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Kale Brownies

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Yes, kale brownies…

I promise I’m not crazy.

Kale Brownies? If you're feeling adventurous, give these brownies a try. They just might surprise you! http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/08/08/kale-brownies/

Well maybe just a little bit.

When I first started blogging, I loved to see what google searches were leading people to the site. A few of my favorites:

  • Chocolate covered bumblebees
  • Chocolate covered grasshoppers
  • How to turn your boyfriend into a pig
  • Ugliest banana ever
  • Sarah Palin is a pumpkin
  • Eat cheese or die
  • Toes taste like tator tots

(Really I have no idea about the last one… it’s quite perplexing disturbing. And my apologies to whomever found the blog while searching for “eat cheese or die.” Most likely my site was a big disappointment.)

Kale Brownies

And then there were the two people who found my blog by typing “kale brownies” into the search bar. Although I didn’t actually have such a recipe posted at the time, the idea intrigued me. I’ve done cauliflower cake, spinach ice cream, zucchini coconut cream pie, chickpea blondies, zucchini muffins (maybe that last one isn’t so out-of-the-ordinary)… In other words, I’m open-minded about trying odd-sounding foods. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Japan, where they often put beans in desserts and where green tea ice cream is a staple. Or maybe it’s just because I’m overly curious.

In any case, this is one of the rare recipes on my site that I probably wouldn’t serve to someone who isn’t open-minded or into healthy eating. It’s not that the kale brownies aren’t rich and delicious (they are!), but you can see flecks of green in them, which is an instant giveaway to their healthfulness. Still, if you consider yourself an adventurous person, do give these brownies a try. They might just surprise you!

kale fudge brownies

Kale Brownies

Adapted from Zucchini Brownies

  • loosely-packed 3 cups kale or spinach leaves (80g)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (120g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups water (360g)
  • 3 tbsp ground flax (18g)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil (115g)
  • 1 cup coconut flour (135g) (Coconut-free recipes are linked at the very bottom of this post.)
  • 3/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder (65g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (150g)
  • 1/16 tsp pure stevia, or 2 extra tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, or grease well. Blend together the first 6 ingredients (if using coconut oil, make sure applesauce and water are not cold).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly combined, pour into the prepared pan, then use a full sheet of parchment or wax paper to press down firmly until the batter evenly covers the pan. Bake 19-20 minutes. Pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment paper. Let brownies sit 15 minutes before cutting into squares. (As a general rule, cutting brownies with a plastic knife prevents crumbling.) They taste 10 times better the next day, so make them in advance if possible. Makes 20-24 squares. (Frosting recipe is below the next photos.)

Kale Brownies Nutrition Facts

Kale Brownies   kale fudge brownies

Frost the coconut flour brownies with either my Healthy Chocolate Frosting or with the following:

  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder (40g)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or agave (30g)
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted (75g)
  • chocolate chips for the tops, optional

Mix the frosting ingredients to form a sauce. Spread over the kale brownies, top with chocolate chips if desired, then refrigerate or freeze 10-20 minutes; the sauce magically transforms into chocolate frosting! Due to the melty nature of the coconut oil, the frosted brownies are best stored in the refrigerator or freezer (they thaw well). The healthy brownies are high in fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar or sugar-free, and they also offer Omega 3s! (If you prefer coconut-free brownies, try my Black Bean Brownies or Pumpkin Brownies.)

baked oatmeal

Link of the Day: Baked Oatmeal

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Lisa says:

    I’ve heard of spinach brownies, but never kale brownies! I admit, I like this idea of sneaking in a little bit of veggies into desserts. Although, if my friends found out I did this, I’m pretty sure they’d disown me;)

    1. Katherine says:

      oh yeah . . . I made my friend taste my black bean brownies (CCK’s recipe) and she was disgusted, and now all of my other friends know about it and will bring it up at least once a week :0

      1. Sarah says:

        I love the black bean brownies! It’s all about keeping quiet about the secret ingredients for the “traditional eaters”. :)

  2. Hollie says:

    I actually don’t know of too many bloggers that have baked kale into recipes. That is interesting Katie. I like zucchini brownies/cake a lot so could probably adapt a recipe as well from that.

