Let's Do a Healthy Twist
Published on September 2, 2010 By KFC Kickin For Christ In Blogging

I make a pretty good chocolate zucchini cake.  I used to make it often in the summers when I had an abundance of zucchini from the garden. Even my son who hated squash liked this cake.  

Carrot cake is a crowd pleaser.  Just about everyone likes a good carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. 

But I have a new one for you.  I just got this recipe for an Unbeetable Chocolate Cake.  I haven't tried it yet but looking at the picture it looks absolutely delicious.  So I thought I'd pass it along.  Whoever makes it first can give us the scoop. 

What makes this chocolate cake different is that it has beets in it.  Yep.  Pureed beets.  Now, I happen to not like beets so I'm not sure about this but knowing how good the zucchini cake is I think a chocolate cake with beets in it is worth a try.  Perhaps the chocolate taste will offset the beet flavor.   Here's the recipe. 

 

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups puréed beets (see chef's note)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting



Chocolate Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk

Directions

step 1  Make sure the oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
step 2  In a small microwavable bowl, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in the microwave on low power. When butter is melted, stir 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder into the butter. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin coat of the butter-cocoa powder mixture to the inside of a Bundt® pan (10-cup maximum capacity) and then set aside.
 
step 3  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1 stick of softened butter, the sugar and the honey. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the puréed beets and mix well.
 
step 4  Place 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for about 1 minute. Stir the chocolate chips and microwave for another 30 seconds or until chips are completely melted. Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly before adding to the mixture in the large mixing bowl (from Step 3). Add the vanilla extract. Mix well.
step 5  In a small bowl, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the chocolate mixture from Step 4 and mix well. The batter should be smooth and thick. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of unmelted chocolate chips.
 
step 6  Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt® pan and place the pan in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cake from the pan, place another cooling rack on top of the cake pan and, using oven mitts, flip the cake pan upside down and gently shake or tap it until the cake comes out onto the second rack. If the cake seems stuck, turn it back over and carefully run a thin rubber or silicone spatula between the edge of the cake and the pan. Then turn it over again onto the second cooling rack.
 
step 7  Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar when cool.

Variations

Instead of sprinkling the cake with confectioners’ sugar, make a chocolate glaze. To make the glaze, combine the chocolate chips, honey and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments at full power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool slightly and then gradually stir in the milk. Place the cooled cake on a serving platter and spoon the glaze over the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until the glaze hardens slightly.

chef's notes

Don't skip the instructions for coating the pan with the butter-cocoa mixture; it will keep the cake from sticking to the pan.

To make the 1 1/2 cups of puréed beets, use 5 fresh beets (small to medium in size) or 2 cans (14 oz. each), drained. If starting with fresh beets, trim greens, roots and stems from the beets and rinse the beets. Place beets in a pot of boiling water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on size, until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Let the beets cool (or run them under cold water) until they're still warm but comfortable enough to handle. Then use a paper towel to rub away the skin. Cut the cooked beets or canned beets (drained) into small chunks and purée them in a blender or a food processor until smooth.

Use any leftover beet purée to make a sauce for pork or chicken by simmering it with sautéed onions, vinegar and fresh herbs.

If you don't have a Bundt® pan, you can make this in a regular tube pan or as a sheet cake in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Prepare the pan and the recipe as directed and bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes.

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Sep 02, 2010

Beets in it?  Welll.....since my doctor put me on a no carb diet, I can politely decline a serving with graciousness.

{I hate beets!}

on Sep 02, 2010

Beets are never served at my house because I couldn't stand them so with all the wide assortment of veggies at hand we didn't miss them one bit.  But knowing carrot cake and zucchini cake is so good and moist I'm willing to give this one a try.  My son hated zucchini but he would eat the chocolate cake with the dreaded vegetable in it because the cake tasted so good. 

How can you survive with no carbs?  Never?  Why can't you have them? 

on Sep 03, 2010

How can you survive with no carbs? Never? Why can't you have them?

A lot of people do this for weight loss.  Personally, I can't.  I get sick, like my body is poisoned if I don't get carbs...but I am pretty active so I need the energy.

I detest beets.  But I may try this.  What a great way to get the nutrients without the taste!!

I made a cake this summer using muscadine juice I bought  in Mississippi.  It was so yummy!!!  But I only bought a bottle and now have to wait and get more next year.

on Sep 03, 2010

How can you survive with no carbs? Never? Why can't you have them?

25 years ago (before the world had heard of Adkins), I went on a diet and lost 65 pounds!  All I did was quit eating carbs (well and eat a lot of greens too).

This time, although I can stand to lose 25 pounds (and actually I am losing weight, so it is a good thing), I cut out carbs because my blood sugar is a bit high.  My doctor suggested I go on a Niacin regimen to control my Cholesterol - and it worked!  Dropped it 30 points in 3 months.  But one of the side effects of Niacin is that it does increase your blood sugar, so I have cut out Carbs to keep from that getting too high.

