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February 1, 2015

by Alyssa

Healthy Red Velvet Quinoa Brownies

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healthy-red-velvet-quinoa-brownies-8I’ve never really understood red velvet.

Is it red because it’s supposed to taste like something red? Cherries perhaps? Or is it chocolate disguising itself as something red and trying to trick me?

It puzzles me and has brought me to the conclusion that red velvet is whatever type of red that we want it to be. That makes sense, right?

I mean sure, there’s probably a more technical definition floating around on the interwebs, and I could spend a few hours digging it up, but I think it’s more fun this way. It means we have more creative freedom with our recipes and get to play in the kitchen more.


More time to play = more desserts to be tested. More desserts to be tested = more desserts to be eaten.

And I’m totally okay with that.


In the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, I wanted to share my quinoa spin on a healthy dessert. I’ve got a fabulous quinoa brownie recipe – and yes, it’s red velvet – up my sleeve and I know you are just going to love it!

Because chocolate on Valentine’s Day is just necessary.


In truth, I’m not the biggest Valentine’s Day fan. I think it’s kind of a silly holiday, with all the heart decorations and cheesy cards, but I do appreciate that it encourages us to spend that day thinking and loving that one special someone in our lives.

Even more importantly though, I feel like Valentine’s Day is also a time to reflect on how amazing YOU are. So even if you don’t have that special someone, you can celebrate YOU.

In my opinion, the best way to do that is to give yourself the best Valentine’s Day gift ever and go do something that makes you happy. Get a massage, take a yoga class, buy yourself that outfit you’ve been eyeing.

And eat some chocolate. Treat yourself because you are amazing and you deserve it!


Which means you should probably make a batch of these super duper healthy red velvet quinoa brownies pronto! They’re decadent, rich and elegant, but I’ve managed to turn a not so healthy treat into something that’s nutritious and satisfying.

Unlike the boxed stuff you buy at the store, these brownies have no artificial coloring or flavors

And I’m going to let you in on my secret to getting them nice and red. Are you ready?



I know, totally bonkers, right? We’re getting all kinds of crazy up in here! But let me just tell you, before you totally write these brownies off, the beets are there for color and moisture and honestly you can’t taste them at all!

They add that perfect redness that we’ve come to expect with anything red velvet, and they add a little extra moisture to the batter so the brownies stay light, airy and super tender. Plus, beets are totally good for you – helping to detoxify the liver, pull toxins from your body, and are packed with vitamins – why wouldn't you want to those in your brownies?


I know that I'd be eating every brownie in sight if I knew they were actually good for me 🙂 Enjoy!

xo Alyssa

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Healthy Red Velvet Quinoa Brownies

They’re decadent, rich and elegant, but I’ve managed to turn a not so healthy treat into something that’s nutritious and satisfying.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 Brownies
Calories 247kcal
Author Alyssa
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beet puree, coconut oil, honey, eggs and vanilla. Process on high until completely smooth. Pulse in sugar.
  • Add remaining ingredients (minus chocolate chips) and process again until smooth and the batter has started to thicken.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely in the pan before slicing and removing.
  • Enjoy!


To make beet puree, simply blender cooked beets in a blender or food processor. Keep extra puree to add to things like pancakes, smoothies or even oatmeal!


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I made these again this year for Valentine’s Day. They are so moist and delicious, taste very rich, get better with each day in the refrigerator, and are my go-to brownie when I want a healthy, decadent dessert. The beets are the key ingredient!

  2. These are delicious!!!! I had to bake it 10 minutes longer to get the middle done, but otherwise it was a quick, easy recipe. I stirred some chocolate chips in the batter at the end and also added them to the top as the recipe says. ( I like having some gooey chocolate in the middle! ). I will definitely make it again.

  3. What is a good alternative in this recipe for almond flour. My friend has a tree nut allergy.
    Additionally, do you make beet puree in any special way? or do you just peel, chop, and throw in the food processor with some water?

    • Unfortunately, almond flour is really tricky to replace without using another nut-based flour. The properties of nuts (fat content, protein, texture, etc.) are pretty unique. You could try using oat flour, but you’d need to tweak the recipe around a bit to get it to work. For the beets, I do just blend them up in my blender!

    • I haven’t tried it and honestly I’m not sure it would since it uses 3 of them. You could certainly give it a try, but I don’t think the texture will be the same. Definitely let me know if you do!

  4. […] 3. Heathy Red Velvet Quinoa Brownies: Can you guess what super secret ingredient is used to keep these brownies red color without the food coloring? And helps to sneak in an extra serving of veggies you might miss on your trip? Yup. It’s the beloved beet! (via Simply Quinoa) […]

  5. I’m there with you and trying to understanding the Red Velvet flavor! LOL. I thought I was the only one. Love the use of Beets in here girl!

  6. These little cuties look delicious! I just made a batch of beet brownies as well last week, so am totally sharing the beet brownie love here 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness, that looks decadent! I love using beet to make red velvet, and this simply looks like the indulgence of a lifetime!

  8. I love your blog and I love this recipe. I am going to be looking here often. So glad I found you through our group. What a great recipe. I love quinoa!

  9. These look so MOIST!! We will have to try them for sure. We don’t use quinoa very often, but you may have convinced me! 🙂

    • Thanks, Kelly! They really are delicious 🙂 And I hope that you take a peek around because I have loads of other quinoa recipes you might find tasty!

  10. These look absolutely delicious! Great use for quinoa and I love the beet puree in there. I’m always looking for ways to use beet pulp leftover from making juice and I think I might it in these brownies!

    • That’s a great idea, Faith! I always just toss my pulp, but I think next time I’ll save to make another batch of these brownies!


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