I ran across a recipe a while back for zucchini brownies. I was instantly intrigued. I love zucchini bread, who doesn’t? And the way my daughter refuses to eat anything green these days, I thought, “Why not?”
The recipe I used was based on of this one and it’s pinned on my Pinterest board titled, “Foods to Try.” I was a little nervous going into it. Zucchini and chocolate? Weird. I modified the recipe a bit to make it a little healthier than it’s written. After all, I was trying to get more veggies into my daughter. I will say, after my changes, this is still a dessert. She didn’t get to eat it as a meal replacement or anything, so don’t worry.
So on to the good stuff.
I started by washing and peeling my zucchini. Ordinarily I wouldn’t peel it, because the skin on a zucchini is totally edible and the vitamins in fruits and veggies are often found in the skin. However, my zucchini were pretty beat up, so I felt better by peeling them.
You’ll need 2 cups of zucchini, and you need to grate it very finely (my friend Cindy told me about this…apparently if it’s more coarsely grated, the brownies will taste weird. So I pulled out my handy-dandy box grater and used the same side that I’d use for parmesan cheese…
But don’t use the other side, the one you’d use to grate something like cheddar cheese…the zucchini shreds will be too big and then you’ll be able to tell you’re eating vegetables in your brownies. Your kids won’t eat it that way, or maybe they will, but mine won’t. This is the side you don’t want to use…
And when you’re all done shredding, it should look like this. (There are a few larger pieces in there because I tried the wrong side before I realized what I was doing.)
So once you’ve got 2 cups of shredded zucchini, it’s time to squeeze all the juice out. Zucchini (and really squash in general) have a lot of water and you don’t want watery brownies. Take a couple of paper towels, lay your zucchini in the center, fold up the sides and SQUEEZE.
Be gentle with it. Otherwise you’ll bust open the bottom like I did…
It would be easier to use full size paper towels instead of those little half sheet ones because it’ll split on the seam.
So now you want to start mixing some of your ingredients. Mix 1/2 cup of oil (I used coconut), 1 1/2 cups of sugar (I substituted 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup of honey) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla (I’m thinking extra strong coffee would have been good too since coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor, but I’ll try that next time and let you know.)
I use this coconut oil. I have it on auto-delivery from Amazon and I love it.
The mixture should look like this…
Now in a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Add 2 cups of all-purpose flour (I’m supposed to be reducing the gluten in my diet so next time I’ll try to sub in something else), 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda.
Now pour the dry ingredients into the wet and add in your zucchini. It will look very dry but it will work out, I promise. I didn’t use my Kitchen Aid, but I should have. It was too difficult to mix with either a wooden spoon or a spatula, so I set them both aside and used my hands. Really, the Kitchen Aid would have been so much easier!
The finished result looks a little gross but it looks worse than it is, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Now, spread the mixture into a greased and floured 9×13 pan, or sprayed with non-stick spray, or whatever you want to use. You’ll have to use your spatula and smoosh it all around. This is not a “pourable” type batter.
Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. When it’s done, you can eat it as is, dust it with powdered sugar or frost it with a nice layer of chocolate frosting. Since I’m also supposed to be reducing sugar in my diet, we left them plain.
They have a rich chocolate flavor and my kids loved them! They both asked for seconds. The texture is more cake like than that of a dense fudgey brownie but they were definitely good. I don’t think anyone would have noticed that they had zucchini in them, but you can be the judge of that. If you make them, let me know what you think.
- 1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (I substituted 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup honey)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla until blended well and use a stand mixer for easier mixing.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix to the oil mixture. Add in the zucchini and nuts if you decided to use them. Mix all of this in the stand mixer, or dig in with your hands.
Press the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar, frost with chocolate icing, or leave it plain.