Friday, April 14, 2017

'Neep Cakes

These spiced sesame and date muffins have a secret ingredient... Turnip puree! Trust me - you'd never know, and they are to die for!  

'Neep Cakes

Vegetables in muffins and cupcakes is nothing new - certainly not on this blog for sure - and they have an uncanny ability to blend nutrition, moisture and a hint of flavour into every bite. From experience, mixing veggies into dessert is a great way to get even the most loathed of the crops (looking at you, beets, radish greens, cauliflower, parsnips and let's not forget kale) to taste delicious and in some cases even convert the haters. 

One of the root veggies I have been rather slow to embrace is the turnip. I've tried (and enjoyed) raw Tokyo turnips bought on a whim at the farmer's market, but truth be told I prefer radishes, and I wasn't a huge fan of their flavour when roasted. I'm told I come by it honestly - my mother and grandmother hate them as well, but like rutabaga (as do I), so when I was faced with leftover roots that I couldn't bring myself to eat, I looked around for a way to make them delicious - even for all of us!

Eventually I came across These Things I Love, who had a great sounding recipe (and story) for turnip cupcakes. I was intrigued, so switched around a few ingredients. The result is not gluten free, but maintains the veganism of the original, and uses less sugar and margarine. To make up for the missing fat, I turned to hyper-flavourful roasted tahini, and added sesame seeds and dates for texture. The results didn't need frosting or a glaze - the sprinkling of raw sugar was perfect all on its own. The best part? These muffin-cupcakes don't taste like turnip at all, just warming from the spices, a little nutty and a tiny bit earthy. Definitely a great way to enjoy them!

Shared with Foodie Friday
 
'Neep Cakes
Makes 14
¼ cup soft vegan margarine
½ cup well-stirred tahini
1 tsp vanilla
⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup unsweetened plain non-dairy milk (I used cashew, since that’s what I drink)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cooked, mashed, cold turnip
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup sesame seeds (I used brown)
¼ cup diced dates
2 tbsp raw sugar, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 14 muffin cups with cupcake papers.
  2. Cream margarine, tahini, vanilla and sugar until well combined
  3. Add milk, lemon juice and turnip, mixing well.
  4. Add the spices and salt, mixing to blend, then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and sesame seeds. Beat well.
  5. Fold in the dates.
  6. Portion into the muffin cups and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until they test done.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 224.7
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 59.1 mg
Total Carbs: 35.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 5.0 g