This delicious, health and performance-boosting cupcake recipe is the perfect take-along dessert for a New Year’s Eve gathering. Eating at least one serving of nitrate-rich beets every day will increase your body’s nitric oxide (NO) level for improved training, racing, and recovery results.
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 45 mins Serves: 10 – 12 cupcakes
• 2 medium beets
• 1 c milk
• 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
• ¾ c raw sugar or granulated sugar
• ¼ c canola or melted coconut oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
• ½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp baking powder
• pinch salt
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375. Remove the stem and most of the root from the beets and wash them. Place beets in a steamer and steam until fork or knife tender. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool the skin should slide right off, chop into cubes and finely grate or puree.
2. May need to add a little orange juice or water to beets when pureeing. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar,oil ,vanilla extract, and ½ c of beets and beat until foamy. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together. Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients together with a mixer. Beat until no large lumps remain.
3. Pour batter into liners, filling ¾ full. Bake 22-25 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
4. Once cooled dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and store in an airtight container to keep fresh.
The health benefits of beetroot
Beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan. Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, both the leaves and root can be eaten – the leaves have a bitter taste whereas the round root is sweet. Typically a rich purple colour, beetroot can also be white or golden. Due to its high sugar content, beetroot is delicious eaten raw but is more typically cooked or pickled.
Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.
Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach.
Beetroots have long been used for medicinal purposes, primarily for disorders of the liver as they help to stimulate the liver’s detoxification processes. The plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple-crimson colour is betacyanin; a powerful agent, thought to suppress the development of some types of cancer. Beetroot is rich in fibre, exerting favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too.