    1. Kim says:

      They look yummy to me! I like the green :) Definitley going to give them a try!

  3. Alya says:

    Hey Katie, these look so so delicious (even with the greens visible hehe)

    I was just wondering but did you miss two days of posting? or maybe I just missed the past two recipes?! so I hope all is well!

    Keep on baking and thank you for all the healthy goodness 😀

  4. Livi says:

    just when I thought I couldn’t love kale any more…. this happened. I’m so excited to try this recipe!

    1. Aubrey says:

      I totally agree! I just had a huge kale salad and then read this post and was like – YES! Eat more kale! Kudos to CCK for another wondrous recipe. I wonder, can you sub whole wheat pastry flour for the coconut flour?

  5. Katie, you are so creative! Your recipes always amaze me. I don’t think anyone in my family would give these a try (unfortunately) so I’ll just have to make these when they’re not around. 😉 Oh well, more for me!

  6. I am a little skeptical I must say….but the chocolate looks Oh so good!!

  7. These look amazing, I love adding healthy ingredients to puddings & these are superfood brownies – I found your site from my chocolate radar…not by your know…searching for toes or anything like that…Plus my boyfriend is pretty adaptable to acting like a pig without instruction :)

  8. Tina says:

    Do you think these would work without the xylitol/sugar, adding more stevia (liquid). I love that they have coconut flour and no eggs. I’m sensitive to eggs and makes it difficult being grain free. Thanks! Tina

  9. KonaGirl says:

    These look great! Can’t wait to try them!

    Is it okay to ask followers for brand info and/or recommendations? Wondering if anyone currently uses NuNaturals stevia, and if so where to purchase? Or did the company/product change? I can’t find NuNaturals at Whole Foods or any similar brick and mortar; I’ve seen it on Amazon however some of the comments suggested the product (or at least the product sold by Amazon) had changed in taste. Does anyone know if it NN stevia is still available, or if not, can anyone recommend a Stevia brand for baking?

    1. Agata says:

      I buy mine at http://www.iherb.com
      I do not think the taste has changed… at least i did not notice anything. I have been ordering from this site since like forever, never had any problems.
      They also give a sweet deal for new customers : use this code at checkout JZQ840 and get $10 off and free shipping on your first order!

      1. KonaGirl says:

        Thanks, Agate. For the link and coupon code!

  10. Erin says:

    You rock my world with your creativeness! I’m definitely going to try these : )

  11. Oh I totally need to try making these! I love that you use coconut flour. We have a lot of that at home :)

    1. jan says:

      Jan

      1) where do you find coconut flour, or coconut oil for that matter? I live in a small town with a small Wal-Mart and a small Food Lion available. I haven’t really been into “healthy’ cooking before so really haven’t even looked for these products. 2) Also, flax flour. I’d hate to have to buy a 5 lb. bag if that’s what it comes in for 3 Tbls! 3) And can someone tell me how I can print the recipe off so I don’t have to run to the computer (not close to my stove) to check on things while I’m baking.

      1. I’m not sure if you meant to comment on my reply specifically, but I’ll try to answer your questions anyways :)

        1. Some Walmarts carry coconut and coconut oil. Mine carries just coconut flour though. Thankfully we have stores about 30 minutes away that carry coconut flour. I think Food Lion can do special order service for those types of ingredients if you check their website.

        2. Many vegan recipes you flax seed and it lasts awhile so if you do end up with a big bag it won’t be wasted 😀 If you can’t get ground flax seed like the recipe calls for, you can just grind it in a coffee grinder if necessary.

        3. I don’t believe Katie has a printer option yet (they can sometimes really mess up wordpress and/or other blog themes). You have a few things that you can do to print the recipe: a. Run your cursor over the text, copy, paste into a word document, and print that. b. Make sure that the full recipe is on your screen and press the PrntScr button then paste in word document and print. c. Click the printer icon in your internet browser, preview and print only the pages that include the recipe.

