Last summer, after getting a stash of beets at the farmer’s market, I questioned whether beets would be a good muffin ingredient. A simple Google search and I got my answer. YES. Hundreds of variations out there. So I set out to settle on the recipe I liked the best or concoct my own version, and in the process, gave a few batches of beet muffins away as a part of my new beet advocacy mission. I was so hoping that the dark, pink batter would hold onto its spectacular beet color, but the muffins emerge from the oven orangeish tan with a few specs of red — still beautiful, but surprisingly un-beetlike. I have no idea why beet muffins — or beet cake — has not gone mainstream. We can presume it’s just a matter of time.
Total cook time: 30 minutes
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 ts. ground ginger or 1 Tbsp. fresh grated
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup ground flax
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 3/4 cup raw beets, finely shredded or ground in a food processor
- 3/4 cup apples chopped very fine
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add ground flax to dry ingredients and set aside.
- Beat egg, oil and sugar.
- Peel and rough chop 1-2 raw beets. Add to a food processor and blend until finely ground. Measure 3/4 cup of ground beets and add to wet ingredients.
- Peel, core and chop 1-2 apples. Add 3/4 cup of the chopped apples to wet ingredients.
- Add 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to wet ingredients.
- Combine wet and dry ingredient. Stir until just combined.
- Spray a 12-cup tin with non-stick spray or use paper liners, filling each 3/4 full.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Following my rant earlier this year about the awful canned beets from back in the day and my late-life discovery of the awesomeness of fresh beets, I later learned that a raw beet slaw can catapult this humble root vegetable into an entirely new dimension. It would be a crime to serve this slaw in anything but a clear, glass bowl. This game-changing combination is ridiculously healthy and delicious — in addition to being the most striking color combination ever.
- 2 cups ground or grated fresh beets
- 2 cups ground or grated fresh carrots
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion
- 1 cup finely chopped apple (about 2 medium)
- 1/3 cup orange vinaigrette
- Peel and chop 2-3 small beets. Add to a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
- Spread beets on the bottom of a serving bowl.
- Rinse remaining beets from the food processor and add 3-4 peeled, chopped carrots. Pulse until ground well and evenly spread a layer of carrots on top of ground beets.
- Chop apples and layer on top of carrots.
- Top with chopped green onions.
- Cover with orange vinaigrette.
- Serve room temperature or chilled.
After my rant about beets last week, I’m feeling inclined to declare this Beet Week, and see how many different delicious ways we can cook ’em up. Starting off Sunday dinner with one of our favorite standards, I preheated the oven to 375 and then peeled and cut into large chunks:
- 2 beets,
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large Idaho potato
- 1 Granny Smith Apple and
- 1 yellow onion
The vegetables went straight into a roasting pan as they were chopped. I then added 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. of Kosher salt and 1 tsp. ground pepper, and tossed the vegetables gently until they were all coated in the olive oil.
40 minutes after the vegetables went into the oven, they emerged tender, tasty, and worthy of standing in as a side dish at a holiday feast or as a ridiculously easy addition to a Sunday dinner.
Allow me to begin with a big word of thanks to Sarah and Anna, my delightful daughters, who picked up on my huge hint that I wanted an immersion blender for Christmas and took it from there. For years, I have been wallowing in the dysfunction of transferring cooked vegetables from the stock pot to the blender in batches. Always a mess. Always a pain, and I am never going back there again. As God as my witness.
So, armed with an immersion blender, I happened upon a recipe for “A Simple Soup”on the Chocolate and Zucchini blog, and who can resist that kind of humility on a cold Austin Sunday? I loved the idea of combining sweet potatoes and carrots for a little beta carotene fest, and then realized that the lentils I had in stock were essentially the same color. I couldn’t resist this addition to the the monochromatic mix, played with the spices a bit and the result was quite tasty. Any color of lentils would, of course, do. The red lentils have a tendency to lose their shape, which is not always desirable, but worked perfect in a blended soup. Continue reading Sweet Potato, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup