Rhubarb or Blueberry Cupcakes

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 These cupcakes can be made with frozen rhubarb or blueberries. Today is the first snowstorm of the season so my rhubarb patch is covered but I can make these year-around because frozen blueberries work well too. I also have rhubarb in the freezer to use.

 I’ve been trying to grow rhubarb for  many years with little luck. Fortunately my mom has a nice big patch of rhubarb which she transplanted from my brother’s place in East Peoria, Illinois. It has long, thin, rosy red stalks which are tender throughout most of the summer. Laura and I picked rhubarb twice this year from my mom’s place, washed and chopped into small quarter-inch cubes, and froze it. It will be such a treat to have the taste of summer rhubarb now that the snow is flying.

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Here is some information about rhubarb that I learned from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Only the long, thick leaf petioles, the “stalks,” are edible. Rhubarb leaves are toxic and must never be eaten. The stalks do contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can tie up calcium and make it unavailable in the body. Eating an occasional dish containing rhubarb does not pose a serious nutritional threat; indeed, spinach, widely considered a health-promoting food, also contains high levels of oxalic acid. However, people with gout, kidney disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis may want to avoid foods high in oxalic acid and should consult with their physicians about consuming these foods.

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Rhubarb or Blueberry Cupcakes
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ¼ cups flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon cinnamon or ground cardamom (optional)
  6. ½ cup brown sugar
  7. ¼ cup canola oil
  8. 1 egg
  9. ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  10. ½-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. ¾ cup diced rhubarb or blueberries (**frozen or fresh)
  12. ¼ cup toasted walnuts or slivered almonds (optional)
  13. Cream cheese frosting (1 tablespoon per cupcake)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. *If you are using sour milk, prepare it by putting ½ tablespoon lemon juice in liquid measuring cup and fill with milk up to the ½ cup line.
  3. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with cooking spray or lining with paper muffin cups.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon or cardamom in bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine sugar, oil, egg, milk, vanilla and mix with well.
  6. Add flour mixture to liquid ingredients. Mix by hand until just blended. Gently fold in blueberries or rhubarb. Do not over mix.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins until ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in tin on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.
Notes
  1. **If you are using frozen fruit, add it without thawing so it doesn’t bleed into the batter. You can also toss it in a couple tablespoons of flour just before gently mixing it in. Stop stirring if it starts to bleed.
  2. I like to use a flour that is a blend of all purpose white flour with 30-50% whole wheat flour or UltragrainR whole wheat flour. This increases the whole grains and doubles the fiber.
  3. These freeze well either before frosting or after. Take out just enough for one or two people at a time.
  4. Nutrition Per Serving: 193-196 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 29 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 178 mg sodium.
Taste of Zest http://www.tasteofzest.com/toz/

 

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