Hi friends! How has your week been? Getting this published was a struggle, but I’m back for round 3 of Friday Favorites. Enjoy!
Mom, Thank You For Never Talking About Your Weight (Or Mine) If you have little ones, this is a must read! Even if you don’t, read it! I feel so thankful to my Mom for not talking about her weight or dieting when my siblings and I were growing up. She may have embarrassed us by exercising to Sir Mix A-lot every morning or wearing short tennis skirts to pick us up at school, but the F-word was not a problem!
I’ve never been a huge fan of beets, especially the canned kind. They taste just a little bit like dirt to me. I feel like beets are having a moment in the food world right now because every little hipster restaurant I go to is serving them. But the more that I eat them, the more that I like them. Especially when they are oven roasted and golden!
This past weekend I took a trip to the Calabasas Farmers Market. Whenever I go to the farmers market my goals are 1) to eat as many free samples as I can 2) talk to the farmer or vendor and find out where the food is coming from/how it’s raised 3) try something new. I’ve eaten red beets plenty of times, and I’ve never been super impressed, but the beet lady really sold me on the golden variety so I figured they could be my “something new” for the day. Golden beets are really delicious. They have that same earthy flavor as the red, but they are much sweeter! Bonus, with golden beets you don’t have to deal with pink dyed everything.
When I originally created this recipe my plan was to use red and golden beets. After roasting the beets I realized it is so much easier and tastier with just the golden. The blood orange lends that nice red hue that the red beet would have provided. Blood oranges are beautiful, and totally worth a try; however the flavor is exactly the same as a normal orange, so if you can’t find the blood oranges just go for the regular.
The goat cheese I used in this recipe comes from Soledad Goat Farms. Their goat farm is an animal rescue and sanctuary for goats, turkeys, dogs, cows, horses, pigs and many other farm animals. Cheese is not something that I usually feel good about eating, but when it’s from this farm I have no guilt because I know that it’s coming from well-loved goats and the proceeds go to help support rescued animals. Not to mention it’s fresh and comes in delicious varieties like cucumber-onion and pear-lavendar!
Roast beets by wrapping in tin foil pockets and cook for 50-60 minutes. Beets should be tinder. Remove peel by rubbing off with a paper towel. If peel does not come off easily, cook beets for 5-10 minutes more. Once cooled, slice beets.
Chop lettuce and place in salad bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients. Top salad with extra cheese and beets.
In honor of world vegan day, I decided to make a vegan chocolate cake! Let me tell you, this cake does NOT disappoint. It is super fudgey, moist, and amazing! This cake is not just good for a vegan dessert, it is good period. My taste testers had no idea it was lacking eggs and butter. Bonus, this cake is made with fruits (banana and avocado) and vegetables (beets)! A dietitian’s dream come true! Therefore, I feel perfectly content eating this cake for breakfast and dessert.
The whole cake is fabulous, but if there is one thing that is really impressive, it is the frosting! I plan to make it my go-to chocolate frosting from now on. Have you ever tried making frosting with avocados? Well I haven’t either until I made this cake! This frosting is great tasting, full of healthy fats (hello avocado) and it is a perfect texture for spreading and making beautiful cake designs. Win-win.
The original cake recipe called for whole wheat flower and coconut sugar. I have cake baking anxiety so I did not want to use whole wheat flour in fear that it might produce a dry cake. Cake anxiety is real. If you’ve ever made a wedding cake I bet you know what I’m talking about! I didn’t use coconut sugar mainly just because I didn’t have it on hand and didn’t want to buy an obscure ingredient I will only use once. I know coconut is all the rage right now, but I would like to remind you it is still calorie laden sugar. Similar to honey, any nutritional benefit is extremely minimal. I really like this quick article on coconut sugar from fooducate.
My lovely friend Ann-Marie helped me with some of the photos of this cake. Sheesh, this girl is talented. I don’t know how she does it, but my photos did not look this good when I took them! Heck, I was proud of myself the other day when I cropped a shadow out of a photo!
This recipe is adapted from Food and Nutrition Magazine and developed by Michaela Ballman MS, RD. Make this cake. Serve it to your vegan friends. Serve it to your non-vegan friends. Heck, serve it to the queen if she happens to be coming over.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Beet Cake
3 roasted beets, pureed (~1 cup)
1 cup soy or almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup coconut or white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 very ripe banana
1.5 cups AP flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F and roast beets for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool. Puree in a food processor. Reduce oven to 350 F. Grease two 8 inch cake pans. Add vinegar to milk and stir. Set aside to curdle. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl use a mixer to cream coconut oil and sugar. Add pureed beats, banana, milk, and extract. Mix until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. The cake might seem a bit thicker than regular cakes, but that is ok. Resist the urge to thin out the batter.
Pour evenly into baking pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I cooked mine for 22 minutes and it was perfect. Allow to cool before frosting.
Frosting: Add all ingredients to a food processor or mixer. Process for several minutes. If using the powder sugar star slow or else it will fly all over the place. Mix very well until there are no more little flaky green avocado specks, unless you like that type of thing… Garnish with hazel nuts and coconut (or regular) whipped cream.