Anticipating the summer-bounty, here’s a tomato dessert that is truly delectable. While I do believe moderation is necessary in nightshades* consumption, there’s really nothing as perfect as a lush/ripe/seasonal tomato. Thus, enjoy this botanical fruit/culinary vegetable in the height of its availability and explore a myriad of ways to incorporate it in your diet. After all, we do need the lycopene!
*Nightshades are in the plant family called Solanaceae and include tobacco, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, goji berries and potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams excluded). Nightshades are linked to inflammatory problems such as heartburn and arthritis (among many others). They can also exacerbate certain autoimmune diseases, so it is very necessary to eliminate them while cleansing. Enjoy in moderation.
SWEET TOMATO CUPCAKES
Makes 18 cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
2 cups tomatoes, seeds removed and roughly chopped
3 eggs or flax eggs*, lightly beaten
1/3 cup organic, non-GMO canola oil
1/3 cup milk of choice
1 1/3 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup goji berries, optional
FOR MAPLE VANILLA FROSTING:
8 oz full fat cream cheese**
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/8 tsp seas salt
*1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water = 1 “flax egg”
**If vegan, replace cream cheese with your favorite smooth nut butter. The frosting will be just as delicious, but will not run down the sides of the cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease or line 18 muffin tins. Blend the tomatoes in a food processor until they’re in liquid form. Add blended tomatoes to a large bowl with eggs (or flax eggs), canola oil, milk of choice, maple syrup and tomato puree. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients in 3 batches, stirring thoroughly between each addition. Once incorporated, stir for another few minutes to eliminate the lumps in the batter. Divid the batter between the lined muffin tins and bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of a cupcake’s center clean. While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting: blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before spreading on cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle top with goji berries, if desired. Store at room temperature to allow the frosting to run down the sides of the cupcakes.