Healthy carob cupcakes

I love baking with pure cocoa, but sometimes I just don't handle the caffeine very well. A year ago or so, I was introduced to carob powder via a recipe in the Hungry for Health cookbook. After doing some research on carob, I found out some really interesting healthy facts about it:

• It's caffeine free
• It is rich in phosphor and calcium
• It is high in fiber and contains the vitamins A, B, B2, B3, and D
• Carob is naturally sweet, unlike chocolate that has to be processed with sugar
• Low in fat
• C
ontains natural pectin, which may help remove cholesterol and can be a good colon cleanser

The first thing you might say when trying a carob bar is that it tastes nothing like chocolate. Carob definitely has a distinct taste, but it is delicious. In fact, I don't think it'd be too far fetched to say that you may eventually come to favor carob, and its nutritional benefits, over chocolate.

I think you'll enjoy these healthy carob cupcakes—a nutritious, guilt-free snack without all the sugar typically found in chocolate cupcakes. They are topped with carob-fudge icing and raw coconut.

Shopping List:
(inspired by this recipe):
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup carob powder (I use Chatfield's brand that I get from Whole Foods)
• 1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
• 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
• 1/2 cup raw honey
• 1/2 cup hot water
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup coconut oil
• 1/4 cup raw honey
• 1 cup carob powder

• raw coconut


Cupcakes: Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat on a medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Pour into greased (with butter) muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (20 minutes or so).

Icing: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Do not over mix or butter and coconut oil may separate. (If you need to thicken it up, add a little more butter)