brownies dessert gluten-free paleo snacks

Hidden Veggies Two-Bite Brownies w/ Caramel Drizzle

August 25, 2014

It feels like yesterday that I was wearing my unitards and scrunchies heading off to my first day of school! Now I am 2 days away from being a quarter century old AH! Despite not going back-to-school this year, I still consider September as a fresh start. We could all use a clean slate and rid ourselves of some nasty habits we’ve picked up so whether or not you spent your life-savings at Staples we may as well celebrate the start of a new school year.

It seemed fitting to go along with the theme of fresh-starts that my blogging besties and I make a comeback with our healthy meals series. After taking the summer off to focus on family and friends, we decided to get back at it and encourage you to start making healthier choices this school year. Alternatively you can take my route, which is tricking your children into eating their veggies by hiding them in brownies….

Now I’m not totally in the loop with kids these days but I’m fairly certain that brownies remain a popular request. Almost as popular as parents requesting hidden veggie recipes for their kids. As much as I’m sure you and your children want to eat brownies for all meals of the day it might be best that you diversify both of your meal plans, which is where Lee, Lexi and Kelly come in. Together we’ve designed a perfect breakfast, lunch and snack menu packed full of nutrition to please both parents and kiddos alike. But again, if you can’t get them to drink the green smoothie that tastes like a candy bar, you can at least agree to an extra brownie which you secretly know is an extra serving of veggies 😉

A healthy back-to-school menu to please kids and adults alike! // thehealthymaven.com1. Lee’s Vanilla Bean Breakfast Quinoa

2. Lexi ‘s Crispy Chicken Strips

3. Kelly’s Almond Joy Green Smoothie

Dinner is up for grabs and after a long day you may not want to spend a ton of time making it, but at least you can feel better knowing you had a day packed full of healthy eats. So indulge yourself a little and then wake up and start those healthy eats all over again 😉

Hidden Veggies Two-Bite Brownies + A healthy back-to-school menu to please kids and adults alike! //


Hidden Veggies Two-Bite Brownies w/ Caramel Drizzle

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 15 brownies 1x


  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar*
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the caramel drizzle**:

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in water for at least 2 hours (reserve water dates were soaking in)
  • 1/4 cup date water (water dates were soaked in)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fill up a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling add sweet potato and let cook for 10-12 minutes or until soft.
  4. Remove from stove and pour into a colander to strain the water. Run cold water over sweet potatoes for 1 minute to cool them down.
  5. Add sweet potatoes to a food processor or high-speed blender and add in baby spinach, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add in eggs and blend until just combined.
  7. Add in coconut palm sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Blend until smooth.
  8. Grease a regular muffin tin with coconut oil or non-stick spray and pour batter into cups filling only a 1/3 of each cup.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Bake less for fudgier brownie or longer for more crumbly.
  10. Let sit for 20 minutes before removing from muffin pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.

For the caramel drizzle**:

  1. Clean out the food processor or blender and combine all drizzle ingredients blending until smooth. You will need to scrape down sides every once and a while. Mine takes about 5 minutes.
  2. Scoop mixture into a ziploc bag and cut off a small corner.
  3. Squeeze to drizzle over brownies.

*Can use brown sugar instead.
**drizzle is optional but it is delish!


Hidden Veggies Two-Bite Brownies + A healthy back-to-school menu to please kids and adults alike! // thehealthymaven.comAre you going back-to-school this year? If not, do you still see it as a fresh start?


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  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 6:40 am

    I love it when you get some veggies into something sweet – genius.
    This is such a great series and will help a load of Mama’s (and Pops) out there!
    I am going back to school in February… Weird Ozzy seasons!!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    August 25, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I am actually planning to attempt my first breakfast quinoa tomorrow – oatmeal is SO last season!
    I am kind of obsessed that you made brownies out of veggies. So I can eat these instead of the grilled zucchini I had on the menu tonight right? 😉 Pinned!

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    August 25, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Yummy looking brownies, and that is a very sneaky way of getting veggies in! Love the caramel sauce, that complements brownies perfectly. I really should hop on the healthy dessert train, just not sure I am ready to give up ice cream yet 😉

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 25, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Little Bites and Bars are so perfect for lunches and snacks!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    August 25, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Cannot believe you managed to hide spinach.

    You rock that unitard like a bosssss.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    August 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    September is definitely a fresh start! Since I work at a college I still get the urge to run out to Staples and buy new mechanical pencils and notebooks every year. All those recipes look delish!

