Beet Chocolate and Date Mousse (Raw & Vegan)

Oh sweet chocolate, how I love thee! Chocolate, beetroot, and dates create one ode-worthy healthy dessert. Don't be surprised if you find yourself singing its praises while frantically ravaging every bite down to the last microscopic morsel on the spoon. 

Besides its delicious flavor, raw cacao contains many fantastic health benefits. Known for being a "happy food," studies have shown that cacao (chocolate), is a stellar mood enhancer, as it can increase certain neurotransmitters promoting a sense of well-being. "The same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate" (Food Matters). Raw cacao is also high in antioxidants and trace minerals, protects nerve cells, improves circulation, and increases energy. There are so many amazing reasons to eat more chocolate. Wahoo! 

What is the Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa? 

Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. Cocoa (like in hot chocolates and chocolate bars) may look like cacao, but it is not the same. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures which can change the molecular structure of the cacao bean reducing its overall nutritional value. However, both are beneficial for health. 

Raw cacao combined with the superhero benefits of beetroot (antioxidants, minerals, and fiber) provides one deliciously nutritious dessert. Beets and Medjool dates are high in natural sugar (which is why I love using them in desserts), so this dessert is sweet enough without extra sugar. For a sweeter flavor, add sweetener of your choice. Grab a spoon and dig into this scrumptious treat!

For more delicious ways to use cacao, try this Beet Berry and Cacao Smoothie

Are you a raw cacao fan? What are your favorite ways to cook with or eat cacao? 

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you an un"BEET"able day!  


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small-medium beetroot, cooked and peeled (use 2-3 beets for more BEETastic flavor)
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 heaping tbsp coconut cream (if using coconut or almond milk, use 2-3 tbsp. Coconut cream is a thicker consistency)
  • 4 soaked pitted Medjool dates, with 1 tbsp soaked liquid
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger root (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil

OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1/4 cup water (only as needed for processing)
  • 1 tbsp raw almond-butter
  • dash of cayenne or chili powder

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts
  • blueberries, peaches, raspberries, or strawberries
  • fresh mint
  • gluten-free oats, granola, etc. 

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak 4 pitted Medjool dates for 1/2 to 1 hour. 

2. In a high-speed blender, add all the ingredients.

3. Blend well, stopping frequently to wipe down the sides with a spatula. Begin blending again, adding a little water, coconut water, or coconut milk as needed to create a light and smooth mousse consistency. 

4. Spoon equal amounts into dessert glasses. Top with preferred toppings, such as fruit, cacao nibs, or coconut shreds. Chill in fridge for at least 20 mins before serving. 

5. Serve in a glass layering with gluten-free oats, granola, or Greek-yogurt (non-vegan option). 

For a similar version using avocado in place of coconut milk, click link below. Unfortunately, I am allergic to avocado (yes -it is incredibly unfortunate), so this recipe was adapted sans delicious avocado and with current ingredients in my kitchen. 

Recipe adapted from Hannah Ubi.


Beet, Berry, and Coconut Smoothie Popsicles

Beet Berry Smoothie Popsicles

"Beet" the heat with delicious and nutritious Smoothie Popsicles. Trying to sneak more veggies and fruits into your children's diets or looking for healthy treats to beat the summer heat? Grab your blender and make refreshingly tasty fruit and veggie popsicles, perfect for a family/friend barbecue,  a snack break during play time for the kiddos, or sitting poolside with your favorite book. 

While visiting my adorable nephews (4-year-old and 18-month-old) in Oregon last week, two things were evident: 1) I absolutely love being an auntie. It is the best! 2) Sometimes it takes some finagling and disguising to get more veggies into children's diets. Smoothie popsicles are the perfect way to sneak some extra healthy ingredients into daily diets as smoothie popsicles are deliciously inviting and taste like dessert! 

