Beet Brownies

Beets have a lot of strikes against them. Well-intentioned relatives are always serving them, slippery out of the can. Their name is “beet”, which is decidedly one of the most unpoetic vegetable names. (At least the other until-recently maligned vegetable, Brussels sprouts, has that Continental air to it.) And of course, there is the whole Lady Macbeth thing. The primary concern about cooking shouldn’t be the bloody aftermath.

Which is all to say that I’ve never been to psyched to see these tubers lurking in my veggie delivery box. I’ve eaten them, trying not to make a bad face at the dinner table in order to influence my son or keep up the illusion that I am indeed a hotshot foodie.

Now that it is beet season again, I’m more determined to if not like the darn things by themselves, to at least find ways of incorporating them into foods I do enjoy. And, of course, I enjoy chocolate. What food blogger doesn’t like chocolate, right? (Don’t answer that. I know there are plenty who at least make the claim, but honestly, can we really trust them?)

Beet brownies aren’t a new thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be proud of them. Plus, these are gluten-free, so I know I can feed them to my friends without having to worry about dietary issues. I’ve found that garbanzo bean flour to be really reliable for me in the gluten-free department – it has worked well for cornbread, cookies, and now brownies. These did end up a little more cakey than I had expected, so if you like a more fudgey brownie, use a bit less flour.

beet brownies

You’ll notice that I included gram measurements for the chickpea flour and cocoa. This is due to differing scoop methods – I’ve been burned in the past with recipes that only list a cup measurement, so I have decided to be more precise when it comes to my flour measurements on posts. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, they are extremely affordable and perhaps the best tool you’ll add to your arsenal.

Beet Brownies

serves 15

250 g / 9 ounces beets
1 packet (2 tablets) Taza Mexican chocolate (or 3 ounces 70% chocolate)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (70 g) garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Trim long roots and greens from beets and clean off any dirt. Dice them into quarters (or smaller, depending on the size of your beets) and set in a pot of water to boil. Boil until easily pierced by a fork, approximately 30 minutes. Drain and let cool until they are comfortably handled.
Meanwhile melt chocolate in the microwaves at 30-second intervals. Whisk until smooth and completely melted. Set aside. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, and set aside.
Once the beets have cooled, the peels should slip off easily. Place peeled beets in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together beets, chocolate, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, and add the vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir until well-incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool as much as possible before cutting. Great the first day, better the second.

beet brownies

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22 Responses to Beet Brownies

  1. Yuri - Chef Pandita January 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    I love beets :) need to find some garbanzo flour to try this recipe!

    [Reply]

  2. tim stewart January 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    What kind of kitchen scale do you use, Megan? I have a digital cheapie I got a few years ago. Just does ounces and tenths of an ounce. Any hot tip on a good brand or model?

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    @Tim, mine is a Salter. It was $20 (or less, maybe) from Sur la Table. Digital, and you can switch back and forth between ounces and grams.

    [Reply]

  3. christina @ ovenadventures January 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    i just had chocolate beet cake for the first time and it was incredible. moist, chocolatey and did not taste like beets at all. I’m sure these brownies would be just as fabulous.

    [Reply]

  4. tim stewart January 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Thanks! Those Salters look niiice (at least on amazon.com). I’m also looking at this Ozeri in the same price range.

    [Reply]

  5. Hector January 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! I have some leftover beets from making muffins, so this is great!

    [Reply]

  6. Sunny Hernandez (@foryourpiesonly) January 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Brownies made with beets..now THAT is a revelation! I will have to try this :)

    [Reply]

  7. julie January 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Ooh! Beets are one of the main reasons I’ve been waiting until spring to restart my CSA. Perhaps I need to look into this sooner.

    [Reply]

  8. Anonymous January 13, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Red royal cake was originally made with beets, and many are returning to that instead of dyes. I made Red Royal ice cream this summer that was wonderful. This sounds wonderful and I will try to find the flour etc. this is the type of recipe I take to pot lucks.

    If you make a lot of bread or your own flour, you really need a kitchen scale that can work in grams and ounces.

    [Reply]

  9. Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry January 13, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    What a fabulous idea! I love “sneaking” veggies into food for my family. I can’t wait to make these healthy brownies!

    [Reply]

  10. Aimee @ Simple Bites January 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Hello! We like beet cupcakes, but brownies seems to make so much more sense. Excellent recipe.

    [Reply]

  11. maranda January 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi, I was wondering if you could use whole wheat flour instead of the garbanzo bean flour?? I am having trouble finding the bean four….thank you! :)

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    Yes, it just won’t be gluten-free then :)

    [Reply]

  12. Ellen April 18, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Approx how many beets is 9oz? Is it about 2? Or is it approx 1 cup of chopped beets?

    Thanks.

    [Reply]

  13. Lisa April 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Is the cocoa powder unsweetened cocoa?

    [Reply]

  14. Lisa April 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    And what if I wanted to double the beets, so that it’s almost a pound?

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    @Lisa Yes, the cocoa powder is unsweetened. If you doubled the beets, you could possibly take out the eggs, but I honestly don’t know how it would turn out. The beet flavor would definitely be more pronounced, but it might not “set” properly during baking. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

    [Reply]

  15. Lisa April 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I’ve seen recipes that use basically the same recipe, but with like 3/4 cups oat flour instead of the garbanzo bean flour, and brown sugar in place of the white sugar, and double the beets, so that’s why I wanted to try doubling the beets. I’m hoping the chocolate will take over. I’m also planning on use 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of olive oil, because I never use butter, but use olive oil (with proper conversions) instead.

    In fact, this is the recipe I’m talking about:

    http://mumstech.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/beet-brownies-naughty-but-nice/comment-page-1/#comment-69

    Also, would you mind adding the nutrition facts for this recipe, like carbs and fat and such?

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    @Lisa I don’t do nutritional data on my recipes, but thanks for the suggestion! I might add it in the future.

    [Reply]

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