If I didn't know any better, I'd say there was some sort of trickery involved, but I assure you, there is not. Just Chef Ben's culinary love magic at play. We host a church group in our home every Monday and they got to be our guinea pigs...along with our finicky children. It was a win! We had one skeptic who doesn't eat anything 'colorful' and she stared at it trying to wrap her head around this perfectly normal looking piece of chocolate delight that we had just described with an ingredients list. Spinach? Beets? Apple Cider Vinegar? Pea Milk?! What in the world is pea milk?! I will admit, the pea milk was a last minute ingredient switch, and it made for hilarious conversation, as we began to call it 'Chocolate Pea Cake'.
Sidebar: Chef Ben and I ran to the store for beets and full fat coconut milk for the recipe and remembered I needed more (normal) coconut milk for smoothies. Just above the milk I buy, I saw Ripple's Pea Milk and asked Chef if he had ever heard of it. He hadn't, so we thought hmmmm, this is too weird not to try! I have to say, I wouldn't drink it on it's own (but I don't drink coconut, almond or cow's milk on it's own either), but it has the perfect creaminess to it for smoothies! Amazing. 8g of protein per serving as well! Anyway, we got the beets and beat it...leaving behind the full fat coconut milk for the recipe...resulting in using the pea milk...which was just an added bonus because it's healthier than the type of coconut milk he was going to use!
Back to it...The cake was delicious! It had that slightly different quality that most GF items have (if I'm being perfectly honest), but it was wonderful! All three of our kids loved it, and so did our friends...even the skeptic! Well, (if I'm being perfectly honest) she didn't 'LOVE' it. but she said said it was much better than she expected and couldn't believe it was loaded with spinach and beets. It wouldn't be her first choice but this is also a woman who "hasn't eaten a vegetable since she was 18 months old"...so I'm going to chalk this up as a win!
So here's how you make this undercover nutrient loaded
Chocolate Beets and Spinach Cake
*As always, feel free to switch out non-dairy/gluten free flours, butters and liquids for standard baking flour, milk, and butter
1 cup coconut sugar
2 1/2 cups Gluten free flour ( for this one we used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1)
1 cup baking cocoa (Dutch process or dark cocoa preferably. We use Cacao Berry Extra Brut)
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pea milk (we used Ripple Pea Milk , you could also use vanilla soy, vanilla coconut milk etc...)
1/2 cup non-dairy butter - melted (Earth Balance is always our recommendation)
1 cup beet puree (you can buy a can of beets and puree yourself)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2-4 handfuls baby spinach- pureed (we recommend adding to your beets puree for puree process)
4 eggs - beat
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks *optional (we use Callebaut Dark Chocolate Semi-Sweet Chips)
Combine Dry ingredients
Combine wet ingredients
Stir (or mix on low/medium) Dry and wet ingredients together until incorporated. Add beaten eggs and fold in (or mix on low) until incorporated.
Spray 11x14 cake pan (metal or glass) with non-stick spray and pour batter in evenly
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and enjoy!