Do you ever have those moments where you’re standing in front of your fridge thinking “I should really make something with that [fill in the blank] before it goes bad.” Seriously, I feel like this happens to me a lot. Maybe it’s the insane amount of produce I tend to have on hand since that’s generally what I’m cooking with all week or maybe it’s the fact that recently I’ve started swinging by the grocery store post-gym and therefore have eyes MUCH bigger than my stomach – or grocery basket. Whatever the cause, I recently found myself staring down two lonely beets wondering what the heck I was going to do with them. I think my initial plan in buying them was to juice them. I LOVE me some beet juice with a bit of carrot and apple. But at that moment, digging out my juicer and dealing with the subsequent cleaning of it seemed just too much. So as a first step, I roasted them up.
If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this beet angst play out in real-time along with some great comments on what exactly it was I should do with them. I love the color of beets and getting them all steamy and roasted is actually super easy if you’ve got some time on your hands. All they need is an oven and some tin foil & olive oil. Then you can continue to go about cleaning your apartment or binge watching the latest show. [Sidebar: seriously – until Game of Thrones starts again – what am I supposed to binge watch?! Leave your thoughts in the comments!]
Because I’m a big food fan, I’m always reading other people’s blogs, following other food-types on Instagram, and generally just talking about food. Oh and of course, eating. A LOT. I have at some point in time come across either recipes or recommendations on putting beets into desserts. Whether it’s muffins, cupcakes, cake, etc. I was pretty sure I heard they were supposed to make the cake really moist and fudgy. I decided these beets were destined to be some sort of baked good.
Also on my list of things I needed to eat soon were a couple over-ripe bananas. And who doesn’t like banana bread? It’s naturally sweet and totally delicious. So I ended up playing around and decided to add beets to the traditional idea of banana bread. But unsure how magenta bread would go over, I decided some cocoa powder and chocolate chips were in order to mask (or at least tone down) some of the bright red color. Winning!
The result was insane. Insanely good! It was really one of those things were I tossed it in the oven and thought… well here goes nothing! What came out of the oven was nothing short of keep-away-from-friends-and-guests-I’m-eating-it-ALL-ALONE bliss. No joke, the beets make the bread so moist that had I put it in a different pan we might be talking fudgy brownies instead of bread. Imagine a flour-less chocolate cake – and it’s pretty much the same consistency – maybe just a little lighter. So so good!
Now, I’m generally not a big sweets person, but I ate almost this entire loaf by myself. (over the course of a few days of course) It goes with everything! Breakfast? Yes, perfect with coffee. After dinner? Yes, perfect with red wine. I kept finding myself heading back to the kitchen for just one more bite. On multiple occasions. If I hadn’t run out, someone might have had to check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no nutritionist or anything. But to me, a chocolaty, fudgy dessert/breakfast that has whole wheat flour, vegetables, AND fruit? Well that’s just being well-balanced. Add in red wine and it’s even heart healthy! Eat it after a work out and you’re so justified in eating a second piece. That’s how math (and no guilt) works here. Now… maybe I should whip up another batch…
Fudgy Chocolate Chip Beet Banana Bread
What You’ll Need:
- 1 cup very ripe banana (about one large or two small bananas)
- 1 1/4 cup pureed beets (starts from 2 medium-small beets)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
What You’ll Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Drizzle the beets in olive oil and wrap in tin foil, roast for 45-60 minutes, until the beets are easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and lightly grease a bread pan
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, soda, salt and cocoa powder together
- When the beets have cooled, put them in a food processor with the vanilla bean and process until smooth
- Mash the banana in a smaller bowl, add melted coconut oil, the beet and vanilla mixture and the sugar
- Stir the banana and beet mixture together and then add to the dry ingredients and then mix in the chocolate chips
- Pour the batter into the pan
- Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If it needs more time, turn the heat down to 325 and then bake 10-15 minutes more
- Let the bread cool before slicing. Enjoy!