healthful desserts

Go-To Recipes for Baking with Veggies: Zucchini, Beets, & Sweet Potatoes

Go-To Recipes for Baking with Veggies: Zucchini, Beets, & Sweet Potatoes

The harvest in New England is here, and there's tons of amazing produce coming out of our farm fields and gardens. While there are numerous ways to prepare, cook, preserve, and maximize the bounty, baking with vegetables is a healthful* (*debatable...) way to get even more produce into your diet. If you're headed to a potluck, cooking or baking with kids, or just want a way to have a healthful-ish treat on hand, check out my go-to, simple baking with veggies recipes.

Recipe: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes w/Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting

As they say, "Eat your veggies.” You’re welcome:

Recipe: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

(GF/V/refined sugar-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 medium cooked beets
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used coconut [carton, not in the can])
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 generous cup of flour (I used a gluten-free all-purpose blend, but white or whole spelt, or unbleached regular wheat flour will work too)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tbls or more of water, beet cooking liquid (if you boil them), or extra unsweetened milk

Instructions:

  1. Before you do anything, cook your beets! Roast or boil - it’s up to you. The goal: fully cooked/fork tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups and set aside.
  3. Once your beets are cooked and still slightly warmed, puree beets in a blender or food processor. You can add a little water, beet cooking liquid, or unsweetened milk by the tablespoon to thin out the cooked beets. You want a puree, not a smoothie. Scoop out or pour a 1/2 cup of the pureed beets and set aside.
  4. Whisk together the non-dairy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup or bowl, and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle and make a sort of buttermilk. 
  5. Add the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup beets and carefully whisk or beat until combined and foamy.
  6. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to remove any lumps. 
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Beat (by hand or with a mixer)/combine until no lumps remain.
  8. Pour batter into lined cupcake pan, filling each a 3/4 of the way full. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 
  10. Once cooled, frost or eat as is!

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted
  • 8-10 oz. of dark chocolate (chips or chopped bar chocolate - the darker the better)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Scoop out and slightly mash the roasted sweet potato from the skin and place in a small to medium sauce pan. 
  2. Bring the sweet potato mash to a simmer (you can add a little bit of water or unsweetened non-dairy milk to thin out, but only  1-2 Tbls at most) and remove from heat.
  3. Add the dark chocolate, and stir until smooth. (If you want a super smooth texture, you can put the mixture in a food processor or use an immersion blender.)
  4. Let it cool, stirring occasionally, until the frosting is at room temperature and spread on your cupcakes/cake (or maybe transfer to a container and store in your refrigerator for up to a week and eat by the spoonful…)