Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Show your loved ones how much you care by making them a batch of Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cupcakes!!
Mother Nature tries to drop us subtle hints…walnuts are good for brain health and they resemble a brain, carrots are good for eye health and when sliced crosswise resemble an eye, a bulb of ginger root mimics the shape of the stomach and ginger is great for settling an upset stomach. And, beets….you guessed it, not only do they slightly resemble a heart, but they are great for heart health!
The bright red color of beets is from the abundance of phytocompounds and antioxidants. The most researched compound of the beet is one called betalains. Betalains is a medicinal compound that is useful in the detoxification process and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has even been shown to decrease tumor growth. Another medicinal quality of beets is that when consumed, they increase the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide dilates vessels, which in turn, lowers blood pressure!
Beets are great juiced, roasted, raw or used for baking. Similar to using applesauce, beet puree can be used to decrease fat while maintaining moisture in baked products. Plus, they lend a beautiful color!
- 1 medium beet
- applesauce as needed
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray or line with liners, set aside.
- Wash, peel and cube beet. Add chopped beet to a small pan of boiling water. Cook until tender, drain and set aside.
- When beet is cooled, add to a food processor with orange juice. Puree until consistency of applesauce.
- Measure out 1 cup of beet puree and add to a medium sized bowl.
- (If you fall short of 1 cup, add applesauce to make up the difference. I ended up using about 2 tablespoons of applesauce.)
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside. The mixture will curdle. Don’t worry, this is normal!
- Add soy milk mixture, melted coconut oil, sugar and vanilla to beet puree. Whisk until frothy.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and pinch of sea salt.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer mix until combined.
- Fill muffin cups until 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy 🙂
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