Friday, November 4, 2011

Vegan Recipe - Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

It's the first Friday of the month and that means it's time to share another delicious recipe with you. So why does a blog about "green" living post vegan recipes? Simply put, it takes less natural resources to produce one pound of plant-based foods versus one pound of animal-based foods. Consider this ... say, for example, that we have one acre of land. We decide to grow vegetables. So we plant our seeds, water the plants and then harvest the veggies. Now let's say we decide to raise beef on that acre of land. The cattle will quickly eat anything growing on the one acre so we'll need to acquire more. That means we'll either need to buy it from a farmer who grew it on his one acre of land or we'll need to buy another acre of land to grow feed on. The cattle will need water to drink ... and their feed will need water to grow. So already we're using more land and water to produce meat. And that doesn't begin to address the additional pollution of raising animals versus that of raising veggies. Eating a plant-based diet is the simplest way to reduce our carbon footprint.

This month's recipe comes from one of my new favorite blogs, The Vegetarian (Who Hates Tofu). Michele, the author and "head chef", has put together a beautiful blog full of wonderful recipes. My first impression of the blog was how clean and fresh it is ... in addition to the Home page, there is a page of recipes and a page of Michele's Favorites (links to her favorite books, movies and blogs). The Recipe page includes such tasty treasures as Cauliflower Steak and Tortilla Soup. On the Home Page, I found a list of keywords and the word "breakfast" was listed. For me, creative and delicious vegan breakfasts are a challenge. So I was interested to see what I'd find. Michele offers several dishes including Cinna-Mini Pancakes, Carrot Cake Muffins and Mochi Breakfast Bites. Mmm! If you are interested in incorporating more meatless meals into your diet, then you'll want to bookmark The Vegetarian (Who Hates Tofu) and visit often.

Michele has kindly agreed to share one of her recipes with us. It is perfect for this time of year with all the colors and flavors of fall. I can't wait to give it a try!

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes
with Maple Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes

¼ cup almond milk
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 medium tart apple, cored and peeled
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree apple. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin and apple puree till well combined. Stir in oil, almond milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix well. Pour into a lined cupcake pan (fill to the top). Bake at 350 for 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before decorating.

Maple Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

½ cup Earth Balance butter
1 ½ cup confectioners' sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp almond milk

Beat Earth Balance until creamy, about a minute. Add sugar and cinnamon and beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla, maple syrup and almond milk. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.

Top each cupcake with a dollop of frosting & enjoy!

Thanks, again, to Michele of The Vegetarian (Who Hates Tofu).

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please send it to me HERE. And for all the recipes we've shared so far, be sure to visit our recipe page using the tabs at the top of the page ... or by clicking HERE.