Sugarless Orange Cupcakes with Blood Orange Reduction.

Sometimes I feel like I need a little bit of a detox from sugar and all the unhealthy foods I've been putting into my body. I try to eat healthfully most of the time, but recently, that has not been happening. It's been cupcake after candy bar after pie after...well, you get the idea.

Yesterday, I started a mini version of the Daniel Fast. This is something my friend and I will be doing for 21 days later in the school year, but for now, I want to test the waters. It's a spiritual fast, meant to bring you closer to God by limiting what you put into your body. It's a vegan diet where the only drink allowed is water and no additives or chemicals are allowed. No processed foods, sweeteners, or bread (or anything with leavening) are allowed either.

I think this will be great for me! It's a way to get my eating habits back on track and also develop a closer relationship with God. I'm not sure how long I will be doing this, but probably not for 21 days since that's what I'll be doing with Nikhil later this year, but I will go for a while. I will also be only eating one large meal day (since it is a fast, after all).

So far, everything has been going very well. I ate a large salad and some fruit yesterday for dinner. i'm unsure of what I'll be eating tonight, but I'll keep you posted.

A few months ago, I decided to try to give up only sugar for a while (it failed miserably...) and during that time, these delicious cupcakes were born! The only sweetener used is orange juice concentrate, which provides for a slightly sweet cupcake. The blood orange juice reduction adds for a bit more natural sweetness. Delicious.  These aren't exactly allowed on the Daniel fast, but regardless, they sure are tasty! My goal is to try making these again without the Earth Balance, and using 1/3 c. of oil instead. And really, to try this with my new cupcake recipe - since making these, I have perfected my vegan cupcake with a different recipe. (I added notes about making these substitutions after the original ingredients below)
Sugarless Orange Cupcakes
1/2 c. Earth Balance (or try 1/3 c. oil)
3/4 c. orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 c. flour
3 Ener-G egg replacers (powder) (or try 2 T. cornstarch)
1.5 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 c. milk substitute (or try curdling this by mixing it with 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar first)
1 t. vanilla
1 t. orange extract
1/4 t. salt
1 c. blood orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Mix in OJ concentrate, vanilla, extract, and milk.
2. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate this mixture into the liquids.
3. Scoop batter into a prepared cupcake pan (you should get about 12).
4. Bake for about 22 minutes or until golden brown. They may sink in the middle and be a bit crumbly.
5. Allow to cool. While cooling, place blood orange juice in a saucepan over medium heath and allow to boil until it has been reduced by half and has formed a sticky-sweet syrup. Brush syrup over cooled cupcakes and enjoy.

Much love,