A Recipe That Can’t Be Beet

Donna and Chris Alley have owned The Colonial Pines Inn in Highlands since 1984 after “escaping from the business world of Atlanta.” 

They were the first B&B in Highlands and are now one of the last true B&Bs where the owner lives in the Inn, serves a homemade breakfast each morning, and is always available for information. 

This recipe originated in the kitchen through trial and error. 

Donna says, “I’ve been experimenting with buckwheat flour for years because it’s whole-grain, gluten-free, and it just naturally goes with chocolate.  I’d been using carrots or apples in this muffin, but one day, I had roasted some fresh beets and decided to give them a try. Eureka! They added color, moisture, sweetness and a glossy finish.”

In the Fall, she serves these muffins about once a week, usually with a spicy egg, cheese, and herb breakfast casserole she calls Eggs de Provence. She also includes fresh fruit, chicken and apple sausage with a maple/mustard glaze, coffee, and juice.  

Early risers at Colonial Pines say these muffins go really well with that first cup of morning coffee, but they’re also delicious for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Donna has a blog with more recipes at ColonialPinesInn.wordpress.com.  


Chocolate Buckwheat Beet Muffins


2 eggs

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 cup cooked, peeled, chopped beets (or 14.5 oz can beets, drained and chopped)

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup cocoa

1 1/8 cups buckwheat (I like Hodgson Mill)

1 1/2 cups raisins or Craisins

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup strong, hot coffee

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)



Preheat oven to 375 and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.  In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients one at a time in the order given, mixing constantly until all are combined. Do not over-mix.  Fill each muffin cup with about 1/4 cup batter and bake for about 30 minutes.  Muffins will be risen, cracked, and glossy.