Recipes from Winter 2021 issue of True Natural Health
‘Images and text from In Praise of Veg by Alice Zaslavsky; photography by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books, RRP $59.99’.
1 orange (preferably organic)
1 beetroot of a similar size to the orange, plus 1 small finely-sliced beetroot
200 gm butter, melted
200 gm dark chocolate, melted, plus 50 gm extra, chopped for the top
1 cup (220 gm) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp natural vanilla extract or paste
2 cups (200 gm) almond meal
½ cup (75 gm) plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour
½ cup (55 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (70 gm) walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt flakes
yoghurt to serve
Boil the whole orange and beetroot together in a saucepan, topping up with boiling water regularly to keep them covered. Cook for about 1 hour, until both are soft, and you can put a skewer through them.
Line a 20 cm x 30 cm brownie tin with baking paper all the way up the sides.
When the beetroot is cool enough to handle (but still warm), use some paper towel or a teaspoon to create some friction and help slip the skin off.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Pop the warm beetroot into a blender or food processor, along with the orange, butter and the 200 gm chocolate. Blitz to combine, keeping the machine whirring until a smooth purée forms. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and blitz until incorporated.
In a bowl, mix together the almond meal, flour, cocoa, walnuts and baking powder, then add these to your blitz-machine and give it a few pulses, until the lumps of flour have mostly incorporated – but not too much, lest you bake a brick!
Pour the batter into the brownie tin, then dot with the extra chocolate and beetroot slices.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the brownie is fudgey and still moist.
Allow to cool slightly before digging in. Serve warm with yoghurt as a decadent pudding, or cut into small slices for lunchboxes and mid-afternoon snacking.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, where it’ll happily keep for at least a week (but who are we kidding here?).
Tip I use a mandolin to thinly slice the beetroot for garnishing, but you can also peel it into strips using a vegetable peeler.