Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrate July 4th with Blueberry Cupcakes

CC Note: July 4th is just around the corner. Dig out those favorite patriotic style recipes, or just try this one. It's sure to be a hit with your family as you enjoy the Peachtree City Parade, the Newnan Parade, or the Fayetteville Bell Ringing Ceremony!


(ARA) – Top off your Independence Day celebration this year with Wave the Flag Cupcakes for everyone.

These cupcakes look adorable and will be a hit with your family and guests. With their patriotic colors, they’re perfect for a Fourth of July picnic, or anytime you feel like “waving the flag.” The secret in these sweet delights is that there are more blueberries baked inside -- and thanks to a quick trick or two, they’re lower in fat and calories than cupcakes made the traditional way.

Need another reason to celebrate? July is National Blueberry Month! Blueberries are most abundant and least expensive in mid-summer, making it an ideal time to get your fill of these little blue gems. Stock the fridge and freezer with blueberries to make meals, snacks and desserts that are easy on the cook. Blueberries never need to be peeled, pitted, stemmed or chopped -- just a quick rinse and they’re ready to eat or add to recipes.

Try these ideas for making quick, delicious desserts and snacks that are enjoyable any time:

* Layer fresh blueberries with yogurt and crushed cereal in tall glasses for tasty breakfast parfaits.
* Toss fresh blueberries, chopped pineapple, melon and mint in a bowl; drizzle with thawed apple juice concentrate to serve as a fruit salad or a light dessert.
* Whirl frozen blueberries, cranberry juice, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender; pour into cold glasses and serve for breakfast or snack.

Recipe for “Wave the Flag” Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 package (18- to 19-ounces) yellow cake mix
1/3 cup applesauce
3 egg whites
3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 red fruit-roll snack (from a 4.5 ounce box)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix with applesauce, egg whites and 1 1/4 cups water for 30 seconds on low speed, then 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon batter into 24 (2 ½-inch) aluminum or paper lined muffin cups. Evenly divide 1 cup of blueberries onto tops of batter; do not stir. Bake cupcakes following package directions; remove to a wire rack and cool completely. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon onto cooled cupcakes; spread to the edges. Unroll fruit snack and, with a sharp knife, cut into strips 1/8-inch wide by 2-inches long. On half of each cupcake, arrange strips, trimming each to fit. Arrange remaining 2 cups blueberries on the frosting on other halves of the cupcakes, about 10 blueberries per cupcake.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Per cupcake, including frosting and toppings: 135 calories; 3 g protein; 24 g carbohydrate; 3 g total fat (1.8 g saturated fat).

Blueberries are not only convenient, they provide nutrients our bodies need every day. You can find more blueberry recipes and information at www.blueberrycouncil.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent


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