i should be mopping the floor: Spinach Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting (And other ways to get kids eating veggies!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spinach Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting (And other ways to get kids eating veggies!)



Yes. Spinach Brownies. You read that right. Spinach. Brownies.
Sounds weird...but you will LOVE these {and so will your kids!}. 
And everyone will get a nice dose of Vitamins K, A, and more...
wrapped up in a deliciously moist brownie!
Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.

According to the State of the Plate report, 9 out of 10 people in the United States do not get the proper amount of vegetables today. Adding veggies to unexpected places is one way to ensure your family will get their daily dose. See this recipe, along with other tips and tricks for getting kids to eat their veggies, below.

Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.
I first tried a spinach brownie about five years ago when the veggie puree trend was starting...I was hooked! I still continue to puree certain vegetables and add them into unexpected places...my family none the wiser. These Spinach Brownies are the perfect way to get a bit more greens into your diet...and unless you tell them, nobody can really detect your secret ingredient!


Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.


Spinach Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting

Ingredients:

Brownies:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, cut into pats
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup dried and pureed Birds Eye Chopped Spinach, (see note below*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Frosting (the frosting is totally optional...but, I'm just a frosted brownie kind of girl, so there you go):
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar (this is preference, depending on how stiff you like your frosting to set up)
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure pumpkin (I used canned)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.
*To get the spinach to the perfect consistency (I prefer it to be super chopped...no strings or leaves that would distract from the brownie's texture), I allow my box to thaw completely. Then I drain all of the water and roll the spinach in paper towels to get out any extra moisture. I add the spinach to my mini food processor and pulse it for several minutes, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides. The above is the consistency that I pulse the spinach to...almost like a pesto without oil. One box of Birds Eye Chopped Spinach makes enough spinach for two batches of brownies. To let you know in advance, the more of the spinach you add to the recipe, the more earthy/spinachy it tastes. To play it safe, the first time you make these, start out on the more conservative side with just the half a cup. After that, you can adjust the taste and add up to a cup of the spinach puree to the mixture. Not only does it give the recipe added health benefits and a fantastic way to get your kids eating their veggies...it also makes the brownies very moist. Most people don't even realize there are veggies in this recipe!

Directions:

In large bowl, combine chocolate chips, chopped unsweetened chocolate, and 1 1/2 sticks of the salted butter. Microwave on high for one minute and stir. Continue microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring thoroughly after each interval, until chocolate is completely melted and all ingredients are combined. It only took me a minute and a half for mine to be ready and smooth. Be careful not to overcook. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat the eggs, egg yolk, sugars, and vanilla on high for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will be thick and smooth. Beat in your spinach, carefully eliminating any clumps to create a smooth texture. In small batches, fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (slowly, as not to scramble the eggs in the process). Gently fold in the flour, until completely mixed (but not over-mixed).

Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil...dull side up. Spray with cooking spray and pour batter into it. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, checking for doneness. Allow to cool completely before frosting. After about 10-15 minutes after taking them out of the oven, I carefully lift the foil (brownies and all) out of the dish to cool faster. (This makes cutting a breeze, too.)

Prepare the frosting in a medium bowl. Beat butter until smooth. Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into mixed butter and beat again until combined. Add pumpkin pie spice and 3 tablespoons of the pure pumpkin and beat again. Once the frosting is all mixed up, you can play with the consistency of it by adding more powdered sugar or more pure pumpkin, as needed. I prefer a stiffer frosting on a brownie, so I add the full 4 cups of powdered sugar, but keep my pumpkin at 3 tablespoons. 

Once brownies are cool, frost (I like to lay it on thick). Cut into 16 squares (wiping your knife between cuts makes for cleaner edges).




My brownie recipe was loosely based off of The Ultimate Brownie Guide from Handle the Heat. I've been making her brownies for a while and they're always delicious. 

Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.


I know firsthand that it can be tough to get a balanced meal on the table every day. Below is another idea I use with my own kids. Birds Eye frozen vegetables help mom by providing nutritious, tasty veggies that kids will love. Together, Birds Eye and celebrity chef & mom of four, Melissa d'Arabian, are combining their expertise in getting children to eat more veggies, one bite at a time. Personally, one thing that has worked wonders with our youngest son (and our pickier eater) is smaller portions with more variety.
Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.
This is the perfect way to get him munching the greens (and yellows and oranges...). Above, I served Birds Eye's Long Grain Wild Rice with Mixed Vegetables, Birds Eye's Broccoli Florets, cut up fruit, cheese, and of course, a spinach brownie! Six different options in smaller portions are a sure-fire way to get his plate clean. 


    Birds Eye continues to make eating more vegetables a reality by showing families how to fill half the plate with veggies in fun and simple ways moms and kids will both like. By providing moms with more than 40 unique vegetable blends year round at affordable prices, Birds Eye continues to be her ally in the dinnertime dilemma.


    As I mentioned above, Birds Eye has partnered with Melissa d’Arabian, host of FoodNetwork.com’s web series The Picky Eaters Project, to make a difference and help moms with the dinnertime dilemma. Check out some yumminess from Melissa below>>>


    Step Up To The Plate is Birds Eye's long-term commitment to reshaping kids’ veggie perceptions and getting children to like veggies for life.


    Nobody will know your super secret ingredient in these moist and flavorful spinach brownies. They're a great way to sneak veggies into your family's diet.
    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Do you have any tips or tricks for getting your kids to eat their veggies?





    14 comments:

    1. Hello Kristi

      (Let's see if this time I'm lucky and I can post this comment!). Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. My daughter is a vegan who doesn't like a lot of vegetables so I'll be trying this one out on her!

      Thanks again and kind regards,

      Rosemary.

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      1. Hello Rosemary! Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your daughter enjoys the brownies!

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    2. Cannot WAIT to try these with my boys! They each like different veggies but spinach is a hard sell! YUM!!

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      1. This is a winner for sure, Claire! Let me know how they like it!

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    3. I am going to try these out on my hubby, he is the picky eater in our house!

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      1. They are so yummy, Dee! Just don't tell him what the ingredients are until after he has a taste, lol! ;)

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    4. Over 2 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, to get a (max) of 3/4 cup spinach and a few tablespoons of pumpkin into an entire recipe for a child sized portion?? What's wrong with this picture/recipe?

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    5. can you post a nutrition values for this recipe please? specifically carb count?

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    6. I make no apologies for sneaking veggies in on my crew. Spinach in brownies is one I haven't tried yet. Thanks for sharing on Creative K Kids #TastyTuesdays

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