They’ll Never Know It’s In There

We all know the health benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables in our daily diets.  But getting kids to eat vegetables can be one of the toughest jobs a parent has, or so I’ve been told.  Not having children of my own, except the four-legged kind, I have to rely on what actual parents tell me.  My four-legged children eat their vegetables all the time, and they never complain about it either, but I digress.  So, how can parents get their kids to eat more vegetables?  Hide them.  Hide them in something they readily eat, and they will never even know the difference.  So what is a fool proof way to hide the vegetables you want your kids to eat?  Hmmmmm.  BROWNIES!  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Kids love brownies.  They gobble them up as fast as they can.  Hide the vegetables in the brownies.  It will make the brownies a bit more healthy and your kids will eat their vegetables too.  It is a win/win situation.  That is exactly what I did too, not so much for kids, but for Larry.

As you know, my kitchen seems to be secretly growing zucchini.  I started off with the one HUGE MONSTER zucchini that Larry brought home from work one day, and they just kept appearing in my kitchen, seemingly out of nowhere.  This was the first of the zucchini invaders.

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Then another one showed up while I was still trying to figure out how to use up the first one.

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And they just kept coming and multiplying.

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I think I am finally getting the zucchini invasion under control, and I am down to only about 1 1/2 at this point.  AND I love zucchini too.  I have been throwing it into everything lately.  My latest effort to control the zucchini invasion in my kitchen was to put some into brownies.  All I can say to that is ….. YUM, YUM!

I came across this brownie recipe that also added 2 cups of shredded zucchini to the mix.  WOW!!!  They are so moist and flavorful.  They are decadently delicious without the decadence.  I  shared them with a friend yesterday and she said they were some of the best brownies she had ever had.

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Zucchini Brownies

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1 1/2 sticks melted butter

2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso

2 cups shredded zucchini

powdered sugar for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C

Line a 9×9 baking dish with aluminum foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray.  This is a new trick I just learned myself.  The brownies just pop right out and clean-up is a breeze.

Mix the sugar, salt, and vanilla together.  Melt the butter and then mix in the coffee.  Add the butter and coffee mixture to the sugar mixture and blend everything together well.

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Whisk the eggs together then add to the butter-sugar mixture.  Mix together until just blended in.  The more air you mix into the batter, the crispier the brownies will be, and who wants crispy brownies.  Brownies, after all, are supposed to be soft and ooey and gooey.

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In a separate bowl, mix the flour and cocoa powder together, then fold into butter, egg and sugar mixture.

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Mix everything together, again, only until just blended.  Once your batter is done, add the zucchini and continue to mix until everything is thoroughly mixed together.  Then pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until the brownies are set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Once the brownies are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely to continue to set, before cutting.  Then cut them into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

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I guarantee, if you add zucchini to the brownie mixture, the kids will love them and they won’t even be able to tell they are there and you can sit back with a smug grin on your face knowing you actually got your kids to eat their vegetables.  It’s a win/win.  Everyone is happy.

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

24 thoughts on “They’ll Never Know It’s In There”

      1. I remember trying beet brownies because “you can’t tell it’s not a real brownie”. I don’t mind beets, so I gave it a go. But I COULD tell something was wrong. I wouldn’t necessarily identify the main ingredient, but I knew something was not as it should be.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I used to lead a Bible study with middle school students after school, and as a snack I always had a variety of veggies with ranch dressing for dipping. They seemed to love them. At least, no matter how much I brought, they were gone within minutes. (You haven’t lived till you’ve seen a couple of seventh grade boys fight over the last piece of broccoli.) Maybe the problem is that kids come home famished, eat a lot of junk food, and then have no appetite by dinner time. Maybe the time to offer them vegetables is when they first get home and are hungry. I also suspect that once their bodies start to recognize that these little green things are good nutrition, they’ll start to crave them. At least I’ve found that to be true for myself. I am a pretty bona fide health nut, and I find I’m not tempted much by sugary, greasy things – although tortilla chips can still be my downfall.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like sweets, but I don’t like pain, and sugar aggravates arthritis. Before I knew the source of all that inflammation, I was barely able to walk. Once I gave up sugar, I felt a huge difference in the first 48 hours or so. Now I sweeten things with stevia, and my joints are a lot more cooperative.

        Liked by 1 person

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