Say what? Beets in a Berry Muffin?

For quite a while, I had skimmed quickly past this recipe in the “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” cookbook, like a hurried old lady trying to get in for the early bird dinner special. Skedaddle!

But it was time. And I had raw beets in the refrigerator staring at me.

Plus, I’m “finding my path” with beets in my life.

So, the recipe and I had a staredown: Beet Blueberry Superhero muffins. And it was game on.

I normally modify most recipes right off the bat to improve the nutrient density, but I decided to follow this recipe to the tee. Mostly because I’ve never put beets into a muffin concoction before now, so it was semi-new territory. I also opted to make the vegan recipe (for my vegan people and also because I didn’t have enough eggs to do the original recipe).

Vegan Beet Blueberry Superhero Muffins (a la Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan) Recipe:

  • 2 c almond meal

  • 1.5 c old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 c grated, raw beet, peeled (I didn’t peel mine; this was about 150 grams by weight or about the size of a tennis ball beet)

  • 1/3 c blackstrap molasses (I used Wholesome)

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted

  • 3 Tbsp ground flax

Mixing instructions (with my notes):

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the ground flax with 1/2 cup of plain water and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. This is the replacement for 3 eggs from the original, non-vegan recipe.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beets, molasses, flax mixture, and melted coconut oil. Note that if you let this mix sit for a while, the coconut oil will start to solidify. You can simply keep the bowl on top of the warming oven to prevent too much hardening of the mixture.

  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry mix and stir until well-combined. Fold in blueberries.

  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. At first glance, I thought, “I’m going to need 2 muffin tins, not 1 !” But all of the batter fit into the 12 cups just fine.

  7. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. My batch baked for closer to 40 minutes, but I do live at 8600 feet elevation so this isn’t unexpected. Also, the muffins will be quite brown in color due to the molasses. Don’t fret.

Basic nutrition info per muffin (yield of 12):
240 calories
20 grams carbohydrate
4 grams fiber
6 grams protein
15 grams fat
~3:1 carb to protein ratio
*also provides a decent source of iron and magnesium (key nutrients for endurance athletes!)

You may wonder … why should there be beets in a muffin recipe? Honestly, there isn’t enough beet in each muffin to make that big of a difference in this single snack. However, when we can find ways to increase our vitamin and mineral intake from whole foods AND we enjoy the process, it’s a win in my book. Especially if we are picky eaters and we can easily displace other less nutrient dense ingredients.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my friends.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my friends.


Additional bonus points for this recipe for 1) not being able to taste the beets (ahem… for those picky eaters) and 2) a super filling muffin 3) an option for vegan athletes.

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think on Insta… and if you’ve already tried it, let me know that too! I know I’ll be back to this recipe in the future.

CFO (Chief Fueling Officer) of The Nutrition Mechanic