What I learned from doing the Whole30…

I recently finished a Whole30 during the month of May / June, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to what I learned and what I did during that month.  In fact, my book club was so interested, It Starts With Food is the book for July!   So, here’s my lessons learned:

  1. EGGS, how I missed you!
  2. I don’t miss bread all that much
  3. I don’t really miss dairy all that much (except in my morning coffee)
  4. Cooking for a week is HARD (but then it gets easier…)
  5. Cooking is actually kind of fun
  6. Traveling brings out a multitude of emotional eating cravings for me
  7. I have a lot of issues being told “oh, you’re so good”, “look at you eating all healthy”, etc, when eating

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Rumchata Cupcakes! [grain-free, and mostly dairy-free]

Rumchata cupcakes!

Not the prettiest, but certainly tasty!

If you don’t know what Rumchata is, you should rectify that right away.  It is basically cinnamon toast cereal in an alcohol format. Yum. At brunch one Saturday, it came up that Rumchata Cupcakes would be a fantastic idea.   I decided that as soon as I was done with my Whole30, I would put my mind to this.

Now, I’m not really a create-your-own-recipe-from-scratch kind of girl.  But the scientist in me does love to take some recipes and “frankenstein” them together.  I’d found this delicious looking recipe, but unfortunately for me, it used white flour.  I’d decided that staying grain-free is a better thing for me, so I needed to find a cupcake recipe that used a nut-flour.

I decided on coconut flour, as I had heard that almond flour wasn’t terribly stable at high temperatures, and also that coconut flour is amazing in pastries, as it absorbs a lot of moisture and thus the cake stays delicious.   So Chef Google and I went off to find a coconut flour cake recipe, as that would have the liquid proportions already determined for me.  I found a decent one here, and used it as a template.

The icing was a little more difficult, and the first couple tries were not up to snuff.  Chef Google to the rescue again, and we found a base for coconut whipped cream/icing that actually works quite well, but the consistency is better when chilled.

Grain-Free Rumchata Cupcakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (Makes a dozen cupcakes): [this recipe can be easily halved,  just make sure to fill unused cupcake wells with water to prevent your pan from burning]

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup Rumchata
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a dozen cupcake holders.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until it forms an even batter.
  3. Scoop equal amounts of the batter into each cupcake well [a 1/4 cup measure works well]
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch.
  5. Remove from the oven. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.

Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar [I didn’t put this in, but you might want to]
  • 1 tablespoon Rumchata
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

I, too, used the Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream, but if you use regular coconut milk, it must be the full-fat version; the lite will not work.

Method:

  1. Put your coconut cream in the fridge overnight to chill.
  2. 15 min before you are ready to make the icing, put mixing bowl, beaters and coconut cream in the freezer
  3. Open the can, and dump the solid portions of the coconut cream into the mixing bowl.  Save the watery portion for another recipe calling for coconut milk, or toss it.  (This is where the TJ coconut cream comes in handy – it’s very little water!)
  4. Add the other ingredients, and beat until stiff peaks form (about 5-8 min)
  5. Pipe onto cupcakes, or transfer to another container and put in the fridge to firm up a bit before piping

Keep frosted cupcakes in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them, as the icing consistency can get a little droopy at room temperature for long.