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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Baking Up Deception: Beet Brownies?

Ha-llo, lovies!  I have crossed the line today, my dears.  There was the line.  Here am I.  One hundred miles past.  Do you have any idea what I have done?  Let me tell you.

I have just made beet brownies.

Yes.  I know.  When I read the title of the recipe at first, I also threw up in my mouth.

But here is what happened - last week or so ago, I purchased some very dirty beety looking bunch of beets from my favorite local health store because I was absolutely DETERMINED to figure out something to do with beets.  It would be so wonderful to like something about beets!  I decided to do something.  This is because beets, to me, are something like a foreign language.  Something tremendously exotic, wild and foreign.  I never had them growing up (I had never had guacamole either until I was probably 30, nor an avocado - those things were wild Mexican flavors and the family of origin's idea of going tremendously food party wild is using salt and pepper on hamburger.).

I looked on some websites for beet recipes and most of them came back to me in the form of pickled beets (gag), beets with arugula and goat cheese (barf my intestines out - not only do I hate beets, I think goat cheese smells like rotten diseased feet with yellow chunky fungus growing on them), and beet tartlets with goat cheese (more barf in the mouth).  I hate beets.  I know very often people describe them as "earthy".  I consider this the most laughable understatement of the entire world.  Eating a bit of beets to me is something akin to me going out to the backyard in the spring, opening my mouth wide as can be and thrusting my whole face into the garden dirt while shaking my head back and forth in an effort to apparently find worms and compete with the local robins.  I don't taste the "sweetness" that people talk of.  I taste 100% straight up dirt.

I also feel the same about feta cheese.  Well, not the dirt part.  It's more like the sentiment I feel for goat cheese (= chunky rotten yellow foot fungus).  But wouldn't it be so sophisticated to like it?  I think so.  However, alas, I have failed at all attempts.  Add it to the pile with lamb.  Sad.

So, more than my hate for beets is the absolutely disturbing nature of the thought of wasting anything.  I couldn't waste the beets.  I had to do something.

And then I came across the recipe for beet brownies.  After my initial reaction of yelling at the computer and telling it how absolutely horrid and disgusting it was, I decided that if I could hide beets in chocolate, maybe people would eat it.  Maybe I would even eat it.  Maybe.  And if I couldn't, my littles would.

I mean, can you even THINK of a weirder thing to put in your brownies?  I had my hubby guess "what is the weird ingredient I put into the brownies" game and he came up with some also disgusting things, namely onions (wow, yep, that would be gross), broccoli (also hideous) and squash.  Worse, worse and WORSE, I cried!

When I told him, he said beets were not worse.  I suppose that may be in the eye of the beholder?

Anyway, I made this recipe with my littlest little who didn't know what beets were, so when we added this red puree to the mix, he merely said, "Mmm!"  (Although, I must warn you - oldest little jumped for rejoicing joy at the sight of my hubby bringing home cereal - I never buy the stuff.  Do you know what treat caused such great delight and spaztastic overwhelming titillation?  Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp cereal.  No, I am not kidding.  He asked if he could have it for dessert after dinner.  We may have realized at that time that perhaps our children have either a very advanced palate, or are a teensy bit food sheltered.  Must be advanced palate.)  

At any rate, This is the very adorable, fantastic website I found this creative recipe on: The Way To My Family's Heart blog.  (Obviously she's creative - she made beet brownies! )

I tweaked it just a teensy bit,  Ms. Daisy style.  Here it is:

3 organic beets, peeled
3 free-range, large eggs
3 tbsp. organic molasses
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Now organic brand, GMO free)
3/4 cup freshly ground organic spelt berries flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 smashed up bar of dark chocolate (72%), without soy lecithin

In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water by an inch.  Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beets until they are soft enough to easily be pierced through the center with a knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain the beets and puree them (I used a blender).  You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the beets to get them to puree smoothly, add only what you need.  Set the beet puree aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil,  and sugars.  Add the vanilla extract and beet puree and whisk to fully combine.  Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients.  Stir in the smashed bits of chocolate bar.

Pour the batter into a 8x8 inch baking pan.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean but still moist.  There you have it.

She is a genius, for sure.  I ate beets.  (Yes, never mind that they were hidden inside of brownies.)  And I can only barely think of the garden (it may not help to continually repeat the words, "There are beets in these brownies, there are beets in these brownies..." while you chew.) and it's dirty dirt flavor.  Seriously, you should try them.  Even you, Julie D.  They don't beat your G-brownies, but hey - can you think of any other way to trick your family into consuming beets?  Exactly my point.

Peace, love and make sure you're wearing your patchouli while consuming these,
Ms. Daisy

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