Strawberry Beet Love Brownies

Beets are sexy.  I mean, really you can't deny it.  Their beautiful deep red color, their earthy sweetness, the way they make you feel wonderful when you eat them...alright, so you may not necessarily agree with me but I think they are!  Well, if you don't think beets are, I am sure you are not going to argue with me that strawberries are sexy.  And so this last weekend I thought I would combine the two sexy produce items in an irresistible dessert...fudgy brownies!  Because I believe that chocolate, beets and strawberries are a match made in heaven!  And if you are skeptical on this one, I know you would not be if you had a bite of one of these brownies. 
 For the base, I used beet puree combined with my usual vegan brownie recipe with coconut oil, dark chocolate and a bit of agave nectar...the batter was delicious!  Yes, I did enjoy some, after all no risk of salmonella with vegan batter and it is one of the joys of making brownies, licking the bowl! I folded in fresh strawberries, poured it into the pan and couldn't wait to see how they baked up!  They smelled so heavenly, my kitchen filled with the scent of dark chocolate!
Once they had cooled I glazed them with a luscious ganache made from coconut milk and dark chocolate.  They needed some strawberries on top as well I decided to be pretty, so I topped them off with some sliced ones, which almost looked like hearts!  They were deliciously fudgy...they didn't taste like beets, but instead decadent dark chocolate deliciousness studded with sweet berries and topped off with gooey chocolate ganache!  They were some of the sexiest looking brownies I have seen, and they certainly tasted that way as well! There is no denying beets are sexy especially when used in a dessert like this!  If you would like to experience these delicious brownies for yourself, here is the recipe!
 
Vegan Strawberry Beet Love Brownies
makes 24
Brownies:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut oil

6 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed cooked beet puree
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cups organic strawberries, thinly sliced

Ganache Glaze:
5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
6 Tbsp full fat coconut milkSliced strawberries for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, sea salt, and set aside. In a large bowl, place chocolate and oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt the chocolate, until the chocolate and oil are smooth and well combined. Whisk in agave nectar, along with vanilla, beet puree, and whisk to blend until well incorporated. Whisk in vinegar until well blended and there are pale swirls throughout the batter. fold in berries until well incorporated, and pour into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until set, starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out fairly clean. Do not overbake! Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift foil out by the edges and cool on a rack. Let set for at least an hour.

To make the ganache, heat coconut milk until very hot and whisk in chopped dark chocolate until smooth.  Spread over brownies, and place in the fridge until set, then cut into 24 bars (or larger if you are like me). Top each with a strawberry if desired.

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