Jun 29, 2012

healthy red velvet {beet} brownies

Generally being sneaky is frowned upon, but I think that sometimes being sneaky is good.  You know, like when you're planning a surprise party for someone?  Or if you're playing a game with students to teach them something without them realizing they're learning?  Or when you hide healthy food in something that isn't so healthy?

After getting beets in our Fresh Fork bag last week (and the week before!), we decided the best way to get rid of  use them would be to sneak them into something we'd actually enjoy.  (If you haven't gotten the hint, we're not big beet fans around here.)

I know people bake with beets.  We know we like brownies.  So, I found a recipe that would take care of our [constant] brownie craving and our pile of beets.  These look like a fancy red velvet cake, but without the crazy amount of food coloring.  The beet pictures below are completely untouched (I can honestly say that I didn't know that the bright red/purple/pink color of roasted beets existed in food naturally...they're such weird little things).

I was hoping to trick myself (if that's even possible) into eating beets.  These brownies do the job.  There's still a faint "beety" taste to them, but they're actually pretty good.  Had I not known about the beets, I don't know that I would have detected them.

I just tried the recipe as it was given, but if I were to make it again, I would play with it a little.  I'd add chocolate chips or nuts to the brownies, try it with whole wheat flour (it's super-moist, so I think it would be fine to simply replace the all-purpose flour), and/or add a little more powdered sugar to the icing.

If you've got a beet aversion and want to get your beets out of your fridge, give these a try.

Healthy Red Velvet {Beet} Brownies
Recipe from www.boston.com
Makes 9 brownies

Red Velvet Brownie Ingredients:
  •  about 3 average sized beets (3/4 c beet puree)
  • 2 oz baking chocolate (100% cocoa)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Icing Ingredients:
  • 6 oz cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1/2 stick butter, at room temp.
  • 1/3 c powdered sugar (or more for sweeter icing)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Wash the beets well, put them in a small baking pan with about an inch of water.  Bake the beets at 425 degrees until tender (it took me almost an hour).  Once beets are tender, remove them from the oven, cool them until they're comfortable to touch, peel them (they peel really easily once cooked), and puree them in a blender.  Set them aside.  Turn the oven down to 350. 

Set up a double broiler using a small sauce pan filled with a little water and covered with a small glass bowl (with a lip, so the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the bottom of the pan).  Put the double broiler over medium-low heat.  Add the baking chocolate and 1/2 stick of butter to the bowl.  Stir it constantly until it's melted.  Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and set it aside.  Let the chocolate mixture cool.  In the mean time, butter and line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar just until combined.  Add the vanilla.  Once the chocolate mixture is cool, add it as well.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.  Add the beet puree and mix it in.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Once a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the brownies, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.

To prepare the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter with a mixer.  Once it's smooth, add the powdered sugar and beat the frosting another minute or two until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and just beat it until combined.  Store the frosting in the fridge until brownies are cool.

Once brownies are cool and the frosting is chilled, frost them and cut them into 9 squares.  Store the brownies in the fridge for a moist, fudge-like texture.

1 comment:

  1. How inventive, healthy and I bet tasty too. I'll have to give it a try.


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