Golden Beet Smoothie Popsicles

Smoothie popsicles are quite simple. Blend a smoothie with your favorite fruits and veggies. Use your favorite fruits, greens, and veggies as the base of the smoothie. Start with about 1/2 - 1 cup fruits/veggies and 1/2 cup coconut water, orange juice, or milk of your choice (I LOVE almond milk). Add a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt, more juice or liquid as needed, until the smoothie blends smoothly. For presentation or a dramatic design, layer or swirl colors. Popsicle molds are found in most grocery stores and Amazon.

For my nephews, I made three types of popsicles:

  • Beet Berry, and Coconut Yogurt Smoothie Popsicles
  • Golden Beet, Mango, and Coconut Yogurt Smoothie Popsicles
  • Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut Milk Smoothie Popsicles.

All three were a hit! Making smoothie popsicles with children is also interactive. Nephew Gabriel loves helping by pushing the buttons on the blender. These popsicles were perfect for the really hot days (almost 90 degrees F) in Oregon. I was overjoyed when 4-year-old Gabriel loved the beet berry pops as he can normally sniff out beetroot in the sweetest of smoothies and will say, "No Thanks!" when offered. Nephew Gideon is at the stage where he will eat anything, and he currently adores fruits and veggies, often eating beets plain. We hope he never grows out of his love for healthy foods! 


Ingredients

Beet, Berry, and Coconut Yogurt Smoothie Popsicles

  • 1 raw small red beet, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup strawberries and raspberries
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup coconut Greek yogurt
  • honey (to taste for added sweetness)

Golden Beet, Mango, and Coconut Yogurt Smoothie Popsicles

  • 1 golden beet
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut Greek yogurt
  • honey (to taste for added sweetness)

Directions

Wash all ingredients. Peel raw beets and quarter. Add ingredients to blender. Swirl away! Add more liquid or fruits/veggies as needed. Pour smoothie ingredients into molds. Freeze overnight (some will freeze within 3-4 hours). After they are frozen, gently remove popsicles from the molds. You may need to run molds under warm water for a few minutes. Enjoy! 

Looking for more deliciously complete smoothie recipes? Try Beet, Berry, and Mint Smoothie or Golden Beet, Orange, and Mango Smoothie.


Beet, Apple, and Walnut Breakfast Muffins

beet apple walnut muffins .jpg

Got the Blues? "Beet" 'Em!  

Beet, Apple, and Walnut Muffins are absolutely scrumptious and have many nutritional benefits that will keep the "blues" away.  Did you know that beets are great for uplifting your mind, body, and mood? 

The beetroot is your liver's friend. The beet helps reduce liver bile and clean out toxins, stress, and bile. This tremendously supports the liver and provides more energy for your body, but when the liver is healthy, it also has an anti-depressant effect on the brain. This means that a healthy liver positively impacts our mood too! Beets also contain significant amounts of magnesium, and this mineral is known for its superhero ability to soothe and relax nerves.

Beet Apple Muffins and Tin

I'm currently visiting my family in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and these muffins were a baking project that my amazing mom and I tackled after the recent passing of my precious 100-year-YOUNG grandfather. We miss his presence in the house, and baking together while laughing and crying over memories is a beautifully cathartic mother and daughter activity. These muffins are magical, and gramps would have LOVED eating them with his morning coffee. 

Lately, I have been in the baking mood (more than usual). My mom has a gorgeous big kitchen, and with cold Wisconsin winter weather outside, I am obsessed with heating the kitchen with toasty baked goods that I immediately stuff into my mouth. When there’s snow outside, it seems appropriate to wear cozy pjs and bake all day while watching the snow flurries, squirrel antics, and wildlife outside my mom’s big kitchen windows. 

When baking, I enjoy adding veggies and fruits to baked goods because they add natural sweetness, delicious moisture and delightful texture. These healthy muffins, however, are posers in the dessert category as they could be a hearty on-the-go breakfast muffin or a healthy dessert alternative.