        Hope that helps! :)

      2. Crystal says:

        Coconut flour often hides in the organic or healthy section of the store, and both coconut flour and coconut oil can hide on the top and bottom shelves. But if fervent searching isn’t enough, you can always buy online. Amazon has quite a few brands for decent prices. (Links at the bottom–careful, though, as some of the listed prices are for several pounds!)
        Flax also often hides in the “healthy foods” section. If you can’t find it, you can always order some online. Another option–assuming it is within your diet–is to just substitute an egg! One tablespoon of flax seeds + 2-3 tablespoons of water functions as a vegan “egg.” So, to adjust Katie’s recipe, you could add 3 eggs, ignore the flax seed, and reduce the water by about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup.

        Good luck!

        Links!
        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=coconut%20flour&sprefix=coconutf%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acoconut%20flour
        http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Organic-Coconut-Flour—/dp/B0098OD4DO/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1377030806&sr=8-9&keywords=coconut+flour
        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=coconut+oil&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acoconut+oil
        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=flax+seed+ground&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aflax+seed+ground

      3. Danielle says:

        Amazon carries it too :)

      4. Katherine says:

        this is a bit late, but flax seed in oatmeal is fantastic.

      5. Minna says:

        I know I’m answering this very late (like a year late), but I order many unusual supplies (flax, coconut oil, xylitol, stevia, etc.) from iherb.com. I absolutely do NOT work for / post for that site — I’m just a very happy and very regular customer! :-) I think it’s also possible to find those items via amazon.com as well, and both of those sites offer free shipping within the USA, I believe! (I’m in Belgium so REALLY appreciate the fact that iherb ships internationally for CHEAP!!!)

  12. Katie Ann says:

    I always think about how I could make up a batch of one of your recipes and then take them to work to share with my coworkers so that my husband and I are not left eating an entire cake or something.

    However, I work in a police department. I can only imagine how homemade brownies with green flecks in them would go over there…heh…

  13. LOL I love the search keywords!!!!!! They are hilarious! And yes, disturbing at the same time. I should start looking at them for my blog too. Maybe I’ll find some gems. Great brownies – I never had kale in brownies before!

  14. Muskaan says:

    Hi, Katie! I made your zucchini brownies before and just finished them :( that was so sad. Anyway, can I use egg replacer in place of the ground flax? Thanks!

    1. Yes, use 2 tsp egg replacer (energ) in place of 2 tbsp flax. Leave all liquid the same.

      1. Muskaan says:

        Thanks! These look delicious :)

      2. SGM says:

        And my guess is 3 tsp Ener-G for 3 TBSP of ground flax (that’s how much this recipe calls for)…? :)

  15. Chris says:

    Awesome! Can you make these with just stevia rather than xylitol?

    Thanks!

  16. My first thought when I read the title of this post? “Whoa.”
    You’re so creative – love this! I just recently made your healthy zucchini brownies recipe and both my husband and I had no trouble eating them up :)

  17. Danielle says:

    Okay – I am definitely making these! I love when veggies are secretly in baked goods haha.

  18. Rosanne says:

    Katie, when you say “blend together the first 6 ingredients” do you mean to actually put these in a blender and hit go? You mention flecks of visible green in the brownie so I’m a little confused. And also more specifically – are you using baby kale or are you using bunched kale with the large stems? Are we including the stems? Are we discarding? Other recipes have you removing any large/woody stems and steaming/wilting the greens and then blending in a blender. Thanks for your feedback and recipe with great ingredients!

    1. Yes, actually blend in a blender. You can use any kale (baby or regular), but do discard the stems. I will edit my post to be more specific. Thanks for the comment :).

