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Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s Labor Day Weekend. The official (but not really) end of summer.

A summer filled with memorable moments—some heartbreaking and some heartwarming.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, 5-day power outages, and monumental personal loss for many of my food blogger friends. Foodbloggers uniting in a way that helped bolster my faith in the goodness and charity of people. Many, many 8-second hugs.

There were many moments to cherish. The kid turned 21 and the beach house was filled with his twenty-something friends enjoying the surf, perfect weather and social scene. My husband and I spent time riding bikes, walking the beach, enjoying the sun and shore breezes.

Local travel took me to the Big Summer Potluck in rural Pennsylvania to spend a very cleansing weekend with friends—now more than just Twitter acquaintances—from across the country. I met up with some GF friends in Virginia and reacquainted myself with college buddies another weekend.

Doing all that and submerging myself in my day job consumed most of my waking minutes. So, needless to say, I neglected this blog and didn’t experiment as much as usual with cooking and baking. Some of the dishes I did come up with never made it here. No time for photos and writing up recipes and thinking about what I might write.

Truth be told I needed to focus on some other things so no regrets. But, I did miss the community that having a blog can bring so I hope to return to sharing recipes—and life—with all of you more regularly now that things are calming down.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m enjoying my third season as a Community Supported Garden member. We get bags of freshly harvested organic vegetables every two weeks. It all comes from a spectacular little farm in western New Jersey.

We’ve been getting lots of beets—they’re a little on the small side. This week while the power was out as a result of Hurricane Irene I roasted the little babies on the grill. Scrubbed, wrapped in parchment, and then in foil they were roasted on the side with no flame with the grill cover closed. It took about as long as it takes in the oven—maybe 45-60 minutes. They were sweet and perfect. Some adorned my salad but I used a few for this recipe and was very pleased with how they turned out.

Now for the recipe…

Set the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the muffin pan with liners. Makes about 12 cupcake-sized muffins.

Make a faux egg (flax gel) by whisking together:

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons warm water

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

1 cup GF multi-blend flour (I tried out King Arthur’s GF Flour Blend)
1 cup blanched almond flour (Honeyville)
1/2 cups organic coconut or cane sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1½  teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (like Starbucks Via) - optional

In a 2-cup measuring cup whisk together:

½ cup milk (unsweetened almond, hemp or other non-dairy alternative)
¾ cups beet/applesauce puree*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Faux flax egg prepared earlier
1/3 cup grapeseed or other vegetable oil

Pour about half the wet mixture into the mixed dry ingredients and give it a few turns with a spoon or silicone spatula. Add the rest of the liquid and stir until combined.

Add to the batter and mix in:

½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips

Spoon into the paper liners filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

*I pureed three smallish roasted beets for this recipe. It did not quite come to ¾ cups of puree so I made up the difference with applesauce. You will probably need 3 or 4 medium sized beets to get ¾ cup of puree.

And, if you want to check out some other beet or muffin recipes try these:


Ruby Red Beet Cupcakes from Melissa at Gluten-Free for Good (GF and CF)

Apple Banana Carrot (ABC) Muffins from Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily (GF)

Hearty Maple Cinnamon Muffins from Alisa at Alisa Cooks (GF, CF, EF, and Vegan)

Pink Breakfast Bowl from Ricki at Diet, Dessert and Dogs (GF, CF, EF, Vegan and Sugar-Free)

Carrot Mini Muffins from Lillian at Lillian’s Test Kitchen (GF and CF)

Beet and Orange Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from Alat at Tasty Eats at Home (GF, CF, EF, and Vegan)

Golden Beet, Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad from Tia at Glugle Gluten Free (GF, EF, and CF)

And a recipe that’s not GF yet very interesting and begging for someone to make it GF!:

Asparagus Muffins with Cashew Cream from Cara at Cara’s Cravings (CF, EF, Vegan and Sugar-Free)


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Reader Comments (13)

These sound sooooo good, Nancy! And I'm so glad to hear that you have your power back on and are back in the kitchen. It sounds like you were having lots of fun in the "real world," and I'm also glad to see you're back here in the blogging universe! Hope you're enjoying a great Labor Day weekend. :D

Sep 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

What a lovely, thoughtful recap of your summer, Nancy. (Of course, I'm so glad that part of your travels were to VA!) And these muffins of yours looks wonderful! :-) Thanks so much for linking to my ABC muffins. I'm definitely getting into the muffin mindset once again!


Sep 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

I'm glad things are back on track for you now, and hope you ease gracefully into Autumn.
The beets in this recipe are great, I've never made red velvet cake before as I couldn't stomach the thought of all that food colouring, now I'm excited to try it out.

Sep 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInTolerant Chef

Thanks for the great blog post. I've included it in this week's BBQ Grail's 10 Posts Worth A Look.

Sep 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBBQ Grail

What a fantastic idea! I'll be making these for sure. I have loads of beets too (Go CSA Go!). My 5YO is a picky little baked goods eater but he LOVES chocolate muffins (he thinks they're cupcakes). Printing this recipe and making it this weekend! Thanks Nancy. PS I love beets in my salad too, so delish!

Sep 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Glad to see you back Nancy, I've missed visiting you here. Sounds like you've had a lot on your plate this summer.

I totally know what it's like to have no time for pictures or blogging when life gets hectic. That's called being human :)
Love how the beet puree made these naturally red. So pretty (and I'm sure delicious!) :)

Wow - it sounds like you've had an amazing summer, despite 5 days without power! I'm glad its back on. I never knew you could make a faux egg with flax. How cool! I love the use of beets in the muffins, and can't wait to make these with my 4 year old son, who loves to help me in the kitchen.

Sep 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Jacobsen

These muffins look amazing! I would have never thought of using beets.

Sep 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharanya

These muffins look delicious, I will be trying this out soon.

Sep 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbarcode generator

Just made these muffins tonight! I had to make some modifications as I had no beets on hand nor any flax, so I used an egg and reduced the applesauce to a 4 oz single serve organic applesauce container. I used dutch process cocoa as well. These baked up beautifully, they took about 30 minutes in my oven. I couldn't believe how pretty they looked. Not only did my GF youngest like them, my two other non-GF kids LOVED them, one saying that this was the first GF muffin I've made that she liked. My husband eyed them skeptically, tried one and asked for a 2nd. He too said they were the best GF muffins he's had. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I'd love to try it with the beets for the red velvet coloring, I appreciate the recipe with a natural source for color as my youngest is allergic to synthetic colorings. Thank you for an awesome recipe!!

Robin - you have no idea how happy I am these worked so well for you and that your family loved them! I love when people make modifications to suit what they can tolerate and have on hand--and that it works! TY! Nancy

Sep 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

After about 5 months of trying to be a gluten free vegan whose drug of choice is baked goodies, this has been the best recipe I have tried! My husband even said "they taste like real ones". LOL I am so thankful to have found this recipe and look forward to trying others here. The gluten free has been so much more of a challenge than the vegan and I was getting discouraged with all the other recipes I had tried not tasting "normal" or not having the texture of what I was used to - everything was dry and crumbly or too moist and raw feeling. Thanks again!

Lori - so glad you and your husband enjoyed them! -Nancy

Feb 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori

My little one has a nut allergy. Any alternative to Almond flour??

Cassie, I haven't tried substitutes for the almond flour. You could use all GF flour blend but the thing is that nut flours have more fat than other GF flours so it may take a little experimentation. -Nancy

Nov 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie
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