Strawberries again! Well… I know, I just posted a strawberry dessert recipe! But please, hear me out: it’s the strawberry season (apparently, since all the grocery stores are stacked with the affordable, good-looking organic strawberries. And I’ll be very honest, I’ve never had a head to memorize any of these “seasonal fruit and veggie lists”, but I don’t think that I should since I figured that when I go my local market, whatever is best-looking, organic and low in price, whether I like it or not, – that’s what in season! (And personally I prefer munching on the fresh blueberries over the strawberries, since the blueberries a little sweeter, but it’s not like I have a choice with how much the blueberries cost now…) And so, once again nothing looked as quite good on the market’s shelf (or wasn’t as affordable) as the strawberries!
And… Once again I ended up eating most of these fresh strawberries all by myself… (Well, whoever bought them is responsible for consuming them, right?) Like I’ve mentioned before, when my kids set their minds on certain foods (currently out of all the fruit it’s the apples), it’s very hard to get them to switch to anything else.
Anyway, you may or may not like munching on fresh strawberries, but everyone surely loves a strawberry dessert! I personally love strawberry desserts above any other fruit desserts for some reason… It’s just so sweet and indulgent! This is why you’ll be seeing more than a few strawberry desserts on my blog!
This time I decided on the cupcakes. This is one of my favorite recipes for the chocolate cupcakes! Why is it one of my favorites? Because the secret to the very little sugar and fat in them are the black beans! Now, I know I am not the first one developing a dessert featuring the black beans, but when I tried some of the black bean recipes that I found on-line, I didn’t like it very much that there were just a few other ingredients beside the beans: the cakes ended up too heavy and doughy…
But I think that the gooey black beans perfectly supplement the fresh and aromatic fruit puree while the eggs, whole wheat flour and cocoa add some more nutritional value to the mix. With the thick black bean paste and the sweet strawberries I added just a little bit of sugar and fat because after all, it is a dessert!
I topped my cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting that I consider probably the healthiest way to go when it comes to whipping a creamy, smooth and fluffy frosting without any butter and with much less sugar than a usual recipe calls for: I’ve found that the a Whipped Topping does just that: it supplements both the butter and the sugar with its fluffy, light texture. (I’ve been very much against Whipped Toppings for a while since they are usually made with pretty bad-for-you ingredients, but now most grocery stores carry the healthy versions of it and when I found it, I just knew that this will be a great addition to many of my recipes!
And so here it is: a recipe for the…
Healthy Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes with the Non-Fat and Low-Sugar Strawberry Frosting
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pureed fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 oz oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz non-fat cream cheese
- 6-8 oz fat-free Whipped Topping* thawed
- 1 oz of crushed freeze-dry strawberries*
For the Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
- 5 oz of dark chocolate
- 15 strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Blend the black beans until smooth.
Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and the strawberry puree. Add the black beans and the oil. Mix well until incorporated.
Mix together the flour, the cocoa, the baking powder and the salt.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the chips if desired.
Bake for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of your cupcakes (mine were medium, but if yours are smaller or bigger, just use a toothpick to check the readiness).
Cool the cupcakes until they are at room temperature.
For the frosting beat the cream cheese with the strawberry powder. Add the Whipped Topping and whip until the mixture is well incorporated and fluffy.
Top the cupcakes with the frosting and dig in!
or (this is optional, I just had too many strawberries, so I decided to cover the rest of them with the chocolate since the chocolate-covered stuff gets eaten up faster than the fresh stuff… )
Melt the chocolate and dip the strawberries in it. Refrigerate until the chocolate is solid and either top the cupcakes with the chocolate-covered strawberries for an impressive dessert or just indulge on them separately.
*The chocolate chips are optional: I added them to the cupcakes that I’ll be giving to my kids since they love that little extra and a little chocolate is good for them. For myself since I usually eat my dessert for breakfast I omitted the chips
*I only use a healthy variety of Cool Whip such as Truwhip.
*I am not a big fan of using fresh fruit in my frostings since the fresh fruit, especially when it’s been pureed, tends to spoil quickly and also I wanted my frosting to be very thick, which the freeze-dried strawberries were perfect for: they acted as an emulsifier!
* I am pretty used to eating very low-sugar desserts and so I used just 6 oz of the whipped topping and it was sweet enough for my taste. When you make the frosting, I say, start small, taste it and if it doesn’t taste sweet enough, just increase the amount of the whipped topping to your taste.
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