Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Beet it" brownies

I helped out at Walker Jones Farm recently and pulled some beets to take home. Aren't they gorgeous?

Some people seem intimidated by these beautiful, magenta root vegetables and aren't quite sure what to do with them. Some are weirded out by the fact that it turns your pee kind of pinkish. Not me. Borscht, caramelized beet and goat cheese salad with walnuts, roasted beet and potato home fries... bring on the beets, I say. I recognize that some folks aren't huge beet fans. At least not yet. (Some folks were purportedly not kale fans until they tried my massaged kale salad, and yet just today I got two emails from folks that came to my chef demo last weekend at the Columbia Heights farmers' market thanking me for one of their new favorite recipes.) I'm just sayin': trust me here. I'm your friendly neighborhood food educator, I wouldn't lead you astray.

The word on the street is that President Obama doesn't like beets. Well, I'll bet he's never tried my chocolate beet brownies. Kids of all ages like 'em. In fact, I have a batch in the oven right now to bring to my neighbor Henry's barbecue this evening. The inspiration for the sneaky beet infusion comes from a conversation I had almost two years ago on my way through Madison, Wisconsin while I was yakking with one of the after school food educators over at Sherman Middle School. I was intrigued and begged her for the recipe, which she kindly sent along. Here's my adaptation (with less sugar and more roasted beets)....

"Beet It" Brownies

Wash and remove the greens from 3-4 small beets. Drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in tin foil, and roast in a 400F oven until soft (about 40 minutes). Cool beets, then puree and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F, then butter and flour a small (8" or 9") cake pan.

Melt 1 bar of good chocolate (3-4 oz). Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix together:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer (or a lot of elbow grease and a whisk) to beat until creamy:
6 TBSP butter (easier at room temperature)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Beat in:
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs (at room temperature)

Stir in:
the beet puree
the melted chocolate
the flour mixture

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool and serve.

Let me know if you all try this recipe, and if your guinea pigs...I mean guests...can guess the secret ingredient!


  1. How much in volume would you say the beet puree should be? 1 cup? I ask because I have some peeled, chopped beets in the freezer that need using. Thanks!

  2. Hi Casandra. I'd advise about 3/4 cup of beet puree, but if you have a little more or less it's no big deal. You can also use 1 egg instead of 2 to make denser, chewier brownies (the recipe above makes rather "cake-like" brownies). Good luck, and let me know how it goes! :p


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