You read that right… I said zucchini in brownies. On most days I would tell you that vegetables and chocolate just don’t mix. Under normal circumstances I might even say that fruit and chocolate don’t really belong together. But those circumstances don’t apply to these brownies. It’s ok to break the rules here… I promise!
I know I’m not alone in having an abundance of summer zucchini at the moment. Even if you don’t grow zucchini, those that do are trying desperately to use up as much as they can and pawn the rest off on family, neighbors, and coworkers. I have a huge one sitting in my kitchen right now and I’ve already made zucchini bread, zucchini corn muffins, eggs with zucchini, and zucchini brownies (twice!). Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining. It’s not a bad problem to have. This time of year just requires a little creativity in how we incorporate vegetables into our cooking and baking. For instance, when my friend mentioned to me that zucchini brownies were amazing, I had to take a leap of faith and trust her enough to put chocolate on my vegetables.
The result was amazing! These chocolaty brownies are indulgent with the extra added benefit of being much healthier than my regular go-to brownie recipe. You won’t see any trace of zucchini (2 cups worth!) in your finished product. And, if you’re watching your fat intake, you could even take it one step further and replace the oil with applesauce. So if you’re planning to share your brownies, or you’re just feeling wild and crazy, use white flour and coconut oil. Or, if it’s a random tuesday night and you’re planning to eat 1/2 the pan by yourself, maybe consider using whole wheat flour and applesauce instead. You will still end up with a fudgy and delicious treat!
For those of you that need more zucchini inspiration, I have another gem for you next week. Until then, your weekend assignment is to make these brownies!
Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Yield: One 8×8 pan of brownies
1 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (OR vegetable oil OR smooth unsweetened applesauce)
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup + 2 teaspoons whole wheat pastry flour (OR regular pastry flour OR all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but whatever you prefer would work)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with a piece of foil so that the edges drape over the sides of the pan. Spray the foil and the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, oil (or applesauce, if using) and salt until combined.
- Sift 1 cup of flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cinnamon into the bowl of wet ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Stir in the grated zucchini.
- In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of flour to coat. Don’t skip this step… it helps to prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom of your brownies.
- Fold the chocolate chips into the brownie batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
- Bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out relatively clean.
- Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature before removing them from the pan and slicing.