I’m excited to share these mocha chocolata cupcakes with you; the name is inspired by the chorus of Patti Labelle’s Lady Marmalade. But first, do you know the difference between glycemic index and glycemic load? Until recently, I didn’t.
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale used to rank foods based on their ability to raise your blood glucose level. This index gives foods a score between 0 to 100; foods with a score of 70 or above are classified as high-GI; 56-69 is moderate-GI; 55 or less is considered low-GI. These scores are relative to pure glucose which has a score of 100. Examples of foods with high glycemic indexes are white bread (75) and doughnuts (76). Check out the glycemic index for over 62 foods here.
The glycemic index is very helpful and can be a great place to start when trying to understand how the carbohydrate content of your food can impact your blood sugar. However, it only tells a part of story and it can be a bit confusing. For example, do you know what other food has a glycemic index equal to doughnuts? Watermelon also has a glycemic index of 76. WHAT?! Yes! “But I thought watermelon was a low-sugar fruit that was healthy for you.” Intuitively, we all can agree that eating a bowl of watermelon is not as detrimental as eating a bowl of doughnuts. The issue here is with how the glycemic index is calculated. That’s where glycemic load comes into play.
The glycemic load (GL) score was developed to describe the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in a food. A food is considered to have a high glycemic load if its GL score is greater than 19; intermediate with a GL score of 11 to 19; and low with a GL score of 10 or less. Now, if we take a look at the GL scores of watermelon and doughnuts things begin to make sense again. The GL of a doughnut is 23, while the GL of watermelon is 4. Phew! Tragedy averted. No need to cut out watermelon.
After learning about the difference glycemic index and glycemic load I became interested in finding out how other foods compared. One food in particular I had my eyes on were bananas. Bananas are nutrient-dense foods that contain tons of helpful micronutrients along with fiber and some protein. However, recently, I’ve been seeing more people banana-bashing and saying it is bad for you because it has a lot of sugar and high glycemic index. However, bananas have a GI score of 51 (less than watermelon and doughnuts) and a GL score between 11 and 13 (depending ripeness). Those numbers don’t seem that catastrophic to me. In general, the majority of one’s diet should consist of food with relatively low/moderate GIs and GLs, especially if you’re diabetic or trying to lose weight.
How do you spot foods with favorable glycemic loads? Start with foods that are high in fiber like whole fruit, whole grains and nuts. Also look at the nutrition facts and ingredients of your packaged foods. PlantFusion’s Complete Lean is an excellent example. It’s a vegan, gluten-free protein powder made from high fiber plant-based ingredients like oats, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat; it contains prebiotic fiber combined with chromium to support blood sugar. Yes! That’s one of the reasons why I used it for these mocha chocolata cupcakes. I wanted to make cupcakes that you can enjoy without the severe adverse effects of a regular sugary cupcake.
PlantFusion has several tasty flavors including Chocolate Brownie, Red Velvet and Vanilla. Go to their website and order some of their FREE Sample packs. You can also use my discount code MBMK30 to get 30% off your entire order (one use per customer).
Let’s get cooking! For some additional sweetness, this recipe uses bananas and a little Stevia (which has a GI of 0). Try these cupcakes and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 15 minutes . Cook Time: 20 minutes . Yield: Serves 9
1 Scoop PlantFusion Complete Lean in Chocolate Brownie
1 Cup Extra Ripe Bananas, mashed
3/4 All-purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Brewed coffee, room temperature
1/4 Cup Dutch Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tbsp Instant Espresso Powder
1/2 Tbsp Stevia
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp White or Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Ripe Haas Avocado
2 Tbsp Dutch Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tsp Instant Espresso Powder
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
2-6 Tbsp Sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin tray with large paper baking cups
2. In a large bowl sift dry ingredients: PlantFusion Complete Lean in Chocolate Brownie, flour, baking powder, baking soda cocoa powder, stevia and cinnamon.
3. In another bowl combine mashed bananas, coconut oil, brewed coffee and vinegar. Mix well.
4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Mix well.
5. In each muffin tin, add about 2/3 cup of batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool well before topping with your desired topping.
6. For topping: combine topping ingredients (except nuts) a small food processor. Blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can also use a fork to mash the avocado and mix the other ingredients. Using a piping bag, spoon or knife, add the frosting to the top of the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of chopped walnuts on top each cupcake.