For extra yumminess, devour Beet, Apple, and Walnut Muffins with a warm cinnamon latte or spiced tea. Enjoy! What are your favorite recipes to make on chilly days? I would love to hear from you. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup apple or peach butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small-medium raw beet, peeled and grated 
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup craisins or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all purpose flour) 
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or almond flour)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1tbsp wheat germ sprinkled on top (optional)  

Just Beet It Tips

  • If on a vegan diet, use egg substitute in place of eggs.
  • Gluten-free all-purpose flour works well in place of regular flour. Trader Joe's has a fabulous inexpensive GF all-purpose flour. 
  • For a sugar-free muffin eliminate brown sugar or add a dash of natural Stevia. These muffins still taste amazing with the natural sweetness from beets and apples. 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil 18 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.

2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple/peach butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.

3. In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in beet, apple, walnuts, and craisins or raisins. Stir in apple butter wet mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. 

4. Optional: In a small bowl, combine wheat germ and an extra tsp each of cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle over muffin tops. 

5. Bake about 14-15 minutes, or until tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool about 5 minutes. 

Recipe inspired from allrecipes carrot muffins.


Vegan Beet Fudge

Hot diggity! This vegan beet fudge is decadent. The combination of coconut, beets, and dark chocolate is absolutely stunning, especially if you are a lover of beets. Serve this fudge for a family dessert, for Valentine's Day to celebrate the beet's vibrant red and pink hues, or for a way to experience a totally new presentation of beets, just for the heck of it. 

In order to create the perfect texture for these vegan fudge bites, it is essential to use a Vitamix or incredibly awesome high-speed blender or food processor. However, if the texture is not stellar, the beet fudge yumminess factor trumps desired texture. Also, you definitely need to use coconut butter as the texture and flavor largely depend on that specific ingredient. 

Vegan Beet Fudge

INGREDIENTS

Beet Fudge Ingredients

  • one heaping cup of chopped steamed beets (about 8oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid Stevia (or your preferred sweetener)
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup softened coconut butter* + 1 tablespoon (about 5 oz)
  • 1-2 tablespoons water (you could do 1 tablespoon maple syrup if more sweetness is desired)

*Coconut butter is different from coconut oil. Coconut oil is the oil extracted from coconut meat. Coconut butter is the whole meat of the coconut pureed into a butter. Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter is a favorite!

Dark Chocolate Sauce Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons raw cacao powder (1 oz) -could use regular cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar, maples syrup, agave or honey (3oz)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid (around 2 1/4oz)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1.      Cut beets into quarters and steam until tender (about 15-20 minutes). Leave skins on. Beets retain more vibrant color and nutrients when skins are left on during steaming or cooking (a beet is cooked when you can easily insert a fork into its center). Peel beets. 

2.      Place all ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor.

3.      Soften the coconut butter before measuring out 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon. The one tablespoon is added because the 1/2 cup made the consistency just a tad too soft; adding in that extra tablespoon should help.

4.      Blend until smooth and creamy. This works best if all ingredients are at room temperature.

5.      Pour into your pan of choice. I used a small ceramic carafe. 

6.      Set in freezer or fridge for 3-5 hours or until firm to touch.

7.      Remove from pan, or if you used a knife-friendly pan, you can cut into slices and carefully remove.

make chocolate sauce

8.      Gather ingredients into a large bowl and stir well.

9.      With a spoon, drizzle the chocolate sauce over your beet fudge pieces.

10.  Coconut nectar makes the chocolate sauce really thick and sticky, but if you cannot locate coconut nectar, substitute maple syrup, agave, or honey to create a good texture. 

11.  If you have any leftovers, store in refrigerator for 5-6 days. 

Photo Credit & Recipe adapted from Purely Twins.


Beet Chocolate Mint Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Beet Chocolate Mint Brownies offer the perfect blend of minty goodness, sweet beets, and dark chocolate along with a delightful "fudge-like" texture. Cheers to veggie desserts! 

