Beetroot and cacao brownies
After popular demand and many pleas for healthy treats as my dessert section is looking rather bare (!), I’d like to proudly introduce you to my beetroot and cacao brownies. They are so insanely amazing that you have to make them ASAP!
Sometimes healthy treats have that very obvious ‘I’m secretly, not so secretly healthy taste’ about them, so you feel like you are being short-changed for a treat, but these brownies really do offer your body so much goodness and they are addictively tasty. They’re a great vehicle to get veggies, nuts and superfoods into a snack or dessert and kids love them too, which really proves how discretely healthy tasting they are as kids don’t miss a trick!
Ground almonds and walnuts replace the traditional inclusion of flour in the recipe and the mejdool dates and beetroot give the brownies an amazing soft and moist texture. I have used cacao in the recipe, which if you’re not familiar with cacao (pronounced ka-KOW), it’s simply raw, unprocessed chocolate and you’ll be seeing a LOT of it in my recipes as it’s a true miracle food and one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet. It has been awarded superfood status in the nutrition world because it’s so nutrient dense and contains one of the highest sources of magnesium and chromium of any food. Magnesium is a mineral which is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body yet it is one of the most deficient minerals in the human body today, one of the reasons is because it’s used up so readily at times of stress and exercise, and who isn’t stressed these days buzzing around leading a busy life?! So eating chocolate can be genuinely good for you, in fact it can be superbly good for you, just make sure that it is of the unprocessed kind. I’m going to do a whole post on cacao because there are tons of other benefits which I haven’t included here including the effect that cacao can have on your nervous system, helping you to feel calm, relaxed and blissed out, so keep your eyes peeled for that post.
I made these brownies for a dinner party that I was hosting a few nights ago which is a good job as otherise I would have had 16 brownies on my hands….what a problem to have 😉 They were so delicious, I just warmed them up, put them in the middle of the table and all hands went straight in! They didn’t need to be invited to help themselves.
Wishing you a happy weekend, full of brownies and cups of tea.
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All the healthy best,
- 400g beetroot (whole, washed and unpeeled) or 400g ready cooked beetroot
- 150g cacao butter and 9 tablespoons cacao powder or 150g dark organic chocolate
- 200g walnut pieces (roughly chopped)
- 200g ground almonds
- 50g organic cacao powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 60ml maple syrup
- 8 mejdool dates, de-pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium eggs
- Set the oven to 180C
- Boil the beetroot until soft (this takes about 40 minutes depending on the sizes). If you are tight for time you can chop your beetroot into smaller pieces so they cook much faster and if you use the ready cooked beetroot then you can skip this step totally.
- Once cooked, allow the beetroot to cool, cut them into small chunks and put them into your food processor.
- Chop your cacao butter into smaller chunks and place into a heatproof bowl. Sit it over a pan of barely simmering water and allow the cacao butter to melt gently, stirring occasionally. If you are using dark chocolate instead of the cacao butter and raw cacao powder combination then follow the same steps as the cacao butter melting process to melt your chocolate and skip the next step.
- Once the cacao butter has melted, add 9 tbsp cacao powder to the bowl and stir through thoroughly (if you are using dark chocolate, then don't add these 9 tablespoons cacao powder).
- In a jug, whisk the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Next, add the melted chocolate to the beetroot in the food processor and whizz to a puree. Add the dates, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt and egg mixture and blend briefly.
- Finally, fold in the roughly chopped walnut pieces.
- Pour mixture into a tin or heat proof dish (approx 22cm x 22cm) lined with baking paper so that your mixture is at least 1½ inches thick, this ensures your brownies will be moist. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until you can pierce the brownie with a fork bringing it out dry.
- Allow to cool in the dish before cutting into squares, this is really important as it needs this time to stick together.
- Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares.
- Sprinkle a dash of cacao powder or ground cinnamon over your brownies for a decorative touch.
- Dive in and enjoy the deliciousness of your beetroot brownies!