Beet brownies


Look what showed up in the produce bin this week! Naturally, I had to make these guys into brownies…

My sister and I guzzled beet juice before our first mini-marathon after reading a study suggesting the  foul-tasting beverage increases endurance. (One ultramarathoner claimed he ran an extra 8 miles in a 24-hour race.) I don’t know if the beet juice helped us or not, but I do remember feeling surprisingly perky in the latter stages of that 2011 race.

MUCH better than beet juice!

MUCH better than beet juice!

Colleen’s been reminding me to pick up some beet juice before the Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon, but I figured I’d make these Red Velvet “beet” brownies (from the January issue of Runner’s World) instead. I was going to use canned beets – until these beauties showed up in this week’s produce bin from Green Bean Delivery.

It is startling how intense the color and pattern of a real red beet looks, especially if you’re used to seeing the mushy stuff that comes in a can. There must be something vital lurking in there, right? I guess it’s those nitrates.

Is that psychedelic or what? Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, but Bob had gone to bed...

Is that psychedelic or what? Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, but Bob had gone to bed…

I can’t see these were the best brownies I’ve ever had. Ours were a bit dry – maybe because we didn’t have unsweetened baking chocolate and subbed in a cocoa/coconut oil combination instead. Still, they were definitely edible and chocolatey. Way better than beet juice.

You can find the original recipe, which uses quinoa flour, here. We didn’t have any of that on hand, either. Here’s how we made ours:

Beet brownies

½ pound beet chunks, microwaved until tender and pureed in a blender

(Substitute for 6 ounces chopped unsweetened baking chocolate: 18 T cocoa powder , 6 T coconut oil)

When we poured the beet puree into the chocolate, it looked like raspberry sauce....

When we poured the beet puree into the chocolate, it looked like raspberry sauce….

¾ cup hot coffee

1/3 cup cocoa powder

¼ cup coconut oil

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. ginger

½ t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

  1. Mix the flour and spices (last 5 ingredients) in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut up your beet (one nice big one was exactly half a pound) and microwave until tender, then puree.
  3. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla to beet puree.
  4. In a separate bowl, add your chopped baking chocolate (or cocoa/oil sub) to the cocoa powder and coconut oil. (Coconut oil will be solid at room temperate; I like to heat it in a microwave to make it easier to stir.) Pour hot coffee over top and stir.
  5. Add beet puree mixture to chocolate mixture and stir.
  6. Add flour mixture to everything else. Stir and pour into greased 9-by-9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until a fork inserted in center comes out clean. (Sorry, I don’t do time estimates, since I never remember to keep track of the time and it probably varies depending on your oven anyway. The original recipe says 22 minutes. But I just occupy myself in the kitchen and keep an eye on it.)
  7. Eat!
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7 Responses to Beet brownies

  1. run100run says:

    Great blog. I have enjoyed reading it a lot! I’d love for you to follow my running journey

  2. Amy Lesemann says:

    Perhaps .5 wheat flour and .5 white flour might help the texture? Sounds good!

    • tischcaylor says:

      Could be. I also think I should’ve used a more conventional cooking oil with the cocoa to sub for the baking chocolate.Or just used the baking chocolate, though I never keep that stuff on hand.

  3. bgddyjim says:

    Two words that should never be combined… Beet and Brownie. Good God in Heaven!

  4. tischcaylor says:

    Well, they taste better than beet juice — though my sister once discovered that if you hold your nose while drinking beet juice you can kind of fool yourself into thinking it’s grape juice. Do any cyclists drink beet juice? Supposed to increase O2 capacity…

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