      1. Natalie says:

        Haha I should have read this before makin them. I thought it was a little weird just mixing the kale and wet ingredients together. They tase good just super big pieces of kale lol

      2. tami paul says:

        Used all the kale. Blended in one of those fancy ninjas. The taste was great did the healthy frosting, peanutbutter pieces. But the texture was rather loose. Hoping for more of a set tomorrow but might bake the next a little longer

  19. matcha says:

    I loved the healthy idea, thanks!

  20. I made kale meatloaf a couple of weeks ago, and it was such a disaster that kale has kind of scared me off, to be honest. BUT I made some muffins with veggies in them, and they came out well. I would give these a try!

  21. Amy says:

    I made your zucchini brownies yesterday, so good! Curious if you think you could make these kale brownies with the zucchini in them as well?

  22. Melissa says:

    Wow, so interesting and unique! I’ve only ever had kale in its raw form, or as “chips,” but this is definitely interesting!

  23. Like Lisa, I’ve heard of spinach brownies but would never have thought the strong (& gorgeous) bitterness of kale would fly in brownies. I am extremely open-minded about ingredients (as a look at my blog would confirm), so I will definitely make these soon and report back. Looking forward to it actually :-)

  24. Catherine says:

    Mmmmm, kale is my all-time favorite vegetable ever! Bookmarking for this winter when I will hopefully be growing it again….

  25. Kelly Marie says:

    Do you keep the kale/spinach in the full leaf or chop it? or food processor perhaps?

    1. Blend. A food processor would be fine.

  26. Aparna says:

    While I do love kale…I think I prefer it in savory dishes. Though I guess if I can eat zucchini muffins, this is just the next step. Actually, the bitterness of kale could go well with chocolate… possibilities.
    I still need to try your pumpkin brownies, so baby steps. You have the best assortment of healthful desserts I have yet to experiment with, so let the baking begin!

  27. Andrea says:

    Oops – I posted this in the wrong place! I’ll try again…
    Hi Katie- I don’t know what I did wrong, but the recipe is pretty wet. So where you say to take parchment paper to “press down” the batter – there’s nothing to press down! I just poured it in the pan (like a cake batter). It does taste good, but is the amount of water right? Thanks!

    1. Hey Andrea,
      Can you tell me more specifics… what brand of coconut flour you used? And any other specifics if possible. The amount of water is right, but maybe different coconut flour brands soak up more liquid than others? I’m not sure… definitely reply back if you can, because I want to get to the bottom of it!

      1. Christine says:

        I made these and used 1/2 homemade coconut flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour [because when I ran to Kroger to buy some they did not have coco flour]. I also used Coconut Palm sugar. My brownies came out very “oily” and I didn’t read all the posts to see that you put the kale in a blender… LOL! Used melted Coco oil and ground Cacao Beans. I want them to be yummy too! Any help is appreciated!

  28. This is just what I need because I never can get enough greens in! I’ve done this with sweet potatoes but never greens! I’ll have to give it a try!

  29. Aggie says:

    Mmmm! Do you know if any flour will work, or just coconut? Can’t wait to try them!

    1. Carrie says:

      I used whole wheat flour on these and they turned out perfectly.

  30. Gotta say, not sure if I’m adventurous enough for these. But I’d definitely be into tricking someone to see what they say 😉

  31. Lyza says:

    As much as I love to make green juice, I don’t think that this moment anything could persuade me to consume the last of my kale as much as this recipe!!

  32. Becca says:

    Katie, you are my hero! I absolutely love kale, and now that I’ve gotten my family (who are, as a rule, opposed to most vegetables) hooked on it, I am definitely going to try this recipe on them. Thank you for such a creative use of kale :)

  33. These look awesome!! I never would have guessed you could put kale into brownies. So cool! They look so delish. 😀
    I’d never had kale until like a week ago, and I LOVE IT. The stuff is amazing! Now I know why everyone else is obsessed with it. :) haha!
    Pinning these! 😀

  34. I LOVE kale!! They are one of the few things I grow in my patio garden! :-) What a creative use for them!

  35. Lee Ann says:

    Katie, should the kale be chopped?
    Also, mine was very liquidy too. Maybe too much oil?
    I’m pretending that it is a lava cake.
    Still tastes good though.

