HIDDEN GEM BROWNIES
A few weeks ago, Collins had to get three cavities filled. I’m not going to lie, I was sad about it. She’s not even five, & three cavities? I brush her teeth every night, & she doesn’t eat/drink much sugar. What gives? My sad inner dialogue morphed into a tinge more dagger-mode when I asked the dental hygienist if something specific could be giving her cavities, & she responded, Well, she doesn’t floss. LISTEN, SHEILA. Are you here to tell me all the other four year olds out there have flossing parties, & we just aren’t being invited? Floss this, Sheila. My inner dialogue is full of immense grace & beauty.
Anyway, between her diagnosis & the actual fillings taking place, I scheduled an appointment for her to see my dentist, just to make sure we weren’t being had. (We weren’t.) And to be fair, I’m a little cautious about this because once in high school, a new dentist told me I needed a filling because he could see a cavity possibly starting to form. He wanted to schedule pronto. I went back to my old dentist, & he saw nothing. I’ve never had (or needed) a filling. But alas, Collins did. I blame her father. He must have not flossed as a child, either. And for the record, neither do I. I once went to Arby’s with a friend & her mom in the 7th grade, & after we were done, she handed out portioned floss like an after dinner mint to both of us. I vowed to be cool like them & start flossing after that adventure. I’ve done it twice a year since. Gotta prep for those semi-annual dental appointments somehow, know what I’m saying?
Moving on– my friend, Sara, works for my dentist, & she won Collins’ heart within the first two minutes of her being in the chair. Sara talked about watching Collins’ cooking show & how she was a fan. She mentioned Collins should bake brownies on her cooking show soon, & ever since then, Collins has been set on making brownies for Miss Sara.
Sara, I hope you like the brownies. I found a recipe with lots of healthy gems baked inside so you don’t feel like you have to run all the miles after. Which, honestly, I hope nobody ever feels after they enjoy any brownie. Life was meant to be lived, sisters.
HIDDEN GEM BROWNIES by paleOMG
1 C shredded white sweet potato (peeled) (I recommend using white if you can, but I didn’t have access to one, so I used an orange one)
1 C shredded zucchini (I forgot to peel mine, but it didn’t seem to matter here– the peel is so fine) (After you shred, drain all the water you can– squeeze with towel or paper towels over the sink.)
1 packed C fresh spinach
1 C dark chocolate chips, melted (I used 85% dark chocolate- linked. They definitely made for some dark brownies. If you want something a little creamier, go less on your percentage.)
1/2 C chocolate hazelnut butter (Use whatever brand you want, but I’ve linked the kind I used, & it’s DELICIOUS. I may have used it in my smoothie today.)
1/3 C melted coconut oil (I didn’t melt mine because it was pretty liquidy at room temperature already. You just need it to be stirrable. I made up two words in this parenthetical.)
1/3 C maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup. REAL maple syrup. You can get it at any grocery store or click the link for amazon!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
handful chocolate chunks (I just finished off the bag of dark chocolate chips instead.)
1 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish & then stick parchment paper down. (You can technically skip the greasing & just use parchment if you want– just put some canisters or something in the dish to mold the paper for easier pouring later.)
2 Place shredded sweet potato, shredded & drained zucchini, & spinach in your food processor & pule until combined. (I used a rubber spatula to scrape the sides halfway through to break down the spinach more.)
3 Add in melted chocolate, hazelnut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, baking soda, & salt. Pulse until combined well.
4 Stir in chocolate chips (or if you’re like me & forget this step, just pour them on top of your batter before sticking in the oven).
5 Pour your brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.
6 Bake for 50-60 minutes (We actually ended up baking for closer to 65 minutes, probably because the middle didn’t seem fully set, & while I would be perfectly okay with that, my kids can be finicky snowflakes about such matters.)
Gobble these up & be amazed that you taste zero vegetation! And then step back & realize they don’t contain flour, either! It’s brownie madness!
Our batch was different than traditional brownies in the way that it was difficult to pick up a good size square without it falling apart. Maybe if I had squeezed even more water out of the zucchini, this wouldn’t have been the case, but it didn’t make that big of a difference. For the kids, I put a square of brownie in their bowls & topped with whipped cream & raspberries. Like most of our baked goods, we enjoy all we want that afternoon, & then I store the rest in the freezer for a later treat date. I have the biggest sweet tooth in our house, so this is really solely for my own protection.
As always, we’ll see you on Fridays over on Instagram Live at 2:30 for our next cooking show!