As a spoonie, I know that I need to be eating as healthy as possible but, to be honest, I have never been a fan of vegetables. In most cases, it isn’t the taste of the vegetable, but more the texture. I am what they call a textural eater. For example, when it comes to soup, my favorite is cream of broccoli, but I can’t stand eating broccoli. I know, I am weird!
But, let’s be honest…given a choice between a brownie and a green salad, who wouldn’t choose the comforting goodness of a rich brownie?
Over the years, I have played around with adding fruits and veggies into recipes in order to get my recommended servings. Applesauce or sweet potato mash into cakes. Greens and other veggies into my fruit smoothies. But, the other day I had a post on my facebook feed that inspired this recipe. Lee from Fit Foodie Finds shared a recipe for Sneaky Spinach Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins. While these sounded good, my kids aren’t all fans of muffins. But, it got me thinking and I decided to give it a try with my cheesecake brownies.
My garden spinach didn’t do well this year, so all I had in the house was a spinach and arugula mix. While arugula has a bitter taste, I figured this would give the idea a real test. Would the chocolate be enough to hide the flavor? To my surprise, it was more than enough. And we didn’t go light on the greens either. Four full hand fulls of greens go into these nine brownies.
The trick to adding the spinach and arugula to the brownie batter is to get it well blended with the butter. Now, normally I would use my Vitamix blender with greens, but because of the small amount, I didn’t think that would work well. Instead, I grabbed my handy Tribest personal blender, which was just the right size. (On a side note, if you make smoothies, this Tribest blender is perfect for a family that likes different smoothies. It comes with personal cups and you can even order sip lids. And, despite the small size it has the power to make a smoothie smooth). For the brownie batter, you add the melted butter to the blender cup and stuff in your spinach and arugula. Blend for at least a minute until you have a beautifully bright green liquid ready to add to your batter (I must admit, I was a bit worried the cocoa powder wouldn’t be enough to remove the green color, but have no fear…not a trace of green.
Now, since I was adding veggies to the brownie, I figured I would add fruit to the cheesecake and, in my opinion, the best fruit with chocolate is raspberries. So, a raspberry swirl it is! Once everything comes together, this is the final result.
The result is a rich, fudgy brownie and a soft, creamy cheesecake, highlighted with a sweet tang of raspberries. Not a hint of greens…if I didn’t know I put them in there, I wouldn’t believe it myself.
So, as a spoonie that needs to eat well, I can feel a little better when I indulge in a chocolate treat. Who knew comfort food could provide a serving of veggies? I never would have thought. Oh, and all you mom’s out there that can’t seem to get your kids to eat greens…here is your answer!! And you don’t have to do it from scratch either. If you have a boxed cake mix in the house, blend your spinach with the oil or water the box calls for.
If you do try the recipe, I would love to hear what you think!
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 6 ounce package of raspberries (or any other berry)
- 12 Tablespoons butter (melted)
- Spinach and Arugula (I used 4 good sized hand fulls)
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cups flour
- ¾ cups cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sugar
- In a small saucepan, mix together berries, sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring with a whisk to break up the berries.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper
- In a blender or food processor, blend together the spinach, arugula and melted butter until you have a smooth green liquid. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix until egg yolks are broken and well blended.
- Add the flour and cocoa powder and stir until well mixed.
- Pour into the parchment-lined pan. Spread batter our evenly.
- Cream together the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer. Add the yogurt and egg and continue beating for about 2 minutes, until well blended and creamy.
- Pour the cheesecake over the brownie batter. Use a spatula to spread cheesecake evenly and to the edge.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the raspberry topping onto the cheesecake. Use a knife or toothpick to drag the raspberry topping into the cheesecake.
- Place the brownie pan into the oven and cook for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the cheesecake center is solid but still slightly wiggles and the top starts to slightly brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.