Secret Ingredient: Recipe for a Healthy Chocolate Cake

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/secret-ingredient-recipe-for-a-healthy-chocolate-cake.aspx

GinaOur art director, Marci O'Brien, recently threw a tea party for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday at her home in Fort Collins, Colorado. She decided to prepare healthy treats for her daughter and ten of her friends. This meal included a healthy chocolate birthday cake with matching cupcakes that featured a special ingredient: beets!

Try this delicious recipe for your family. (Just don't spoil the surprise!)

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Secret Chocolate Cake

Serves 16 to 24

Delicious plain, frosted, or served with applesauce. They'll never know the secret ingredient unless you tell. Compliments of Simply in Season.

• 2 cups beets, cooked, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup applesauce
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup oil
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa, sifted
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or nuts

1. Puree beets and applesauce in blender until smooth. Set aside.

2. Combine sugar, oil, yogurt and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.

3. Add cocoa and vanilla, along with pureed beets blend; beat another 90 seconds

4. Gradually sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon, but stirring only until blended.

5. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 40-50 minutes). To bake in a bundt pan, pour half of the batter into a greased pan, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top, then add remaining batter.

Variation: Substitute 2 to 3 cups shredded raw zucchini or summer squash for the cooked, pureed beets. Use ground cinnamon and add 1/2 teaspoons allspice.