A student of mine, Kelsey, was telling me that she tries to buy one thing at the grocery each visit, that is not on her list, as a treat to herself. Sometimes it’s an indulgence while other times it’s an ingredient to use in a new recipe. I love that idea! I have been buying a challenge ingredient when shopping in order to try new things. This week was bean sprouts (I’m working on that recipe and will unveil it soon). A few weeks ago I bought beets and kale. They have been on my mind recently. Lately I have heard people talking about them, I have read people’s blogs about them, yet I never buy them. I decided that if I put them in my shopping basket and brought them to my house, I might just prepare and eat them!
A bunch of parents at our school have cute green bumper stickers that boldly proclaim “EAT MORE KALE” on the rear of their cars. When I see them I think to myself, “Yes, good idea!” Yet I can’t authentically sport this exhortation on my vehicle since I never cook with Kale. “EAT MORE APPLES!” or “EAT MORE GRANOLA!” or perhaps, “EAT MORE MUFFINS”, yes, I could promote those themes and not be a hypocrite! But I’m working on it. I have taken their challenge to heart.
|Pink Radio Cake (made with beets)|
And Beets. Beets have been on my mind because Fido, the local restaurant I mentioned recently (the place that taught me to love Oatmeal), has several baked goods in their case that incorporate beets. Their fabulous baker, Lisa, uses them for the color (Pink Radio Cake), nutrition (Beet it Muffin) and oomph. I have been inspired. I just don’t typically think about beets.
When I was in graduate school there was a little Vegetarian dive that my classmates and I would frequent. I always ordered this great salad with julienned carrots and beets on top of a bed of lettuce, along with sprouts and other tasty items. I remember being a fan of the texture, color and juiciness. Alas, my beet eating ceased when that place closed a decade ago.
Several weeks ago, my produce-loving, recipe-trying, inventive friend, Claire, sent me this recipe for Chocolate Beet Muffins and I was inspired. I made them and they were fabulous! I am a fan. I couldn’t wait to share them with you! I mean, add semi-sweet chocolate chips to anything and how can you go wrong?
So, here are my recent adventures with Beets- (Kale Adventures will have to wait for another post).
I roasted beets and sliced some for salads and pureed some for muffins. (Muffins are, by the way, my favorite food to bake- for tips I’ve learned along the way, go HERE).
(If you need to use canned beets you can, but fresh roasted ones are preferred)
|ready for the oven|
|roasted and sliced|
Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix. Immediately spoon batter into 12 lightly greased paper lined muffin cups.
Batter should completely fill the cups. Sprinkle tops with Turbinado sugar if you want.
|I wish they kept their red color when baked…so vibrant!|
Place muffin pan in oven preheated to 375 degrees and bake for 18 minutes or until done- don’t overbake.
|The post-it that came home from Lainey’s teacher,
and our reply back!
YUMMY! They are so good.
I shared one with my kids’ teachers and this was the post-it note I got from Lainey’s teacher in her school folder. I’m telling you- they are delicious!
Now if you are like my mother and are asking, “Why would you mess up a chocolate muffin by adding beets?” I would tell you, “because beets offer protection against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels, have anti-aging effects and are a natural cleanser, removing toxins from the body and nourishing the bloodstream, ” or something like that!
So take the challenge- add something daring to your grocery basket and see what adventures await you in the kitchen!