Sweet Strawberry Cupcakes

 This recipe is a terrific way to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary! All you need is a box of yellow cake mix. The Strawberry Puree and cranberry juice will add a super boost of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants and will make the cupcakes even more moist and flavorful. Plus, none of your little shortcakes will ever guess there’s heart-healthy oat bran stashed under those pretty pink sprinkles.


Ingredients:

- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup Strawberry Puree (see recipe below)
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- Pink sprinkles and pink vanilla frosting, optional

Directions:

> Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with pink paper muffin cups.

> In the bowl of an electric mixer, place all ingredients, except sprinkles, if using. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed for another 2 minutes. Using a spoon, mix 2 tablespoons of pink sprinkles into the batter. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake for 19 to 21 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Remove and cool before frosting with strawberry or vanilla frosting with pink sprinkles.


Strawberry Puree

21⁄2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries,* no syrup or sugar added
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water

*Try to use organic strawberries, since they rank high on the “dirty dozen” list of produce most contaminated with pesticide residues.

Makes about 1 cup

Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water in the bowl of a food processor and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree. 

Strawberry Puree will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

 

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