'Tis the season of joyful gatherings, holiday cheer, and signature flavors like cinnamon, gingerbread, and mint. These distinct seasonal flavors remind me of past holidays spent baking with family. I smile remembering my grandma Grace waltzing her way through the kitchen, and all of us uproariously laughing at gingerbread cookies missing limbs and sugar cookie cutouts appearing as unidentifiable blobs. Like many of you, holidays evoke beautiful memories, and it is not surprising that now as I am older, I still enjoy baking and cooking through the holiday season. 

To be candid, I am a sucker for baked goods. While trying to keep my sugar fiend sweet-tooth in check, I love inventing healthier versions of the decadent gooey goodness that my taste-buds crave. Beet Chocolate Mint Brownies provide a "healthier" dessert option during the holidays and also sneak vegetables into desserts for reluctant veggie eaters. Plus - these brownies are low in processed sugars and filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (Thanks to the nutritious beetroot and raw cacao powder!). 

Notes to Self and Other Holiday Bakers: Avoid the inevitable "Hunt for Peppermint Extract" and plan ahead by A) ordering extract from Amazon, or B) finishing grocery shopping a week or two before Christmas. After driving to four grocery stores and discovering endless rows of empty shelves labeled "peppermint extract," my patient hubby and I finally located the passionately sought after peppermint extract at Whole Foods. If I hadn't been extensively visualizing and dreaming of the sweet delicious taste of beet and mint brownies, peppermint extract would have been long forgotten in lieu of avoiding a scavenger hunt around town. However, the quest for peppermint extract was well worth the effort. These Beet Chocolate Mint Brownies are divine! 

Do you have a favorite beet dessert recipe? Comment below. I would love to hear from you! 

 

Wishing you a holiday season filled with joy, love, abundance, light, and gratitude! 


INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 medium cooked beets*
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp mint extract
  • 3 free-range large eggs or egg substitute
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (liquid) 
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup coconut turmeric sugar** or your preferred  sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate mint chips***
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

*If pressed for time, use LoveBeets packaged ready-to-eat organic beets. For this recipe, I used one package of 4 small-medium LoveBeets (plain, non-marinated). Open the sealed package and pour beets and juice into the food processor. Easy peasie! 

**As beets bring natural sweetness to desserts, I avoid including unnecessary extra sugar. When I do bake with sugar, I am a big fan of raw Coconut Palm Sugar with Turmeric. Turmeric offers extra anti-inflammatory benefits to desserts.

***Dark chocolate mint chips are the most unhealthy ingredient, so include as you wish. Also, depending on the brand, some chocolate mint chips contain wheat and/or gluten, so for those with gluten allergies, choose gluten-free approved chocolate mint chips or avoid including in this recipe. All other recipe ingredients are gluten-free. 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray or coat lightly with coconut oil (use butter if preferred).  

2. Purée cooked beets in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Set aside. 

3. In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Then, add in wet ingredients: vanilla extract, peppermint extract, coconut oil, and eggs. Mix well.  Stir in beets.

4. Add a handful of dark chocolate mint chips into the batter (optional). Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle dark chocolate mint chips on top before baking. 

5. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. 

6. Serve warm and gooey. Add extra dark chocolate mint chips when serving (optional) 

Excited to bake more Beet Brownies? Try Red Velvet Beet Espresso Brownies


Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Vegan and Gluten-Free Beet Chocolate Cupcakes.jpg

This decadent dessert is chocolate and beet goodness all condensed into a vegan and gluten-free cupcake. Want to "sneak" some vegetables into dessert for the kiddos? Beets are heart healthy and filled with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Your heart will "BEET" for these cupcakes! 

I was first introduced to these delightful cupcakes while attending a baby shower in Long Beach catered by Hilary Zuraspi, who baked brilliant vegan and gluten-free beet chocolate cupcakes along with a vast array of vegan dishes. Beet cupcakes, baby shower shenanigans, beautiful surroundings in nature with friends: it was the perfect afternoon for celebrating. Brenda and Robby, we are excited to meet your little one! 