Given that my favorite dish is pasta with clam sauce - and when my Cholesterol was bad, I could not eat the clams, and now that I am on a low carb diet, I can't eat the pasta - I hate getting old!

When I go on my cruise however, I am breaking my diet!  But that is not for another 2 months.

 

Oh, and as for your reasoning - I can't argue with that.  Vegetables in sweets makes them healthier and moister and adds a mild flavoring to them that is not bad.

As for your son and Zucchini, try a squash Parmesan.  It is outstanding and he may not notice the vegetables.

on Sep 03, 2010

I'll give this a try.  Most squashes absorb the flavors of whatever they're cooked with.  Hence, the zucchini bread and zucchini in BBQ chicken.  I use to have a whole list of things that would do this absorb the flavors of whatever the item was being cooked with.  I think eggplants do this as well as do beets. 

In the chocolate cake, I think the beets will taste like chocolate chips or a chewy morsel.

KFC Kickin For Christ


Beets are never served at my house because I couldn't stand them so with all the wide assortment of veggies at hand we didn't miss them one bit.  But knowing carrot cake and zucchini cake is so good and moist I'm willing to give this one a try.  My son hated zucchini but he would eat the chocolate cake with the dreaded vegetable in it because the cake tasted so good. 
How can you survive with no carbs?  Never?  Why can't you have them? 

If my memory serves me correctly, I think DOC is doing it because of health reasons.  I think his blood pressure was too high and his doctor wanted him to go on a diet.  He can't have the beloved french fries either.  Speaking of which I had a bunch at Red Robin because they have bottomless fries.  If they would double fry their fries so they would be a little more crisp they would be better. 

on Sep 03, 2010

Personally, I can't. I get sick, like my body is poisoned if I don't get carbs...but I am pretty active so I need the energy.

Carbs are good for that, but I found I could do without if I ate other foods that helped energy.  During my diet of 25 years ago, I also took to riding my bike to work and riding it on weekends, so I was very active.  And had no problems with the energy.

Now, due entirely to my wife agreeing to dog-sit, and me doing the sitting, I am walking a couple miles a day that I was not before.  And other than a couple of snakes, I have had no problems.

on Sep 03, 2010

Speaking of which I had a bunch at Red Robin because they have bottomless fries.

Ah Geez!  They would do that now!

on Sep 03, 2010

I detest beets. But I may try this. What a great way to get the nutrients without the taste!!

That's what I was thinking and a great way for a mom to sneak in more vegetables for the kids without them knowing it.   My guess the beets add moisture and texture.  I just have to wait until maybe next Thursday when the ladies come over for bible study. Besides I have to buy beets since they have never ever been in my cupboard before.

Nowadays I only make sweets for when I know I'm having company otherwise we have to eat the whole thing and for two it's too much. 

but I found I could do without if I ate other foods that helped energy.

but I am pretty active so I need the energy

ok I'm just curious as I've never been on a diet in my life but now, approaching 50 I would really like to go down about 12 pounds but nothing's budging.  So since we're the same age, I'd like to know how you do it Doc.  I'm fit, I'm healthy but no matter how much I work out I go down only a pound or two and then back up again.  Well I think if I doubled my workout I could do it but who has that kind of time? 

So what does a regular day without carbs look like?  Bring me thru a day.  What foods substitute for carbs that help your energy? 

on Sep 03, 2010

So what does a regular day without carbs look like? Bring me thru a day. What foods substitute for carbs that help your energy?

LOTS of green veggies.  I do not eat breakfast (got out of the habit a long time ago), but for lunch, I always have a salad (sometimes I add chicken to it - I cannot afford beef too often).  Dinner is meat and green veggies again.  The green veggies are low in carbohydrates.  The colorful ones you avoid (carrots are notorious as well as a lot of squashes).

I avoid breads (there is no such thing as low carb breads - they are just lower than other breads, but still very high in carbs), pastas, Colorful veggies, and of course snacks (except pork rinds).

I do not think you can totally avoid carbs (unless you spend a lot of money on special stuff), but avoiding potatoes, pastas and breads will cut your carbohydrates by over 90% as they are the main source of them.

As for losing the weight, good luck!  It is harder now that I am older, and if you are already exercising (I know you do from reading your blog), it gets even harder.  I would avoid fruits as well (I do because of the sugar in them).  You can get your daily dose of that food group on the veggie side which has little or no sugar.  But other than that, just chalk it up to middle age spread.  My in laws go to a gym religiously!  Yet they are suffering the same as I am.  Your body has had almost 50 years to adapt to your healthy life style and figure out ways to store fat (that is its job - to store it for lean times).

