Right around the time I started paying more and more attention to the foods that I was giving to my kids, Missy Chase Lapine and Jessica Seinfeld came out with cookbooks. The recipes highlighted hiding vegetables in foods where kids wouldn’t notice them. At first, I thought that it was genius… but shortly thereafter I realized that I was doing my kids a disservice. Shouldn’t they know that they’re eating vegetables at dinnertime?
|Spinach & Carrot Brownies|
I took on a new strategy. While I used some of the ideas from the books, I wanted the kids to know exactly what was in their dinner. And so began the game of “Guess What Vegetables Are Hiding In Your Dinner?” If a guess was incorrect, I’d write it down as an idea to incorporate for the next time. Inspiration coming from my smallest sources! Now that they’re older, we don’t play as often as we once did, but I still use some of the techniques that I picked up from the books.
Spinach & Carrot Puree Brownies
Adapted from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious Brownies
Canola Oil for pan
5 ounces TJ’s pound plus dark chocolate or other semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup carrot, puree*
3/4 cup spinach, puree**
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (or dark)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°
1. Generously coat a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with canola oil
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave: 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment. Let cool.
3. To the bowl with cooled melted chocolate, add the vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
4. Whisk in egg whites.
5. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
6. Pour the batter into the pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Cool completely.
9. Dust with confectioners sugar (optional)
10. Cut into bite size pieces, or larger bars.
Serve cold or at room temperature. If eaten warm, there will be a hint of spinach flavor.
*To make the carrot puree: steam 1/2 pound of peeled carrots for 10 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender.
**To make the spinach puree: steam 10 ounces of fresh spinach for 2 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender.
Store unused purees in freezer cubes or add to pasta sauce or combine with cheese for quesadillas!
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!