If you are trying to make Whole Food Halloween cupcakes, almond and coconut flours are your new best friend. Almond and coconut flours are gluten-free, low-carb, paleo and whole-food friendly, and can be substituted for all-purpose flour (white flour) on a 1 to 1 ratio. While whole food devotees use healthy oils like coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, there are others who shun oil of any type. Today you will learn ways of creating both oil-friendly and oil-free Halloween treats.

banana pumpkin apples cupcakes halloween

Bananas and Pumpkins and Applesauce, Oh My!

For whipping up Halloween cupcakes and other pastries and baked goods, you can replace oil or butter with applesauce. Just be sure you choose organic, unprocessed applesauce, or make your own. Puréed pumpkins and mashed bananas can also be used as processed oil replacements. Below you will see exactly what ratios you need to follow to make your favorite Halloween cupcake recipes without traditional oils.

Applesauce – 1 for 1 ratio (for example, if your recipe requires 1/4 cup of oil, 1/4 cup of applesauce will do the job)

Puréed or canned pumpkin – 1 for 1

Bananas – 1 for 1

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Replacing Oil with Oil

If you talk to 10 whole food disciples, you are likely to get anywhere from 5 to 10 different “takes” on what qualifies and what does not qualify as a whole food. This is especially the case with oils. If you do not want to use any type of oil at all when you make Halloween cupcakes or other baked goods, simply experiment with the oil alternatives just mentioned.

If on the other hand, you recognize healthy foods like raw, unrefined organic coconut oil as acceptable, you can use it to replace other oils in a 1 for 1 ratio of measurement. The same is true with raw organic extra-virgin olive oil. Coconut oil has the highest flashpoint of any cooking oil, so it holds its integrity and flavor and delivers the most nutrients no matter what temperature you are cooking at.

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Other Halloween Cupcake Baking Considerations:

There are a few things you should remember in the whole foods kitchen when it comes to baking. There are several natural, healthy, whole food-approved foods that can replace unhealthy processed foods and other items which don’t qualify as paleo or whole food-acceptable. For instance, 1/2 medium-sized mashed ripe banana can be substituted for every egg in any baking recipe. The riper the banana is, the more sweetness and flavor you get (and the easier it is to mash).

Some whole-foodies eat eggs, and some don’t, so this banana substitute may be of help to you making cupcakes and other baked goods this Halloween.

Also, 1/4 cup of natural, unprocessed applesauce makes an excellent replacement for one egg in baking recipes as well. Just make sure you don’t use more than 1 cup applesauce total in any recipe. If you add three tablespoons of water with 2 1/2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds, this is also an excellent replacement for an egg.

You may want to experiment with these three substitutions, as they each adds their own unique flavor, although it is not overpowering.

When it comes to replacing unhealthy refined sugar, you can substitute maple syrup or honey. Make sure the alternative you use is unprocessed, and organic if at all possible. One cup of white sugar can be replaced with 3/4 cup of maple syrup. Raw, unfiltered honey is a healthy alternative to refined sugar as well, with 1/2 to 2/3 cup of honey substituting for 1 cup of sugar. As with all oil, egg, sugar or flour replacements, experimentation is the key.

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The Next Step – Making Your Cupcakes:

With any of your favorite cupcake recipes, you can replace fruits and purées with pumpkin to make them Halloween-centric. You can alternately take any of your tried-and-true Halloween cupcake formulas and simply use the substitutions mentioned above to make them whole food-passable.

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