Red Velvet Beetroot Brownies
Adding weird things to brownie recipes is nothing new for me. Yes, I’ve done the whole sweet potato brownie thing (delicious) and gone a little crazy for quick and easy raw brownies (so tasty), not to mention the addition of creamy pumpkin (the best) and black beans (fiber filled and fantastic) to brownies, but this creation is on a whole new brownie level.
Beans + red beet = red velvet brownies.
You with me? Sure, the addition of a root vegetable to brownies may sound scary, especially one with such a nose-turning reputation, but I promise that this is one vegetable you’ll want to add to all your recipes, not just your brownie batter. The extraordinarily humble beetroot is nothing short of a nutrition superstar and packs in a whole host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other superpowers in its bulbous and pigmented body. In fact, according to World’s Healthiest Foods, just 1 cup of cooked beetroot contains 34% RDA folate – necessary for cell growth and metabolism, 28% RDA manganese, 15% RDA potassium, 10% RDA magnesium – an important co-factor for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals including copper, phosphorus, Vitamin C, iron, and Vitamin B6 (1).
Along with body-loving nutrients, beets also pack in plant pigments, known as betalains, that function as antioxidants within the bod. Two types of betalains include betacyanins and betaxanthins –long and hard to pronounce words that signify a color pigment and associated health benefit. Betacyanins pigments are red-violet in color, while Betaxanthins are yellowish in color. Both of which help to contribute to the coloring of the beets you’ll find at your local farmer’s market. In addition to beets, betalains are also found in chard, rhubarb, amaranth, prickly pear cactus, and Nopal cactus. So what’s the big deal about these plant pigments? The betalain pigments in beets function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, meaning they help to reduce inflammation, keep cells free and clear of free radical damage, and promote phase-II of detoxification. For more information on beet’s health benefits, check out my ingredient section!
So, all those crazy healthy plant pigments not only benefit our body but they make our brownies totally beautiful too. In this recipe, the coloring of beets provides the most perfect red velvet coloring, without the addition of any chemical food coloring. White beans help to amp up the fiber content and promote blood sugar stabilizing properties, while the usage of oat flour keeps these brownies completely gluten free. A flax egg not only adds heart healthy alpha-linolenic (ALA) omega-3 fatty acids, but also allows this recipe to be vegan. Other nutrition rockstars include coconut oil for a dose of body loving medium chain fatty acids, cacao and dark chocolate chips for an antioxidant boost (and delicious flavor, let’s be real), and fresh raspberries for a boost of digestive-happy fiber and cell-loving antioxidants.
White beans + red beet + oat flour + sweet vanilla and maple syrup + chocolate = red velvet brownies, duh.
Red Velvet Beet Brownies
Makes 1 tray of brownies
1 cup red beet, peeled and chopped (roughly the size of one medium sized beet)
1 cup white beans, aka cannellini beans (rinsed and drained if from a can)
½ cup maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons warm water mixed together & let stand for 5 minutes)
½ cup rolled oats, ground into a flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cacao powder
⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup raspberries
1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Steam chopped red beet until fork tender, about 6-8 minutes.
3. In a high-speed blender or powerful food processor add steamed beets, beans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, flax egg, and coconut oil. Blend until smooth and no beet or bean clumps remain – because ew. Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients: oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cacao powder. Blend about 30 seconds, or until mixture is smooth and incorporated.
4. Fold chocolate chips into brownie batter. Pour brownie batter into lined baking tray and dot with fresh raspberries.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of brownies comes out clean.
6. Cut, eat, & enjoy!
-Gluten sensitive or Celiac? Make sure to purchase certified gluten free rolled oats or oat flour.
-Crunched for time? You can purchase precooked beets in the refrigerated section of most health food stores.
-Bought the whole beet bundle? Save those greens! Beet greens taste excellent in a salad along with roasted beets, quinoa, roasted squash, crunchy nuts, and tangy vinaigrette.
-No raspberries? They are totally fine to skip – I just like to add them to look pretty!