Soft and decadent traditional brownies reimagined with layers of chocolate and cooked beets to create a moist center. A new brownie recipe that is healthy and nourishing.
During the holidays I toyed with an American classic, the brownie: added beets, masked the flavor in cacao powder and created a decadent, yet healthy adaptation. When someone mentions brownies most of us immediately imagine a pre-boxed mix. To actually make brownies, healthy ones, from scratch, feels foreign. The thing about tinkering with a classic American dessert is that you have to re-imagine the traditional ingredients.
Boxed brownies are filled with sugars, oils and other additives that cause energy crashes fueled by trans fats, and more importantly, are boring. Instead, add beets and maple syrup - they create a moist filling, worthy of a traditional brownie recipe. The cacao powder doubles as a way to mask the earthiness of the beets and adds a rich, chocolate depth, signature of a great brownie. Why stop there, drizzle a layer of chocolate glaze for even more richness. Then top them with pecans that have been lightly toasted in cinnamon and maple syrup. These brownies are not anything like their box counter part – they are soft, decadent, and rich in chocolate layers, while offering great nutritional value.
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Beetroot Brownies:
- 1 cup cooked beets
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds + 9 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- sprinkle of sea salt
Ingredients for the Chocolate Glaze:
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (depends of how sweet you like it)
- 1/4 vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Ingredients for the Toasted Pecans:
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Start by preheating your oven to 350F. Now prepare the chia seed gel. Mix the chia seeds with the water and set aside till the chia seeds absorb all the water and expand into a gel like mixture - this is what keeps the brownies intact. Now add all the ingredients for the beetroot brownie portion into a food processor and blend until a thick chocolate mixture forms, about 2-3 minutes. Once the chia seed gel has formed, pulse this into the brownies mix. Add the mix to a small baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes until the center is moist and cooked.
While this is baking, make the chocolate glaze by adding all the ingredients into a small saucepan and stir on low heat until combined. During the last 5 minutes of the brownies baking, in a separate baking dish add the pecans, coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup and add to the oven to toast. When the brownies are done, top with the glaze and toasted pecans. Finally, enjoy!
I hope you give these brownies a try as they are a wonderful sweet treat that are a great addition to any celebration or party! I’d love to know which healthy ingredients you like to add from time to time to your sweets. Feel free to share below!