Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gluten Free Spinach, Blueberry Brownies (Tricky Tuesday!)

Source: iStockPhoto
You too can be as strong as Popeye, without eating spinach in its typical form.  Oh yes, it's true.  Although, of course, I want you to eat spinach it's typical form .....I don't really like the idea of masking healthy foods in sweet treats, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to play a few tricks, right?! 

I'll preface this post by saying that I made these brownies last year, before I learned how to take a halfway decent photo.  I wasn't going to share this recipe, because I was afraid the poor photo quality would turn you away, but then I was hoping my descriptive words would turn you on to the idea of adding spinach to your brownies (after all, spinach works in smoothies quite well!).

Ok, here we go....these brownies were......


Dense and Moist


A chocolatey explosion



Savory and sweet deliciousness

haha, I fail the Food Network Star challenge (have you been watching that show? They had to take a food and talk about it using descriptive words in an attempt to make the viewer hungry.  They were only allowed to use truly descriptive "food" words, not including adjectives like "delicious, amazing, fantastic".  Yeah, failure on my part.)

Ok, back to the brownies.  Whenever I taste something that is really yummy that is loaded with real butter and real sugar, such as cake, cookies or pie, it pretty much always tastes amazing.  But is it any wonder?  I mean, that combination of sugar, fat, and a tiny bit of salt is simply a winning combination that our pallets almost always enjoy.  This is also true with savory food.  The other day I watched someone make baked beans, and they were loading the with chunks of bacon and handfuls of brown sugar.  The end product was apparently amazing (I don't have taste-evision so I couldn't taste it myself), but, why wouldn't it be?   What impresses me is if you can make a really tasty treat (specifically, a dessert!) without loading it with tons of fat and sugar or while also using some more healthy ingredients, such as whole grains, fruits, or....veggies.

The perfect example? These brownies.  They are made with whole grain (and gluten free) brown rice flour, plus spinach, blueberries, and oats (plus butter and sugar, but hey, I wanted these to be palatable!).

Spinach, Blueberry Brownies 
Modified from a recipe from the Chefs at Giant Eagle Market District
Serves: 8

6 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
2 eggs
~10 T sugar
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt (Note: sea salt is normally not used in baking, but I used it in this recipe and I really liked it)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup old fashioned oats **
2 large handfuls raw spinach
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a double broiler or microwave-safe bowl.  Allow to cool slightly.

3.  In a food processor (or Magic Bullet!), puree the blueberries, spinach, lemon juice and water.

4.  Mix together all ingredients except the flour.  After the ingredients are thoroughly combined, gently fold in the flour.

5.  Spray a baking pan (8x8 is best) and pour the batter into the pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPS diet you will be happy to know that this is low FODMAPs!  Also, if you are following a gluten free diet, be sure to use gluten free certified oats (particularly if you have Celiac Disease).

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/8th of recipe
Source: CalorieCount.com

Nutrition Highlights: Ok ok, lots of calories. I get it. And, lots of fat. Let me help; use a non-caloric (or lower calorie) sweetener if you'd like to reduce the sugar, such as Truvia for baking or Splenda for baking.  You could reduce the saturated fat by using margarine (trans fat free of course). You could also reduce the fat (and calories) by using egg beaters instead real egg (use 1/2 cup for 2 eggs). In reality, this is a great dessert for your child who simply doesnt' get enough...vitamin A (that's an excellent source, see?!).  And I might also suggest trying oat bran flour or oat flour instead of rice flour. You would get more fiber out of those flours, and I think they would work just as well as the brown rice flour.

The Candid RD

QUESTION:  What's the strangest ingredient you've ever added to a dessert??

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd


  1. These look amazing! I have way too many blueberries in my fridge and I haven't had dessert in a few weeks (gasp!) so will be making this on the weekend!

  2. i have issues with adding spinach to possibly everything - brownies would be delicious

  3. Would be interesting to put spinach in vegan brownies! I mean, I had black brown beanies with avocado frosting, so that would work also, too :)

    1. Oh yum, sounds wonderful!! Avocado is so creamy so I could definitely see how that would work well.

  4. Love food network star, love demaris. I'm going with Rika- we made avocado brownies. I add very weird things to my smoothies though.

    1. Yep, I'm pretty sure Demaris is going to win. She's the only one with a uniqueness to her. I mean, Russell added whiskey and bacon to ice cream last night.....ummm....that's been done. BORING!

  5. Haha...I add spinach to a lot of things, but I would never think to add it to brownies!!! I have to say though, these look great!

    I agree, I'm much more impressed with delicious healthy cooking-- it's more of a challenge!