I don't think I've ever met a brownie I didn't like. But what I don't like is all the calories, fat and sugar! So I love to find ways to cut those down, without sacrificing taste.
And I have totally succeeded with this recipe! I was blown away by how delicious these Healthy Applesauce & Spinach Brownies are, at only 3 Weight Watchers points on the blue plan per brownie! And they are fairly substantial sized brownies too. Being on Weight Watchers does not mean giving up chocolate. Anyway, I really don't think I could follow a weight loss program that didn't allow me to eat chocolate. That's simply unrealistic, not to mention cruel.
I have always struggled to find tasty, healthy and weight watchers friendly chocolate desserts. And I had a really tough time finding an easy healthy chocolate brownies recipe that met all those requirements, that is, until I created this recipe! These spinach brownies are so good, you won't even believe they are low-fat and healthy too.
🥕🥔Vegetables in Dessert
I'm also huge fan of veggies in my dessert. It just makes me feel like I'm eating something healthier and actually getting some vitamins with my chocolate. And therefore I feel less guilty. Here are some more dessert recipes with veggies:
- Potatoes: Potato Ice Cream
- Beets: Healthy Red Velvet Cookie Recipe (no dye) uses canned beets, as does my Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes with Sweet Chocolate Cream Cheese Butter.
- Zucchini: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lentils: No Bake Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Red Lentil Dessert Lasagna
- Avocados: Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Strawberry Mini Desserts and Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Avocado Icebox Cake
- Carrots: Healthy Carrot Muffins, Healthy Carrot Loaf and Healthy & Light Carrot Cake
- Pumpkin: Healthy Apricot Pumpkin Bran Muffins and Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake with Oreo Cookie Crust
I tried spinach brownies years ago and was pleasantly surprised. My kids also love these brownies with spinach too, even after they found out there was spinach in them. But when they were smaller, I would hide veggies in my brownies. Although there are those that believe you shouldn't trick your kids into eating vegetables by 'hiding' them in food, I am all for hiding veggies in food!
"Whatever it takes", is my motto. I've heard the argument that you need to teach kids to get used to eating veggies, straight up, right from the start. And although I always tried to get them to eat veggies in their original state, a little bit of extra healthy stuff hidden in dessert never hurt anyone! Plus, slipping extra veggies into my baking or sauces and soups (where it was appropriate) is something I've always done, long before I even had kids. I see it as a bonus.
I believe vegetables definitely have a place in desserts! This delicious Healthy Tropical Green Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe is also made with spinach and another example of a delicious sweet with made with veggies. It's so tasty won the Old Farmer's Almanac Spinach contest in 2017.
And kids love my Healthy Jello Fruit and Veggie Snacks (as do adults!)
Jessica Seinfeld's book, "Deceptively Delicious" came out when my kids were little. She included a lot of really great recipes with vegetable purees, including a spinach brownie recipe. But she advocated that you have a routine and devote a great deal of time each week to steaming, pureeing and freezing vegetables. I don't have that kind of time on my hands, so I make them as needed. In this recipe I used the microwave to quickly steam the spinach, then pureed it.
This Healthy Applesauce Brownie with spinach is the hybrid of Jessica Seinfeld's spinach brownies, another low-fat brownie that I got out of newspaper almost 30 years ago, and a 3rd spinach brownie recipe that I got from I don't know where, mixed in with a dash of my own creativity!
Besides applesauce and spinach, you'll also need:
- all-purpose flour
- semi-sweet chocolate (baking bar)
- baking powder
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- egg whites
- vegetable oil
- brown sugar
Some of the fat in these Weight Watchers friendly low-fat brownies is replaced with unsweetened applesauce. And although applesauce is a great replacement for fat (butter, oil etc) in baking, you need to be careful with it, as it can give your baked goods a chewy texture. But not these guys - these Weight Watchers Brownies are the perfect texture!
- you can use liquid egg whites in a carton, if you don't want to have leftover egg yolks OR make my Quick Blender Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise Sauce with the egg yolks!
- you can use white granulated sugar instead of brown, but it won't have the same rich flavor
- you can use fresh or frozen spinach
💭 Top tip
It's important to cool these brownies completely so you don't taste the spinach!
So, if you are looking for low-fat, low-calorie and healthy spinach brownie recipe that won't blow all your WW points, then give these a try. They also make a great lunchbox snack or dessert for you and the kids!
Have you ever hidden veggies in your food?
📋 Healthy Applesauce & Spinach Brownie Recipe
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 /4 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- ¾ cup spinach puree * This is the equivalent of a 10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach that's been cooked, pureed and drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Coat a 9X13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix spinach with 3 tablespoon water and microwave for 2 minutes. Then blend in food processor until smooth. Drain off excess water. * if you are using frozen spinach, cook in microwave until warm, puree and drain.
- In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler OR in microwave at 50% power for about 1 minute and 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. * I prefer to use the microwave, as it's faster
- Add the spinach puree, applesauce, oil and vanilla and whisk until creamy.
- Whisk in egg whites, then brown sugar.
- Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until blended. Add melted chocolate and stir until completely incorporated.
- Pour the batter in a prepared pan (9X13) and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool completely. * These brownies must be cooled completely before serving to avoid tasting the spinach.
- You can sprinkle a little unsweetened coconut on these brownies for a bit of contrast.