  • Reply
    erin @ The Almond Eater
    August 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Obvi the brownie/cookie was my favorite part of my lunch growing up. And how did we get so old??!! I swear it was just yesterday I was rockin’ my Catholic school uniform…

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming
    August 25, 2014 at 8:05 am

    ugh i need to make these! what would you suggest for the amount if i’m using frozen spinach? they look sooo good!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    August 25, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Fall has always felt like a fresh start to me too — probably even more than New Years. And I actually -am- going back to school this year! I need a My Little Ponies lunchbox filled with these 😀

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    August 25, 2014 at 8:17 am

    HEY. WHERE’S MY TOASTER STRUDEL?! I was counting on that. *crying*
    I guess brownies will make up for it, idk.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Mmmh sweet potato brownies are so good! Plus spinahc – must be a winner!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Leftovers! Soups and stews are best.

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    August 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Maybe I should take the hidden veggies approach to feeding John…. Just kidding (kind of), he is pretty good about vegetables, that’s the nice thing about being married to someone who will eat absolutely anything. It’s very weird for me not to be going back to school this year, but it’s even weirder to be starting a job that I don’t already know I’ll be leaving at a preset time. I guess that makes me a real grown up now. It’s about time.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    August 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I recently learned that even though I will pass on eating sweet potatoes like you eat regular potatoes, I LOVE them when they’re included in other things. I’m definitely looking for quick and easy snacks that I can bring to class with me, so this is perrrrfect!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    August 25, 2014 at 10:06 am

    As soon as I’m back home in Virginia, I’m totally making that almond joy green smoothie!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish
    August 25, 2014 at 10:58 am

    This recipe should soooo be in my book, LOL. 🙂 Love it!!!!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Sometimes I would LOVE to go back to school! Especially with a box packed with all these goodies…..2 hidden veggies in a brownie, now that is pretty cool!
    I love the look of these chicken strips too. Plain chicken is so yesterday!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Love this idea! I like to consider September a fresh start, especially after a summer of fun!

  • Reply
    Consuelo - Honey & Figs
    August 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Yay, I’m starting uni next week and cannot wait to try all of these. Those brownie bites are calling my name 😉 Great round-up, ladies! xxxx

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    These meal ideas all look so yum!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    August 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Yum, I must try these brownies! They look sneaky healthy, which I always get a kick out of.

    Cute, it’s awesome when you team up with other fab bloggers like this!

  • Reply
    Alessandra // the foodie teen
    August 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Brownies are CERTAINLY still popular, coming from this 15-year-old! 😉 They look absolutely fantastic!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    August 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    All these recipes look fantastic! Loving the look of your brownies especially. 😀 Even though I’m not going back to school this year, I’m hoping to start working sometime in the near future, so I’ll definitely need to get back on track with healthy meal planning when I do.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I know what would happen if I made the healthy brownies – I would use that as all the justification I need to eat the entire batch – forget feeding them to my boys!! I should try these just because one of our favorite dinner games is to guess ingredients – I feel sure that they would never guess these (and I would never tell!!!

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    August 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I love sneaking veggies in wherever I can. Great recipe roundup!

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    August 26, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Love the recipe ideas and those brownies look fab!
    I am going back to school this year – training to become a health coach! So excited but nervous too – I graduated from uni in ’07 and thought my school days were over! But I guess you are never too old to go back to school 🙂

  • Reply
    Pamela Gurganus
    August 26, 2014 at 10:19 am

    My favorite back to school recipe is a wrap, pinwheel or roll-up that the kids love with turkey and veggies.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    TWO CUPS OF SPINACH? Did you seriously make these JUST FOR ME??? Making ASAP!!! (aka once I’m back from Boston… or tonight… if I have spianch).

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    August 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Best roundup of recipes (and lovely bloggers) ever!! Seriously. I want to faceplant into like ten bites with a smoothie on the side. Oh and then some keen-wa.

  • Reply
    Thomas Murphy
    August 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I like to make brownies for back to school.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I made these and they tasted great, but they were a bit mushy & seemed undercooked – even with extra cooking time.
    I think my sweet potato must have been on the “larger” size.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2014 at 1:40 am

    can i make a cake insted of Brownies ?

  • Reply
    Tracey @ A Taste of Trace
    September 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    These brownies just came out of the oven and they are delicious!! 🙂 I made them vegan by subbing 2 chia eggs. I also used kale instead of spinach. They’re so fudgy & chocolatey (both not words.. apparently. Thanks, spell check.. :\ ). Can’t wait to give them to unsuspecting friends!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      September 29, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      So happy to hear they turned out well with chia eggs! Glad you liked them 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Hi, I made your Hidden Veggie Two Bite Brownies tonight! I have to say they came out really good! I was very impressed. I did a test batch tonight because next week I am having a “Sneaky Food Social” at work for my patients. I think they will really enjoy these and be very surprised when they find out the ingredients! Thank you!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    how big of a sweet potato would I need?

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