Saturday, November 16, 2013

There's What in the Cupcakes???

Beets.  Yes, there are beets in the cupcakes.  As you may recall from my ideas about what to do with all that summer share produce, beets have been a tricky one for me.  First, I don't like them....or rather, I used to not like them.  Second, I find them terribly messy to prepare.  Yes, the color is beautiful but I don't need it all over my hands, the dish towels etc.  I can barely keep up with the cleaning as is.  Lastly, I am the only person in my house who will even attempt to eat beets.  I have failed in all persuasion attempts to the four year old about the beautiful purple vegetable. 

Despite all of this anti-beet talk, I keep reading and learning about how incredible they are for you.  They are high in vitamins and minerals, cleanse the body, purify the blood and even contribute to increased energy and help prevent cancer.  So, I really wanted to like beets.  I put a peeled and washed beet into one of my green smoothies and it was fine...I could get a hint of beet taste but nothing overwhelming.  Then, I read this recipe on Food Babe about beet French fries so I whipped a batch of those up- I enjoyed them and will definitely do it again.  The family has still not joined me with the beets as of this recipe though.

Then there is the recipe that takes the pun intended.  While reading one of my weekly farm newsletters, I stumbled across a recipe for beet chocolate cake.  Hmmm....never heard of such a thing.  Weeks later, I decided to check out Pinterest for some ideas and sure enough, beets and chocolate seem to be like two peas in a pod.  I gave it a try with this recipe here.  I made a substitution of olive oil for the vegetable oil.  I also would suggest, in the spirit of trying to add more nutritional value to the recipe (if that's what you are going for), to swap out the flour for a white whole wheat flour and swap in some honey or maple syrup for the sugar.  I just didn't have any of these things on hand at the time (except the olive oil) and I had a pile of beets to use.  As for the beets, I washed them, trimmed the ends off and roasted them in a foil covered baking dish for about an hour.  After they cooled, I used a knife to peel the skins off and then pureed them in my Vitamix with a tiny bit of water added.  The result....quite tasty if you ask me!  I don't taste the beets...just chocolate cake! Yes, this recipe has sugar and should be enjoyed as a treat but it's a nice way to use a vegetable and hide it on the little ones.  Ok, I may have washed one down as a quick breakfast one day this week but I was in a rush.  I just got this week's farm share basket and guess what?  There are beets and I am prepared this time!

On the running front, I am finishing out week 3 of my 16 week half marathon training plan.  So far so good.  My "long" run is up to 6 miles.  Although still chugging along significantly slower than pre-pregnancy, it feels great to see some miles start to add up and feel like a runner.  I have been splitting my runs between the gym treadmill or outside early in the mornings.  I like running outside, but I am not a fan of needing a head lamp.  Even though the lamp provides visibility, I feel like I still can't distinguish uneven pavement very well and just don't feel too graceful on the feet.  Anyone else have this issue or is it just me? It's probably just me!  The trusty treadmill is at the gym for me once the icy roads settle in, which is great but I just need to factor in the car warm up time and 7'ish minutes ride there and back.  20'ish minutes is a lot of time in the mornings!

Anyone like running with a head lamp?  Would you prefer to run with a head lamp over the treadmill or vice versa?

Have a great week!

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