Adapted from the Minimalist Baker's recipe, these cupcakes are light, moist, and super chocolaty. If vegan and gluten-free baking is your preference, these cupcakes are perfect for you; be prepared for shimmies and smiles! For beet non-enthusiasts, I double-dog dare you to indulge and try this recipe. You may discover a new-found love affair with beets. Happy baking! 

Do you have a favorite veggie dessert? Please share. I love trying new recipes! 


INGREDIENTS

for cupcakes

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 5 Tbsp water) or other vegan egg substitute, such as chia seeds & water (3:1 ratio)
  • scant 1/2 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk + 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1/3 cup cane or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (coconut butter is also an option)
  • 1 cup beet puree (sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree with varied results)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground)
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend

for vegan frosting

for mascarpone orange frosting, visit Just Beet It's Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (non-vegan)


DIRECTIONS (as featured on Minimalist Baker)

1.  FOR BEETS: To roast beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, drizzle 2 large beets with oil of choice and wrap in foil. Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour, or until a knife slides through easily. Peel away skins by rubbing foil around and it should shed off easily. Add beets to a food processor or blender and add 1/4 cup liquid of choice (water or orange juice). Blend until creamy, smooth and pourable, scraping down sides as needed. Otherwise, sub another fruit puree, such as applesauce, with varied results. 

If time and prep is an issue, use natural organic packaged beets. Love Beets provides fresh, prepared beets for a no-fuss way to eat beets. 

2. FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 11 muffins with paper liners or lightly grease. Also measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.

3. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. It should fizz.

5. Add the sugar, maple syrup and almond milk mixture to the flax egg and beat to combine. Then add beet puree, melted coconut oil, salt and mix.

6. Add cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour and gluten free flour blend and beat to combine. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. If too thin, add a little more gluten free flour blend + cocoa powder. It should resemble a thin batter that’s pourable.

7. Divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 11), filling 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 29-34 minutes or until puffy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

9. Let rest in the tin for 10-15 minutes, and then remove. Let cupcakes cool COMPLETELY on a cooling rack. Don’t try to sample early because they need to fully cool or they tend to stick to the wrappers.

10. FOR FROSTING: Add almond milk to your rinsed out mixing bowl from earlier and microwave for 1 minute. (Alternatively, heat in a saucepan until just simmering and then transfer back to mixing bowl.)

11. Immediately add chocolate to warm milk but don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.

12. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate, and then add softened butter and cover. Let rest untouched for another 10 minutes to meddle.

13. Use your mixer to beat the mixture together. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix again, and place in fridge to set for 20-30 minutes. You will know the frosting is ready when you tip it and the texture is slow to move.

14. Remove from fridge and beat again. If it’s still too thin, add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Chilling for a total of 20 minutes and adding 1 3/4 cups total powdered sugar seems about perfect.

15. Frost cupcakes generously. You will likely have leftover frosting. Sprinkles, mint leaves, or fresh raspberries would make the perfect garnish.

16. Will keep well-covered at room temperature for several days, though best when fresh. 

Recipe by Minimalist Baker/Photo Credit (Photo #2 - ingredients): Minimalist Baker


Red Velvet Beet Espresso Brownies

red velvet beet brownies

Beets, Espresso, and Chocolate . . . Oh My!

These brownies will delight your soul. I discovered this recipe on gardenerd (founded by the fabulous Christy Wilhelmi) and fell in love with the scrumptious combination of beets, espresso, and chocolate, a dream come true! Although I prefer a low sugar diet, there are ways to include healthier ingredients if that is also your preference. 1) Replace sugar with sugar-free applesauce (brownie consistency will vary) or a dash of Stevia, and 2) Use a gluten-free flour (brownies may be more dense) if you are gluten sensitive. Experiment with ingredients and share your experiences with me. Cheers to beets and decadent desserts! 


