% dv)

Nutritional information provided by myfitnesspal.com

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