Given the price of meat, and the fact that 4 out of 5 meals is chicken, I could easily become a vegetarian (not a vegan).  Not that I do not like chicken - but I do tire of it.  I love veggies (yes, and squash is high on the list - alas that is a victim of my diet as well), especially cheesy veggies (less than a gram per serving), so it is not bad.

on Sep 03, 2010

Sounds like a lot of work.  Too much thinking about what to put in the mouth to me.  I love veggies too but it seems you have to limit them even.  I love the squashes and the carrots as well as the green beans and salads. 

I think my problem might be the carbs now I think about it.  I eat plenty of breads, crackers, muffins cereals etc.  For me I could have english muffins/bagels for breakfast or a bowl of cereal.  For lunch a sandwich or some sort of pasta dish is common.  For dinner it's the regular steak, chicken, or pasta dish with rice/potatoes to go with the meat. 

Last night I made eggplant parm with pasta and sauce on the side.  So you can see I'm doing it all wrong.   

 

on Sep 03, 2010

Last night I made eggplant parm with pasta and sauce on the side. So you can see I'm doing it all wrong.

Oh, but what a way to go!  Yummmmmmm!!!!!!

on Sep 06, 2010

For me it all boils down to calories in vs calories out.  1500 calories a day, with a solid hour of exercise (That requires constant sweating, panting, and the inability to talk is = to about 400 calories expended) every single day, and then a couple of those days I also do an hour of weight training. 

I'm 5'4" and depending on WHAT I eat, that regime keeps me between 117-121 pounds.  I have a horrible sugar addiction, and when I can get it out of my diet I sit at 117. 

If my thyroid worked better I could probably weigh about 110-115, but that's not a big deal.  I already have to shop in the juniors section and those clothes are so not me!

I only buy wheat bread with at LEAST 4 gms of fiber PER SLICE.  The only stuff I can find at the grocery store is Dutch Country Extra Fiber (purple label).  We've eaten it for so long that when Gavin has white bread now he calls it "cake."

Sugar is my enemy.  lol  But I LOVE it.

 

 

on Sep 06, 2010

For me it all boils down to calories in vs calories out. 1500 calories a day, with a solid hour of exercise

Well that's really what it's all about anyhow.  I can run about 7 miles in an hour although I'm only running about 3-4 miles right now because of the heat.   It's about 100 calories or so a mile so 7 miles for me is about 700 calories.  On occasion we bike anywhere from 10-25 miles and expend even more than that. 

While I don't count calories so much as just eat moderately and sensibly I found the rules changed after 40's.  I exercise at least an hour a day skipping a day here and there but on the days I do exercise it can be 2-3 hours depending on what we're doing.   When I got to age 45 for me I started to notice a change, subtle before that but big change after that.  I could lose at a drop of a hat before but now it's much harder.  I'm not willing to starve myself to do so I guess.  It's not worth it.  My body has adapted to the exercise and unless I start stepping that up I'm at a standstill.  I run, bike, swim, line dance, do pilates,  and play pickleball and tennis on a regular basis.  I'm going to start a new zumba class later this month

I was about 108 when we got married and I know in my late 30's  I was about 117.   I thought that was awful then.  I'll never see that again by the looks of it unless I get some awful illness or something.  But everyone tells me I look good and I'm still in a size 8 (dress size is 6)  so I'm not going to get depressed over it. 

Genetics makes a huge difference and all I have to do is look at my mother and grandmother and see that I'm actually doing ok and am better fit than they were at the same age but I can only go so far because of genetics. 

and I've got the same sugar aka chocolate addiction you have T.  I've switched the whole apple a day thing with a chocolate a day keeps the doctor away.  So maybe if I quit that I'd have an easier time, but it's not going to happen  

 

 

on Sep 06, 2010

So far, age hasn't affected me one way or another.

I did research before I started weight training years ago.  At 35 you start losing about 2lbs of muscle per year, unless you do weight training to retain it. 

Even though muscle doesn't burn a huge number of calories on its own, it's still more metabolically active than fat and very important for weight loss. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that, though weight training doesn't burn as many calories as cardio, it significantly increases average daily metabolic rate - the perfect foundation for losing fat. ~Page Waehner

I was a long distance runner for years....but like you I hit a plateau.  With weight training (and I mean lifting heavy like guys do, not girly 5-15 pounders) I crashed my plateau, and when I had to go low impact cardio after injuring my knee the final time, I was able to cut my cardio to 30 minutes a day and weight train 3xs a week and still lose weight.

The only reason I do an hour cardio now is because I want a healthy cardiovascular system...something my family has real issues with on one side.  It may be a little more than required but that's what it takes for me to feel like I've really worked my heart and lungs.

on Sep 06, 2010

So maybe if I quit that I'd have an easier time, but it's not going to happen

Yup.  Yup.

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