My mother promised me "pink pee" if I ate enough beets as a child. Intrigued, I took her up on the challenge and have loved them ever since.
The rest of my family is not so captivated and strangely, my attempts to lure them with promises of pink pee have proved to be less than successful. I decided to try another tactic to introduce this under appreciated veggie. My mom (once again) came to the rescue by sharing a "chocolate beet cake" recipe with me.
I could tell that this veggie was a stranger to our family by the way I had to describe it to my husband over the phone as he was looking for it at the grocery store (yes I have a husband that shops for groceries and no you cannot borrow him). I have previously only enjoyed beets as a salad topping and until this last week had only ever eaten them out of the can. I had to look up how to cook beets in my Betty Crocker Cookbook and was amazed to discover that you need to boil (or steam) them for 40-50 min (good thing I wasn't planning on serving this cake right away). I went ahead and boiled two beets: one for my cake and one for my salads this week. The water in the pan turned a beautiful pink and I have heard that you can use beet coloring instead of red dye for frosting and egg dye at Easter time (which I would like to try).
The following is the chocolate beet cake recipe that I made. It isn't "the same" as chocolate cake, but we all thought it was good. The kids asked for seconds and were surprised to learn my secret ingredient after the fact. I think it is worth trying for the fun of introducing veggies to your kids. If you try it, let me know what you think and if you experiment with any ingredient variations that you like I would love to hear!
Chocolate Beet Cake:
2 c flour (I used freshly ground whole wheat flour and it worked great)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 c cocoa
1 c sugar (In the future I want to try this again using Stevia)
1 c cooked, grated beets (next time I will try blending them to make a smoother consistency)
1/2 c oil (I used coconut oil but I think you could use any kind)
1/4 c orange juice + 2 t rind (didn't have the rind on hand)
1 t vanilla extract
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
Powdered Sugar (optional topping)
Combine first 4 ingredients, set aside. Mix eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Add beets, oil, O.J. and rind to sugar mixture. Beat well. Stir in flour mixture and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in c. chips. Pour into greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean (40 min). Cool 10 min in pan, remove and cool (if desired, I left mine in the pan). Add powdered sugar.