Yes, you have heard us right, beetroot cake- that understated vegetable that you put in salads or on a cheese sandwich that turns everything red! You may be thinking that sounds a little big strange or disgusting even? Beetroot.. in a cake..?! Even if you hate beetroot, don’t judge it before you have tried it. The beetroot in extremely sweet and combined with the chocolate you cannot tell it is beetroot at all. The beetroot actually makes it very moist and is quite pleasantly surprising, this is something that is a must try as it is easy to make, healthy for you and great for cyclists. Who ever said chocolate cake is bad for you?!
We may have all heard about the connection between beetroot and cyclists and some studies suggest that there are definite endurance and muscle efficiency gains to be had from the super root.
The vegetable is virtually fat free, loaded with natural nitrates is that have been said to lower your blood pressure, keeping your heart healthy, enhance your muscle efficiency and help you tolerate high intensity efforts more by increasing the oxygen levels to the muscles.
A shot a day?
Some athletes have sworn by beetroot and said that a ‘shot’ of the red stuff a day is their key to success. But if you don’t want to be weeing pink, and look like you are a vampire with a blood red tongue, you can enjoy beetroot the humane way! Beetroot cake is a nice easy way to enjoy the benefits. If you want to gain a little extra nutritional benefit from your yummy chocolate cake then make it with dark chocolate, Dark chocolate contains magnesium which has said to help with muscle cramps.
It is easy to forget that there are other cakes that you eat without even thinking about it, which are full of veg too.. Yes, sorry but they don’t just name it ‘carrot cake’ for a laugh. Strangely they do all work and make for very moist and sweet cakes.
Carrot Cake is full of carrots, now we all love a bit of carrot cake don’t we?! Remember they do help you to see in the dark.
Loaded with Aubergine (of course), full of magnesium and natural nitrates with vitamin C and B6.
Strawberry and rhubarb cake
With Approximately four whole rhubarbs in it and around 450gms of strawberries it is a sure way to getting your 5 a day! Tastes amazing and full of vitamin C.
A balanced Diet
Although we are all after those marginal gains it has to be sustainable in everyday diet so eating a balanced diet will help you to train harder and ride and race better.
We are all told by scientists, TV and the media that we should be getting our 5 a day etc. So here you go, get baking! But remember everything in moderation! A whole cake to your self is not the way forward – unless its a fairy cake!
Recipe for success
1 large beetroot, chopped into small pieces and cooked
200g self raising flour
100g cocoa powder
250g caster sugar
200ml sunflower oil
100g dark chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate chips)
1tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line and grease a loaf tin.
Blitz the beetroot with a hand blender or in a food processor until pureed, then add all of the ingredients apart from the chocolate and continue to blitz until well combined.
Stir in the chocolate and tip the mixture into your loaf tin.
Cook for between 50-70 minutes (or until a sharp knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean).
Serve hot with ice cream or cream or leave to cool, then slice for easy transportation.