Cooking is all about taste and science! It’s pretty amazing how combining a few simple ingredients can create such flavorful dishes. This couldn’t happen without a little (or a lot of) science! By now I am sure everyone knows that baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) reacts with an acid like vinegar (which is about 5% acetic acid or CH3COOH) to form carbon dioxide (CO2). When used in baking, this allows your baked goods to rise. When I am add ingredients for a recipe to a bowl, I always make sure I add the vinegar on top of the baking soda so that I can watch the bubbles form! It’s like an edible volcano science fair experiment! Be sure to left your children watch science at work in the kitchen!
This recipe for Shamrock Cupcakes also has another pretty neat science experiment going on. These cupcakes are a beautiful deep green color and it doesn’t come from food coloring or spinach! The green comes from the reaction of the baking soda and chlorogenic acid found in the sunflower seeds. Pretty neat, huh!?
When you don’t want a green final product, it has been suggested to lessen the amount of baking soda to minimize the green reaction. I would hesitate doing this because there is a reason that the recipe calls for a certain amount of baking soda, and this measurement is not left for guessing. Just embrace the green color and tell people they are either St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas recipes!
So whether you like science or good food, you will LOVE this recipe!
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- 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter (homemade or store bought)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 small banana (about 6 inches long), mashed (or 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vinegar (plain or ACV)
- 1/8th tsp. Organic KAL Stevia or sweetener of choice, to taste*
- Heaping 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and blend well with hand mixer. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Using a scant large scoop (a little less than 1/4 cup), divide batter into 8 cupcake liners. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Cool on wire rack.
*Sweeteners: I used Organic KAL Stevia to sweeten this recipe. If just switching to this kind of stevia, please use a little less than the recipe calls for and then taste to see if more is needed or if you would like to supplement the sweetness with another form such as raw honey, organic coconut sugar or a sugar alcohol such as xylitol. If using Organic Sweet Leaf Stevia,use twice the amount as the recipe calls for of KAL Stevia (this seems to be the right ratio for all the recipes I have tried so far). Everyone’s pallet will respond differently to the taste of stevia and the last thing you want to do is add too much and make your recipe bitter. Remember, you can use ANY sweetener you like in ALL of my recipes.
For this recipe, I recommend a granular sweetener like coconut sugar vs. a liquid sweetener like honey so that the liquid ratio is not affected.
Nutrition based on 8 cupcakes: 160 Calories, 12 grams Fat, 10 Total Carbs, 2.5 grams Fiber, 7.5 NET CARBS, 6 grams Protein (using banana and chocolate chips). Carb count will be lower if using applesauce and if you omit the chocolate chips.