Today was my first official “lazy day” of summer. For me, that means no client on the schedule and no school or camp for the little one. No long list of errands to run, either! I suppose there’s people out there that are truly maximizing their “lazy days of summer” and sleeping until noon, lounging by the pool with a good book and/or escaping to a long movie in an over-air-conditioned cinema. I’ve been there once upon a time and wish I had appreciated and savored those days more!
So, what sort of fun did I manage to whip up for my dear boy today? After feeling guilty for parking him in front of PBS kids while I caught up on laundry, I decided that we would bake together. I’ve been wanting to refine this recipe for zucchini cupcakes I threw together for a friend’s birthday many months ago. Those cupcakes were topped with avocado frosting and were delicious. The birthday girl swooned and insisted we call them “spa” cupcakes. The sugar content in the frosting prohibited any “spa” designation, though. And while I could have done avocado frosting today, I was fresh out of avocados and really didn’t feel like running to the store.
I did, however, have a small log of goat cheese in the fridge, so that is how this frosting recipe came to be. The cupcakes and the frosting are sweetened with low-glycemic sweeteners. I have recently tried to cut out refined white sugar as much as possible in an effort to stabilize my blood sugar and quell the edginess that nasty blood sugar drops were bringing. I’m pretty sure my family appreciates my efforts! These tasty, tender-crumbed confections will satisfy a sweet tooth without turning one into a raving monster a few hours later. On the healthiness scale (with quinoa kale salad being a ten and Twinkies being a zero), I would rate these an eight. Spa-worthy for sure. The frosting is rich in prebiotics, too! Feel free to experiment with different spices if you desire. Ginger or cardamom, for instance, would be lovely additions or substitutions.
Recipe for Zucchini Spice Cupcakes (Gluten and Dairy Free):
yields: 12 cupcakes
1 3/4 c. gluten-free flour blend
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/2 c. organic coconut milk (from a can, not low-fat)
1/2 t. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted (I used refined organic)
1 lg. egg (room temp)
1 med-small banana, mashed
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon zest
2/3 c. coconut sugar
1 med. zucchini, coarsely grated
Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake tin with liners. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Combine coconut milk and rice wine vinegar in a measuring cup or small bowl and set aside. Combine banana with lemon zest and vanilla. In the bowl of mixer with paddle attachment, combine coconut sugar with coconut oil. Beat on medium speed for about 3 min. Add egg. Beat another minute. Add banana mixture. Continue beating. On low speed, add dry ingredients alternating with coconut milk mixture, adding dry ingredients last. Fold in zucchini. Spoon into cupcake liners, filling them about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 18 min. or until firm and springy to the touch.
Recipe for Goat Cheese, Lemon and Honey Frosting:
4 oz. goat cheese (room temp)
6 T. Spectrum Organic Shortening
1/4 c. organic coconut milk (from a can, not low fat)
1/4 c. honey
1 t. lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 T. coconut flour, sifted
pinch of sea salt
In bowl of mixer with whisk attachment, cream together the goat cheese, shortening, lemon zest, vanilla, and sea salt. Slowly drizzle in the honey. Scrape down the bowl every so often. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut flour into the coconut milk. Slowly pour this mixture into the goat cheese mixture and whisk on high speed for 3 min. Refrigerate frosting for about 2 hrs. before frosting cupcakes. For added decorative drama, drizzle each frosted cupcake lightly with honey.