Can you believe we’re already almost a week into February? February means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but it also means were in the midst of American Heart Month! In fact, today Friday February 5th is National Wear Red Day to bring awareness to heart disease. To celebrate we created a decadent treat that captures them both: Beet Brownies! Valentine’s Day is known for its chocolate, and these fudgy, chocolatey brownies do not disappoint. While brownies may not be the first thing you think of for heart health, these are lower in sugar than your average brownies and feature the heart friendly vegetable, beets! The beet brownies are the perfect way to spread the love this month with your family, friends, or special someone.
American Heart Month
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute dedicate the month of February as American Heart Month, to encourage and motivate Americans to adopt heart healthy behaviors. Heart disease, which is largely preventable, is the leading cause of death in the United States. By just moving more and eating healthier we could change the heart disease rates! This year, the impact of the disease is more pronounce, as CVD increasing the risk for severe COVID-19. NHBLI with support of President Biden, is dedicated to preventing heart disease in Americans and reducing the racial disparities that exist.
Here are some ways you can participate in Heart Month yourself!
Join the #OurHearts movement and encourage family and friends to be heart healthy
Commit to an exercise/walking schedule to meet the recommend 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity
Do strength exercises like jumping jacks, pushups, and sit ups during tv breaks
Limiting foods high in unsaturated or processed fats, high in sodium, or high in added sugars.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night
Share what you are doing with others!
We are joining in with American Heart Month by donating our Valentine’s Day Bake it Forward Order to Healthy Hearts, a local education and outreach program for heart healthy lifestyles. And we are featuring these beet brownies! If you don’t want to make the recipe for yourself, considering ordering for Valentine’s Day! You can also order for someone else (even anonymously) to share the love this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Beets are a great heart healthy food to add to your diet for heart month! They are a nutrition powerhouse that can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. Some nutritional benefits include:
Low in calories (mainly composed water) and a good source of fiber
A good source of folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and antioxidants
Contain Inorganic Nitrates which increase nitric oxide in the body
While you might not think of beets as a typical ingredient in brownies, this does not mean you shouldn’t try it! Some people may think beets taste like dirt, but I promise these brownies do not! When combined with creamy nut butter and cocoa powder (and a little sugar because they are brownies after all), these brownies are decadent and delicious. They are also vegan and gluten free for those following those guidelines.
Beets can be a little messy, so beware and maybe not dress in a white shirt when making them. On the positive, these brownies can be made entirely in a food processor. Less dishes! After baking the beets until tender, they are shredded in food processor. The wet, and then dry ingredients can all be added straight to the food processor to combine. These beet brownies cook for about 30 minutes, though they will still be a little soft at the end. They will set up more as they cool, but this keeps the gooey, fudgy texture!
So pick up some beets, grab your apron, and celebrate Valentine’s Day AND Heart Month with these delicious Beet Brownies!
These vegan and gf brownies are filled with heart healthy beets but do not lack in flavor or decadence!
1/4cupnut butter of choicepeanut butter, almond butter, etc **
1/3cupbrown sugarincrease to 1/2c if used to sweeter treats
1/3cup dark chocolate chipsoptional
Wrap the beets in foil and bake in the oven at 450 for 45min to 1 hour, until beets are tender (This can be done up to 2 days before making brownies)
Let beets cool. Peel beets and roughly chop. Place in food processor and blend until beets are finely shredded.
Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.
Add in the dry ingredients and blend until flour is fully incorporated.
If desired, pulse in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared 8×8 baking pan (lined with parchment or sprayed with oil). Top with extra chocolate chips if desired
Bake at 350 for 30-32 minutes. The brownies will be set, but may still be a little gooey on the inside. They will set up more as they cool.
Let cool if you have the patience, and Enjoy! They will stay good for 3-4 days in airtight container at room temperature
*Once cooked and shredded, you should have roughly 1/2 packed beets. If you have more that is okay, you might just have a little taste of beets! ** I have used both peanut butter and almond butter with great results