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Red velvet coconut muffins

February 22, 2010
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Beets were on sale last week, sending me into a tailspin of ideas. Beet burgers? Beet soup? Beet and millet croquettes? I roasted and peeled those bargain beets and stuck ‘em in the fridge while waiting for inspiration to strike.

Over the weekend I was down in New York for an Immersion conference with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. That probably sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook – let me explain. After becoming certified through IIN, there is a second year of school called Immersion. As Immersionists, we have ongoing support and educational opportunities particularly in the areas of business and marketing. Here’s a photo from the theatre we met in over the weekend:


On Saturday morning I had a chance to get up on stage and lead everyone through a stretch break, which was pretty fun. Most of my yoga classes don’t have hundreds of people in them! In addition to the conferences, we each have a group of 1st year students to mentor throughout the year. This weekend I got to meet my group for lunch at the Greek Kitchen on 10th Ave – and at the last moment remembered to snap a picture!


Anyway, after a weekend of schlepping from Boston to New York we were finally on our way home yesterday and I spent the ride alternating between dozing off and browsing my favorite iPhone apps for recipes – Whole Foods and Epicurious. Between the two I came up with some meal ideas for this week AND found inspiration for my beets.

Red Velvet Coconut Muffins
These are dense and moist muffins I am enjoying for breakfast, snacks and dessert. This recipe makes 10 regular sized muffins, not those gigantic monster muffins. I used a silicone muffin “tin” which doesn’t need to be greased, but if you are using a metal tin you probably want to oil or grease each cup.
1 cup roasted beets, shredded (about 3 beets)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (plus more for topping)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F. In food processor or with a grater, shred beets. Combine with all wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add wet mixture and blend. Spoon batter into muffin tin and fill each cup to the top or even overfilling a bit. Sprinkle with more dried coconut if you wish. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

  • Sarah

    I was in the audience! The stretch break was wonderful as was the entire weekend.

  • Erica

    Ow! The conference sounds like fun. Very cool that you got to lead the stretch break. The muffins look amazing- no one would ever guess they were made with beets! Nice work (as always ;)

  • Heidi Lyn

    I’m so curious to try this recipe. They look delicious and I’d never guess they were made with beets!

  • Karen@Cook4Seasons

    Can’t beat beets! I LOVE them in desserts, or for breakfast. Great recipe – can’t wait to try it. Namaste:)

  • Lori

    Those look interesting, although I have never tried a beet before!

  • Dia

    When I lived at Breitenbush Resort (Oregon) I got to teach Tai Chi for about 2 weeks for a silent retreat with ~ 40-60 in my class each day – it’s SO energizing to focalize for a big group, isn’t it?

    The Beet muffins are a great idea!! I still have some beets from my CSA – will try them with one of my Gluten Free blends (tend to favor sorghum & buckwheat, w/the Brown Rice basic, with ~ 1/3 C coconut flour – high in soluable fibre, & you could sub. that amount in a ‘wheat flour’ recipe as well! sometimes need to add a bit more liquid)

    A nutritionist at our Natural food grocery last year went back to the Institute monthly – she wrote a neat article on using coconut oil, which prompted me to switch from olive -> coconut for baking & cooking (Still use some olive raw).

    A few months later my daughter had the genetic tests done, & found out we all (inc her hubby & two girls) have the genes for gluten sensitivity!!
    That ‘post menopause’ weight I thought I was stuck with – viola! ~ 20# lighter than I was last spring, (5# with the switch to VOC & 15# going GF) I often bike to work, do water aerobics, take a dance class or two each week – I was doing all this before – but now have more energy & my ‘old body’ back!! My oldest granddaughter has petit mal seizures (on med, but going off this year per her neurologist) which is one of the ‘markers’ for gluten sensitivity in kids. Early cavities is another. Adults with IBS – probably ALL are gluten sensitive!!

    My guess is that over the next few years, we’ll see the % of ‘gluten sensitive/ celiac/ wheat allergy’ rising to over half the population!

  • Diane Sanfilippo

    These look SO beautiful! I’m going to get inspired by this and try to make a gluten-free recipe that just uses coconut and almond flours…probably a bunch more eggs as well.

    Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration :)

    Diane Sanfilippo
    Owner, Balanced Bites Holistic Nutrition & Wellness
    C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach
    Holistic Nutrition Educator student @ Bauman College, Berkeley, CA

    Find Balanced Bites around the web:

  • Niki @ Spilled Ingredients

    I love the natural spin on red velvet, I’ve been trying to come up with an alternative – this is great!

  • sophia

    I love that this has natural coloring from beets…I’ve always been kind of freaked out by the amount of food coloring red velvet has!
    Have you ever heard of beet and cashew croquettes?

  • Michelle

    @Sarah – You were? Oh wow, we must meet in Miami!

    @Erica – Thanks! Yup, they’re delicious, especially reheated in the toaster oven. MMMMmmmm

    @Heidi – Let me know if you try ‘em!

    @Karen – I know you have a chocolate/beet recipe too. Such a great combo!

    @Lori – Ah! Then you must try them! Cooking new vegetables is so empowering, I find.

    @Dia – You’re right, gluten sensitivity is so common these days. It’s not my niche, but I am very happy to hear how you convert recipes and if these beet beauties hold up!

    @Diane – Thanks girl! Lemme know how you gluten-free-ify them :-)

    @Niki – I think traditionally beet juice was used for the color anyway, but why not the whole darn thing? :-)

    @sophia – Nope, but I have made millet croquettes with a beet/horseradish dressing. MMmmmmm

  • Lauren

    This recipe looks freakin’ amazing! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Pingback: Michelle’s Red Velvet Coconut Muffins « feedyourroots()

  • eatingRD

    mmm looks like a great time! Those muffins sound really good too. I’ve made beet cakes before and I love how it gives such a vibrant color, moisture and slightly sweet flavor :)

  • Karen@Cook4Seasons

    Made these over the weekend, and I’m savoring every last morsel. They are the best muffins E.V.E.R. I actually topped them with a coconut frosting, if you can imagine them becoming even MORE decadent.

    Here’s the link to my flourless chocolate beet cake

  • Cameron

    Thanks for sharing this recipe Michelle! I tried it minus the coconut since my bf doesn’t eat and but they were still great! I must admit I added a few chocolate chips too :-) They turned out super moist and you couldn’t taste the beet at all!

  • Rose @ The BMK

    Whoa! Just clicked this link from today’ post – YUM! Roasted beets are my fave? Never thought about muffins!

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