Sneaky Brownies

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

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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)

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This is what the purple puree will look like. I know, not very eye appealing, but you are not eating it like this!

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If you make a bigger batch freeze purple puree in 1/2 cup increments. That way, you’ll have it handy for next time!

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Now on to the brownies.  On one bowl mix dry ingredients (not pictured) and on a separate bowl add eggs, puree, vanilla, and sugar.

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On the left is your melted chocolate. On the right is the ingredients above mixed.

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Pour the mixture into the melted chocolate and mix.

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See!! It blends right in!!

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My kids love helping (although they didn’t see the spinach and blueberry mix)

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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.

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When done, you get super moist chocolate brownies we hope our kids will actually eat.

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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.”

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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…

Sneaky Brownies

  • Author: Laura Fuentes - SuperGlueMom

Ingredients

For 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)

Instructions

For Brownies:

  1. Preheat oven 350F. Butter or spray 9×9 pan.
  2. Melt butter, and chocolate chips in double broiler or microwave. Remove from heat and allow to cool off slightly.
  3. In another bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, sugar, and purple puree. Combine this mixture into cooled chocolate mixture
  4. 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.
  5. Pour in 9×9 baking pan.
  6. Bake 20-25min or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Keeps 1 week in refrigerator covered lightly. See! now you have healthy treats to bring to school for lunch!

Purple Puree:

  1. 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.

 

 

February 23, 2011

Leave a Reply 12 comments

Samantha Bradley - February 23, 2011 Reply

Thanks for posting this. I plan to utilize this recipe on my husband not just on my sons… as he is more anti-veggie than they are. Love the idea and will have to buy the book also.

http://www.aspoonfulosugr. blogspot.com

thanks again,
Samantha

Chichi - February 23, 2011 Reply

Great idea!…Love it!

liz - February 25, 2011 Reply

This is going to sound like such a little kid question, but do they smell weird because of the spinach-blueberry combo?

    Laura Fuentes - February 26, 2011 Reply

    not at all. they smell like chocolate and more chocolate. it’s ridiculous how moist and delicious they come out.

Laura Todd - February 28, 2011 Reply

I can’t wait to try them out!!! Thanks for sharing Laura!

Melissa - January 7, 2012 Reply

A half cup of veg into a whole pan of brownies doesn’t seem very healthy to me. That’s about two teaspoons per serving.

    Laura Fuentes - January 7, 2012 Reply

    Melissa, that’s what I thought at first. But then, I looked at the servings and the 1/2c of blueberries and spinach is A LOT more than 1/2 cup of those items. you have to think that they have been pureed. It’s over 1 Cup of the raw items and about 1TB per serving. The goal is not to use brownies as the only way to give kids vegetables but to add them in when possible. Unlike traditional brownie recipes (most use 1-1.5 sticks) this only uses 4TB. Thanks for visiting!

Enid - February 26, 2014 Reply

I have a question about the flour mix. So that’s 1/2 cup total of those three flours mixed together? How much is that of each flour?

    Laura Fuentes - February 27, 2014 Reply

    that would be total, yes… but the recipe is very forgiving so you have a bit denser brownies than gooey.

Enid - February 26, 2014 Reply

I’ve made this twice and it came out pretty but I just noticed the 1/2 thing. I had been putting in1/3 cup of each flour oops!

Krista - November 6, 2014 Reply

I have a garden full of spinach right now and thought I’d try to make a batch of these. Unfortunately I just started steaming before measuring how much I had (a lot). Don’t suppose you have any idea about how much STEAMED spinach is needed for the recipe…? (not hopeful, but thought I’d ask). Thanks

    Laura Fuentes - November 9, 2014 Reply

    I am sorry! spinach will shrink like no other when steamed. I’ve never measured that way.

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