I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently probably because this time of year signals the onset of chillier days and more opportunities to turn on my oven without fainting in the summer heat but also because I have two hungry children who love to bake with me and eat cake!
In an attempt to get more vegetables into my family’s diet and because my children can sometimes be annoyingly fussy, I love to add sweet potatoes (in these brownies) and beets into baked goods. They know what I’m doing, are very curious about it and totally delighted when the final product actually tastes good. Adding a lot of cocoa powder to the mix always makes them happy too.
I got some beets at my local Farmers Market and just couldn’t wait to do something unusual with them and so these vegan muffins were born. If you are already roasting beets anyway, pop an extra one or two in the oven so you can make these muffins easily. The batter gets bright purple which is stunning and then darkens up when you bake them. I wanted to make the muffin more of a warm, seasonal flavor so I added in some fresh grated ginger and I’m sure adding some chili pepper would make them spicy and delicious too. Chocolate and spice – a winning combination! I also wanted to create a vegan muffin for all my vegan readers and clients and this recipe rises beautifully without any eggs. It’s a healthy muffin full of beet antioxidant and pear goodness so you can get away with eating them for breakfast or a healthy snack. I think the chocolate flavor does mask the beet flavor for the most part so if you do have fussy kids and want to sneak in some extra veggies into their diet, then you’re going to be ok here. Enjoy every bite!
Ingredients for 12 muffins:
1 medium beet
1 very ripe pear, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or more to taste (instead of ginger, you could add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder if you want to make spicy muffins)
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup raw turbinado OR granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 heaping tablespoon whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon of almond butter (or peanut butter)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F, chop off the leaves and cut up to the root of the beet and clean thoroughly with cold water.
2. Wrap beets in foil, pierce with a knife in a few places and roast for one hour or until tender. Set aside to cool.
3. Puree the beet in a blender adding a little water if needed. You can also add the pear into the blender now to make a beet-pear puree.
5. Whisk together the almond milk, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and beet puree until smooth.
6. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and sift into beet mixture, stirring slowly until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps. If you want to add the diced pear, you can add it now.
7. Pour batter into 12 muffin cases, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
Make the glaze: add all glaze ingredients into a small saucepan and cook on low heat until the coconut oil and nut butter has melted and everything is smooth. Pour over the cooled muffins. It will be a little messy but delicious!