Valentine's Day is just around the corner and it's not unusual to see store shelves stocked with bright red sweets, treats, cookies and of course, chocolates. Unfortunately those rosy hues are usually produced with artificial dyes and are definitely not the healthiest. So how do we recreate those bright Valentine's colors without the artificial aspect? Beets.
Yes, that's right; beets are the perfect ingredients to add a natural bright and beautiful red coloring to a smoothie, cookies, whoopie cakes or, in this case, Valentine's Day breakfast in-bed healthy red velvet waffles with coconut whipped cream.
Beets are a nutrient powerhouse. They are bursting with carotenoids, the organic compounds that give them their bright red hue.
Carotenoids are then turned into powerful antioxidants by the body, which help fight against cancer and diseases. Beets are also loaded with fiber, many vitamins, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they are a fantastic natural liver cleanser.
Combining almond milk, stevia, raw cocoa powder and a whole-grain gluten-free flour blend with cooked beets gives these delicious waffles a beautiful color and that classic red velvet taste. Then, for the "cherry on top," a simple whipped coconut cream to add in some healthy fats and serious drool factor.
This Valentine's Day surprise your sweetheart with breakfast in bed by whipping up these healthy red velvet waffles with coconut whipped cream and you'll be sure to make their day. Oh, and don't forget to sneak a few for yourself too.
Healthy red velvet waffles with coconut whipped cream (gluten free and vegan)
by Christal Sczebel, Nutritionist in the Kitch
For the Waffles:
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your flour blend does not have it already)
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 25 drops liquid stevia or 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 small beet (smaller than the size of a tennis ball), cooked and diced
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (optional garnish)
For the coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 10 drops liquid stevia or 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Cook 1 small beet ahead of time by steaming or boiling until tender, then dice and place in a container until making the waffles.
- Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge and leave overnight.
- In the morning, when making the waffles, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the can (it will have separated from the coconut water) and add it to a bowl with the pure maple syrup.
- Use an electric beater to whip until the consistency of whipped cream. Set in the fridge to chill while making the waffles.
- In a large bowl add the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and mix well to combine.
- In a blender add the cooked and diced beet (about 1/3 cup), the almond milk, vanilla and stevia (or maple syrup) and blend until smooth.
- Add the beet liquid to the flour mixture and mix to combine, being careful not to overmix the batter.
- Heat your waffle maker and use a cooking spray to lightly coat to prevent waffles from sticking. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions.
- The batter will make approximately 8 standard waffles.
- Once cooked, stack the waffles and top with a large dollop of the coconut whipped cream and garnish with dark chocolate chips.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
What is your favorite way to incorporate beets into your cooking or baking? I'd love to know!
Christal, Nutritionist in the Kitch