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.
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.
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:
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)
¾ cup hot coffee
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup coconut oil
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
- Mix the flour and spices (last 5 ingredients) in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cut up your beet (one nice big one was exactly half a pound) and microwave until tender, then puree.
- Add eggs, sugar and vanilla to beet puree.
- 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.
- Add beet puree mixture to chocolate mixture and stir.
- 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.)