The thing about belonging to a CSA (community supported agriculture) is that you get to try new things. Like, root vegetables that taste like dirt, according to my husband. He hates beets. Or so he says. This morning he ate no less than seven Chocolate "Dirt" Muffins, as he calls them, so he must not hate them too much. (He said the butter he slathered on helped.)
Last winter, some of the beets that came in our produce box ended up feeding the compost bins. I felt bad about that, but couldn't figure out how to eat them all myself. Then I started adding them to my Roast Chicken and Root Veggies recipe. Yum! My mom made sure she was always around to help me gobble up the beets, since Scott and the boys wouldn't touch them.
We got three more in our box this week, and I wanted to finally try a recipe posted on our CSA's website for Rich Chocolate Beet Muffins. Sounds weird, I know, but they were a HUGE hit! Who wouldn't want chocolate muffins for breakfast? My middle son said I should make them instead of chocolate cake for dessert sometime. Now that's kid approval! I'm actually going to plant beets this year!
So, here you go. I started last night by halving three beets, and roasting them in the oven, cut-side down in a glass pan with 1/2 inch of water, for 75 minutes at 400 degrees. Then I scooped them out of their peel and pureed them this morning.
Chocolate "Dirt" Muffins
2 1/2 cups beets, pureed
1/2 cup water or reserved beet juice (if you boil instead of roasting)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat Oven to 350º. Line muffin tins with paper or grease them. In a large bowl, combine beet puree, beet juice or water, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the beet mixture, chocolate chips and nuts to the flour mixture.
The batter will be maroon in color but the cooked product will be dark fudgey brown. Fill muffin tins ¾ full and bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes two dozen. You may use 2 loaf pans as an alternative and make sweet bread instead of muffins.
I used my mini muffin pan instead, baked them for 10 minutes, and made 60 little muffins, which we gobbled up with scrambled eggs (from our hens) and kiwi (also from our CSA box).