I promise to post a non-chocolate, savory recipe next week, but coming straight off my birthday, these are what I craved. We've seen beets and cacao together in a smoothie, but I wanted to be able to sink my teeth into something... plus I had beets that were screaming to be used. Greenhouses here are just starting to get greens back so spinach, swiss chard, baby lettuces are popping out and the roots are on their last legs.
These are thick, decadent brownies full of healthy fats and sweetened naturally. The beets give an earthiness, but the dates or honey cut it so even the non-beet lovers will approve. If you do like the beet undertone, you don't have to add the dates/honey, but that's your call. Taste the batter before the eggs go in (or after, I won't tell!) and add the sweetness your liking. Yes, baking is a science, but you can still play!
1 1/2 cups nut butter (I used cashew, but any would work!)
2 medium-large beets
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 heaping tablespoons date paste (2 pitted medjool dates) or raw honey
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cacao powder, sifted
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
Heat your oven to 350*. Wash the beets and wrap them in aluminum foil, no peeling necessary. Bake for 45 minutes until fork tender. When they're cool enough to handle, peel the skin away (wasn't that easy after they're cooked?) and cut them into chunks. Put them in your food processor or high-speed blender and puree until smooth. You're going to use 1/2 cup of the puree.
Add the nut butter, maple syrup and date paste or raw honey to the beet puree. Blend until smooth.
Pour this mixture into a large bowl before adding the eggs and vanilla. Sift and fold the cacao powder, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt into the batter.
Line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper allowing some to hang over the edges for easy removal. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes until they brown on the edges, starting coming away from the edges and when only wet crumbs come out when tested.
Allow them to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.
*I used leftover ganache frosting from my birthday cake to top these because why not? If you'd like to do the same, bring 1/2 cup coconut milk to a light simmer. Pour over 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Pour over the brownies.