When I got these suckers in my first CSA box I knew there was the possibility of being doomed. What was I going to do with them? The radishes in the CSA box were bad enough but....beets? At least I had eaten radishes before. Okay, actually, I accidentally crunched one in a salad once and spat it discretely into my napkin. I assure it was most ladylike! Ahh-hem! But I have never put a beet in my mouth and had every intention of keeping it that way.
But then, I remembered the whole reason we signed up for a CSA. Not only do we get to support local farms by eating locally and in season but it challenges me to prepare vegetables that I would not normally purchase from the store. When you are faced with a crate full of produce that you've already paid for sight unseen it's a little bit harder to throw things away. I could give some of it away to my neighbors but I already pass out the baked goods. I think if I showed up at one of their doors with a handful of beets instead of a loaf of still warm bread they might never open their doors again.
And we can't have that.
Lucky for me, one of my favorite bloggers, Laura, from Little Orange Kitchen, reminded me of her recipe for a Red Velvet beet cake. I thought that it sounded interesting and was planning on making it. But--then I remembered it was Tristyn's birthday this Saturday. He's already put in his request for his birthday cake and I think he wouldn't appreciate it if I swapped out that cake for a Red Velvet style beet cake. The beet cake will have to wait until I get another bunch of beets in my CSA box but I still had this week's beets to use. With Laura's cake in mind, it set me to thinking of ways I could incorporate the beets into something baked that wasn't cake.
May I present to you....
Beet the Devil Muffins
This not-too-sweet moist chocolate muffin is perfect for breakfast. After all--it's got beets in it! Beets are healthy, right? No reason not to eat chocolate for breakfast. I promise you, all you'll taste is chocolate and almonds. The only business the beets have in this muffin is their health benefits and the reddish tinge not unlike Devil's Food Cake.
Beet the Devil Muffins
3/4 cups pureed beets*
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 cups of flour
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Beat until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well combined. Stir in vanilla. Quickly whisk together the flour and cocoa. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately until everything has been combined. Stir in almonds.
3. Spoon the batter into 12 lined muffin cups. The muffin cups will be very full. The mixture is thick and will hold its shape.
4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake!
5. Serve warm or room temperature.
* Roasting the beets in a lightly greased oven dish is a fantastic way to cook the beets for these muffins. It prevents the beets from taking in water like they would if you boiled or steamed them. Roast in a 350 oven for 60-90 minutes or until tender. Cool, peel and puree!