Kale Brownies

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When I heard kale was in our CSA last week, I wasn’t sure what to think. It has a less than appetizing flavor raw and an odd texture when cooked. I had tried kale chips before, which are super tasty, but not ideal when making a bunch of kale at once (they are easy to burn and need to be eaten fresh out of the oven). Last year I pinned a recipe for kale brownies, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to try this recipe. The original recipe was a little heavier (and more unhealthy) than I wanted to make. I search around some more and noticed that really all people seemed to do was add blended/pureed kale to their standard brownie recipes.

I’ve posted before about a delicious No Pudge Brownie recipe that is fat-free and relatively low-sugar. These brownies are great, and not just as a “healthy” brownie recipe. When I worked at the hospital, we made these for a local rural county fair a few years ago. We walked around and asked people if they wanted to try one. We didn’t say we were dietitians or that the brownies were healthy – we just asked if they wanted to try a brownie. They were a hit! People were shocked to find out they were actually quite healthy.

Fast forward to the kale – I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try kale brownies. The result was actually pretty good. I could smell the kale, which wasn’t really that great, but they seemed to taste good! I noticed that when they sat at room temperature the smell of kale was extra strong. The solution? Freeze them. This solved the problem completely and made for a super tasty cold treat. Next time I make them I am going to cut them up into bite-size pieces and freeze them as “Brownie Bites.”

Kale Brownies

Ingredients

  • image (2)3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour (half white, half whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt (no added sugar or artificial sweetener)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large bunch of kale

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Wash kale and remove woody stems. Tear or chop up the kale and place in a food processor. Pulse kale into small pieces. Puree kale.
  3. Add plain yogurt to the kale mixture and push kale down so none of the kale is stuck on the sides. Puree until smooth.
  4. image (4)Add egg whites and vanilla. Puree until smooth.
  5. image (5)Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Be sure to mix so all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Add dry mixture to food processor and pulse until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and finish cooling on a drying rack.

No Pudge Brownies

Last Sunday Jason and I were relaxing on the couch watching our favorite show, Everybody Love’s Raymond. Marie had just made a huge chocolate layer cake that looked delicious. Jason turned to me and said, “Yummmm. I wish I had some chocolate cake.” For some reason I had an inkling to bake, so I replied with, “Okay, I’ll make you some.” After 15 minutes of Jason saying he didn’t need any and then following up with something like, “but, if you want to…” he finally asked for the No Pudge Brownies I had made back in February for Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup flour
– 1/2 cup cocoa
– 2 egg whites
– 2 teaspoons cornstarch
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2/3 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
– nonstick cooking spray

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix all dry ingredients.
3. Add yogurt and mix well. The batter will be very thick.
4. Spray a pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool.

While making the dessert I was trying to decide if I would make any frosting and if so, what kind. We didn’t have much around the house, but when as I was about the throw out the egg yolks I thought about how they could be a cheap fix for frosting. Earlier in the day I had made some iced vanilla coffee and there has a cup left in the refrigerator. I decided a coffee-flavored frosting would be perfect for this brownie. Sure enough, the frosting turned out great and was delicious with the the brownie.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup white sugar
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup powdered sugar
– 2 tbsp cornstarch
– 2 beaten egg yolks
– 1/2 cup chilled coffee
– 1 tbsp butter

Directions
1. In a microwave-safe dish combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the water and then add the egg yolks.
2. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes; be sure to stop it every minute to stir well.
3. Once cooked remove from the microwave and add the butter. Beat with egg beaters on medium speed until thickened and creamy.

*You could also do this on the stovetop in about the same amount of time.

Yes, there is sugar and fat in this dessert, but I tried to minimize how much I used without minimizing the flavor. This is quite rich and I recommend eating it with a tall glass of ice cold skim milk 🙂

No Pudge Brownies

I found this recipe online and can not remember where or from whom. Because of this, I am unable to give credit where credit is due – if this is your recipe, please let me know and I would be happy to cite you.

These brownies are perfect and I am not just saying this because there is no added fat in them! They are so easy to make and taste delicious. Needless to say they did not last long. For Valentine’s Day I decided to make Jason a special treat. So, I baked this brownie in a square pan, cut it out into a heart shape and then frosted it with “some-pudge” frosting, peppermint, and chocolate chips. 

No Pudge Brownies

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients.
  3. Add yogurt and mix well. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool. 
  6. Cut into the desired shape. 
  7. If making into a heart, frost with Neufchatel cheese* frosting. I then topped it with crushed peppermint and chocolate chips.

*Neufchatel cheese is a low-fat version of cream cheese that does not have tons of fillers and additives like most low-fat cream cheese. Use this in place of cream cheese in any cream cheese frosting recipe.