We're back with another monthly recipe from our Food Writer Allison of Seek Satiation. I am psyched about this red velvet recipe - just in time for Valentine's Day! Please show her some love down in the comments section below! xoCandace
Let me ask y'all a question: Why use an entire bottle of questionable red food coloring in your red velvet creations when you can swap it out for nutritious beets instead?
In my area of Upper Manhattan, there is a legendary bakery, Carrot Top Pastries. Folks in Washington Heights & Inwood know that you'll be treated to some delicious cakes, cookies, and cheesecakes if you swing on through. Since 2009, their cakes have furnished many a birthday celebration for my co-workers, as one of my offices is around the corner from their flagship location. Imagine my surprise when I learned that they color their famous Red Velvet Cakes with beet juice!
I'm a quintessential super-taster, and though I do love beets, I cannot deny their earthy taste. However, when mixed into batter, that earthiness largely evaporates, leaving behind a beautiful red hue and a bit more of a nutritional boost! And let's be honest: we shouldn't be eating foods heavily saturated in artificial food dyes, anyway. So bring on the beets, baby!
This recipe can be made as nutrient-dense as you choose. You have options! I used almond milk while making them - merely because I didn't have whole milk and was too lazy to trek to the store, ha! - but feel free to use dairy milk or another neutral-flavored non-dairy milk. All-purpose flour can replace spelt flour. Candace really turned me onto coconut sugar (!!!), but plain ol' white sugar or honey can be used if that suits your fancy. Top 'em with maple syrup, hazelnut spread, glaze, fruit, you name it! This breakfast is yours for the making AND the taking!
Red Velvet Beet Pancakes
(Makes [roughly!] 1 dozen 5"-ish diameter pancakes)
(Adapted from the Heart Beet Pancakes recipe from Self Proclaimed Foodie)
- 2 medium-sized beets, cooked and pureed
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups spelt flour, sifted (all-purpose flour can be substituted in)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1.) To cook beets, fill a medium-sized saucepan with an inch of water and place a steamer basket inside. Bring water to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium. Cut beets into medium-sized chunks and add to steamer basket; cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Once comfortable to the touch, slide beet skin off. Add beets and milk to a high-speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
2.) In a large bowl, whisk together beet puree with eggs, butter, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add flour mixture into beet mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined.
3.) Heat a griddle or large flat pan over low heat; add a pat of butter or a small drizzle of neutral-flavored oil to cooking surface. Make your pancakes as large or as small as you want! I used one large hulking tablespoon of batter per pancake and spread it slightly, which yielded pancakes roughly 5"-ish in diameter. Allow pancakes to cook for 4 - 5 minutes on one side; once the bottoms are set, then gently flip to cook the other side for 1 - 2 minutes.
4.) Remove from heat and set aside. Drizzle with toppings of choice!
I'd love to hear your thoughts down below in the comments section! Have you used beets for coloring before?