    1. It should be blended with the other ingredients as mentioned in the directions… definitely shouldn’t be liquidy… can you tell me more specifics about what brand of coconut flour you used? I am sorry for the trouble but would definitely like to figure out what might’ve happened.

      1. Lee Ann says:

        I made my own coconut flour. I added an extra 1/3 cup because it was still so liquidy. The gram measurement of the applesauce and oil – are they correct?

      2. Yes everything is correct… but maybe you can’t use your own coconut flour? I think actual coconut flour from a store has been dehydrated… for homemade, did you just pulverize shredded coconut or did you soak and dehydrate?

      3. Lee Ann says:

        I toasted it, then ground it up.
        Next time, I will use commercial coconut flour.

  36. I always laugh at the google search terms that lead people to find my site. Sometimes they are so obscure! I would love to give these a try, any way I can add more greens into my day is a bonus for me!

  37. Faye says:

    Lovely-looking brownies! Just wondering, if you closed your eyes and ate them, would you taste/feel the kale leaves?

    1. Hmmm… I don’t think you would :)

  38. Sue says:

    I wonder if i could use nettle leaves in place of the greens?

  39. sam says:

    I love greens!!! That is soo cool that u snuck kale into these. My family is like anti-healthy and believe that desserts should be made the best they can if made at all, which usually means adding a buttload of sugar and butter. -_-
    Just wait until i make these. Then ill show them how amazing healthy and dessert taste together! !! But ill probably tell them about the kale after they’ve licked their plates clean! 😉

  40. Sounds like an interesting combination and they look delicious 😀
    Brownies are my nemesis, I can never get the right. But I shall persevere and make these anyway!

  41. Carrie says:

    Awesome recipe, Katie! I didn’t have kale but was swimming in spinach and decided to make a batch yesterday. I cut the spinach leaves up almost like cutting up basil just because I wasn’t sure my little ones would like the bigger leaves. It was such a BIG hit for our children (all 9 of them) that I made another pan last night. That’s without taking the time to frost them even. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for making them! :)

  42. Jessica says:

    Early on in my blogging days, I actually created a single serve microwave sourdough cake because I noticed a search for “microwave cake sourdough starter”. There’s some benefits to it too!

  43. I have no doubt that these are delicious…as well as all your other recipes! I’ve made chocolate chickpea muffins and white bean vanilla cake the have fooled many! Btw, I’m laughing my head off at the google searches…I’m gonna take a look at mine now 😉

  44. Fiona says:

    Hahaha reading about those Google searches made my day!! They were sooo funny! Thanks for sharing them! I wonder if its possible to dehydrate brownies to keep the kale raw…

  45. Christina says:

    I have a batch in the oven now! How fine did you chop the kale? It seems to be sticking out in random places. Hoping it blends in kind of like zucchini would?

    1. cck says:

      I processed it in a blender, so it was pretty fine.

  46. what an interesting recipe! I love anything with kale! :)

  47. Whoa! My mind is officially blown. I am a LOVER of kale and these are TOTALLY going on my to do baking list!

  48. A.o'brien says:

    Love the searches! I would add peppermint bits to the recipe so my friends didn’t know what the green bits were… Hee hee hee

  49. Tracy says:

    Katie – I can’t seem to find the print button (or share to facebook for that matter) – only pinterest. Am I missing it? I don’t trust myself to bring my laptop in the kitchen without it getting covered in brownie batter

    1. cck says:

      Unfortunately a print button is not yet installed… it is a long story :(. But you can always highlight just the recipe and press control c. Open a word document and press control v. Then print :).

  50. Emily says:

    These sound amazing! Unfortunately, my sister and mother (I’m fourteen), aren’t the most progressive eaters. It took them a while to be turned on to my Greek yogurt cookies. So maybe I need to start with something a bit tamer:-)