I’m sure I’m not the only mother who struggles to feed her kids all the fruits and vegetables that they are ‘supposed’ to have. The daily recommended servings? Well, they don’t happen all the time in every meal. If you are one of those mothers who are lucky enough to have kids that eat all the fruits and veggies and then some…. “lucky” is the magic word.
I’m still struggling people. My kids have turned picky all of the sudden and I am so sleep deprived I don’t know what to do. So I’m looking everywhere I can for recipes that will help me get my kids to try more fruits and veggies.
A few weeks ago I bought the book: The Sneaky Chef. The recipes look good but the whole premise is that a “hidden” veggie is pureed into every recipe for added nutritional boost, and I’m not sure if I will have a magic puree ready at all times.
Since kids love chocolate, I decided to try her Brainy Brownies. I did tweak the recipe a bit, mainly because my kids like their brownies to be moist and cakey, vs dense and chewy. I took LOTS of pictures, because I have some friends that said “no way my kid will eat that!”
It all starts with the ‘purple’ puree (made ahead of time in a larger batch to use later)-recipe follows. I dusted the baby food maker for another round of use.
Step 1 to make Purple Puree: Steam spinach
Once spinach is steamed (can be done in microwave or stove) add blueberries and puree (this can be done in blender and a larger batch)
This is what the purple puree will look like. I know, not very eye appealing, but you are not eating it like this!
If you make a bigger batch freeze purple puree in 1/2 cup increments. That way, you’ll have it handy for next time!
Now on to the brownies. On one bowl mix dry ingredients (not pictured) and on a separate bowl add eggs, puree, vanilla, and sugar.
On the left is your melted chocolate. On the right is the ingredients above mixed.
Pour the mixture into the melted chocolate and mix.
See!! It blends right in!!
My kids love helping (although they didn’t see the spinach and blueberry mix)
In case you are still skeptical, you will see that it looks just like the brownie mix when you pour it in the baking dish.
When done, you get super moist chocolate brownies we hope our kids will actually eat.
They were excited to try them and eat them -they were brownies after all- but after a couple of bites they said they “tasted funny.”
And that is how I spent an hour of my day. Attempting to hide spinach and blueberries in brownies just to get my kids to have a little more nutrition. Why isn’t there a better way? Off I go to find another recipe.
In case you want to make the brownies…
- 4TB unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup semisweet choc chips
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup purple puree (following)
- 1/2 cup flour (I make a mix of 1/3 white, 1/3 whole wheat, 1/3 wheat germ inside the cup)
- 1TB unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional: 1/2cup chopped walnuts
Purple Puree: – from The Sneaky Chef
- 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 2cups frozen chopped spinach).
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
- 3-4 TB water (I use water from steamed spinach)
- Preheat oven 350F. Butter or spray 9×9 pan.
- Melt butter, and chocolate chips in double broiler or microwave. Remove from heat and allow to cool off slightly.
- In another bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, sugar, and purple puree. Combine this mixture into cooled chocolate mixture
- In a mixing bowl, stir together flour blend, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder (and optional walnuts). Combine chocolate mixture into dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Pour in 9×9 baking pan.
- Bake 20-25min or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Keeps 1 week in refrigerator covered lightly. See! now you have healthy treats to bring to school for lunch!
- Steam spinach. When cooked, add blueberries and puree until smooth. Add water as needed for a smooth consistency. Divide puree into 1/2 cup servings and freeze extras.