INGREDIENTS (Makes 16 brownies)

  • 2 large cooked beets (Fresh is best; however, Love Beets and Trader Joe's both provide ready-to-eat beets as an easy, no-fuss alternative)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (or 2 Tbsp coconut oil) 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (or egg substitute)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder or real espresso grounds (use decaf instant coffee as a substitute if avoiding caffeine)
  • ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips

Just Beet It Notes

Beets retain more of their vibrant color when cooked or steamed with their skins. 

Use raw cacao powder if you want a healthy chocolate flavor. Raw Cacao contains more nutrients than cocoa powder. 

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Purée beets in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Set aside.

3. Whisk together butter and sugar in bowl until smooth. Add vanilla, and then whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in beets.

4. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in separate bowl. Fold flour mixture into beet mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Cool, then cut into 16 squares.

The natural moist texture of beets keeps these brownies tender.

Photo Credit: Vegetarian Times


Beet Chocolate Cupcakes with Mascarpone and Orange Frosting (beet-dyed)

Beet Chocolate Cupcakes

Beets in a dessert? That may sound like crazy talk; however, beetroots contain natural sugar and a unique taste making them a wonderful vegetable to add to desserts. I am a dessert fiend, so I have to keep my composure and not devour an entire batch of these beet chocolate cupcakes. 

The beets and applesauce retain the cupcakes' moisture as gluten-free flour is often more dense than all-purpose flour. Fresh is best, but for the easy factor, using organic packagedbeets is also a great option. Top cupcakes with your favorite frosting. Mascarpone and citrus frosting (see below) is one of my favorites. Add a hint of orange-juice dyed pink with beet juice for flair.

Want to Create a Healthy, Natural Red Dye?  

Use beets! Beet dye is the perfect alternative to synthetic, artificial red food coloring. Cheers to your beet dessert adventures! 


INGREDIENTS

for beet chocolate cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked, mashed (or puree) red table beets
  • 1/2 cup unsalted grass-fed butter (use 1-2 tbsps of coconut oil as an alternative)
  • 2/3 cup raw cocoa
  • 1 1/8 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar (or sweetener of your choice - I tend to avoid using added sugar when baking with beets as they are naturally sweet - sweeten to your preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (Almond flour creates denser cupcakes, so use all-purpose flour if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten (or egg substitute)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

for Mascarpone Orange Frosting (Beet Dyed) 

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream (optional-coconut butter)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (varies depending on your preference for sweetness)
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice (optional)
  • 1-4 tbsp beet dye (creating red dye.)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Cook beets unless you are using prepared baby beets. Beets (with their skins) can be steamed for 15-20 minutes, roasted, or boiled. Beets need to be cooked with skins removed and mashed in order to blend. Mixing in a food processor works best to create a beet puree. 

3. In a bowl, combine cocoa, applesauce and vanilla, and mix well. In another medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar (if using), cinnamon, and salt. Mix well and add to cocoa mixture. 

4. Blend in eggs, butter (softened), and beets. Beat two-three minutes with an electric mixer. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

5. Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Cupcakes will continue cooking for a few minutes after removed from the oven. 

6. Let the cupcakes cool on rack. 

Directions for Mascarpone Orange Frosting (Beet Dyed)

1. In a medium bowl, use a handheld mixer and whip the chilled cream (or coconut butter) until texture becomes slightly stiff. If using coconut butter, texture will remain soft and less firm than heavy cream. Add vanilla extract and sugar and beat until mixed.

2. Slowly add mascarpone cheese by adding spoonfuls at a time, mixing on slow speed, just long enough so the mascarpone is mixed.

3. Lastly, add orange juice and beet dye (Beet dye measurement varies based on preferred color. Add a few drops at a time until desired color is achieved). Slowly incorporate both orange juice and beet dye.  

4. Place the icing in the fridge for about an hour to chill. The frosting becomes soft, so refrigerating is best until ready to be served.