Spinach Ragi Brownies are decadent brownies with a healthy twist if using spinach puree and made with ragi millet flour. It’s a chocolatey flavour and spinach is hidden well inside the chocolate taste. It’s a great way to make the kids eat veggies.
I came across using spinach in brownies about 5 years ago during one of my searches. The idea really intrigued me. I took first step in the direction by using beetroot in cake. That cake is one of the best to date. I even adapted the recipe to make natural red velvet cupcakes.
But never got around to using spinach in my bakes. Finally took the plunge for a friend’s party potluck and made spinach brownies. And when going the healthy way then why not the entire route – so substituted all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, ragi millet flour & sorghum millet flour.
Too much experiment in one dish!! But I think with chocolate I feel much more confident in using new flavours. If it doesn’t work then there is always chocolate to fall back on!
The only thing which did go wrong was the water content increased in the recipe due to addition of spinach puree. I had to increase the timing as center didn’t cook completely. I have updated the recipe by reducing moisture content used, but if you find that the center is very soft and outside is cooked, then I suggest lowering the temperature to 160°C and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake this covered pan for 10-15 minutes till just done with few crumbs sticking.
The flavour of spinach was very nicely camouflaged in the recipe because of chocolate. And you get only a very subtle hint of spinach taste in the end. And that also if you not sure with, always serve with ice-cream and voila you have a winner for the kids.
The original recipe also tastes very good, which I tasted at a friend’s house, she referred me this recipe and I was looking for a new brownie recipe to try.
If you in experimental mood like me, then feel free to add carrot puree, cooked or steamed or beetroot puree as well.
Spinach Ragi Brownies
- 200 gram dark chocolate roughly chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar granulated
- ½ cup yogurt homemade curd or buttermilk
- ½ cup spinach puree made using ½ bunch of fresh spinach leaves
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup ragi millet flour nachani ka atta
- ¼ cup sorghum millet flour jowar ka atta
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup roasted walnuts coarsely chopped
- To start with, puree the spinach. How to puree spinach – If you are using baby spinach then no prep is required, you can directly steam them. But if you are using mature spinach like me, then fold leaves in half lengthwise with the stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf. Now steam the leaves for 30-40 secs. Allow to cool down the leaves and then puree them in a grinder until smooth, without using water.
- Preheat oven to 170 °C. Line and grease 8 inch square pan.
- In a heat proof bowl, add butter and chopped chocolate. Melt them together in microwave using 30 secs spurts. Giving a quick whisk in would help speed up the melting process. Whisk in vanilla and cocoa powder to the butter chocolate mixture. Set aside. Sift all the flours, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.
- Whisk curd, sugar and spinach puree in another big bowl. Add melted chocolate mixture to the yogurt spinach mix. Gently fold in the sieved flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold in roasted walnuts.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes until the tester just comes out clean. A few crumbs sticking to tester are ok. You do not want to over bake a brownie. Let cool. It took longer for me to bake this recipe due to addition of spinach puree as it is high in water content. You would need to monitor the baking after 30 minutes.
- Preferably let the brownies cool overnight and then slice them with a plastic knife instead of a steel one, it is easier to slice the brownies. Serve warm with ice-cream and sauce on the side.
- Due to addition of spinach puree, the timing increased as center didn’t cook completely. I have updated the recipe by reducing moisture content used, but if you find that the center is very soft and outside is cooked, then I suggest lowering the temperature to 160°C and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake this covered pan for 10-15 minutes till just done with few crumbs sticking.
- You can add puree, cooked or steamed carrot or beetroot puree as well.