While the summer growing season might be winding down, there are still plenty of summer fruits and vegetables left in the grocery store, at the farmer’s market, and probably in your own gardens (and I’m jealous if you have one). One the most prolific summer veggies out there has to be zucchini. Anyone who has ever grown it knows it will produce more than you think any normal person could ever use. Good thing there are countless delicious ways to use up this green vegetable. It’s great grilled, made into noodles, or as part of a zesty relish. I’ve made zucchini fries, zucchini oatmeal, and zucchini banana squares. But never had I included this versatile veggie into brownies…until this summer.
I had my first taste of zucchini brownies at Home Sweet Home Grocery (probably one of my top 5 places in Prince George), and knew I was going to have to make them myself. It helped that I had also just picked up a massive zucchini for cheap at the farmer’s market. I scoured the internet, looking at different recipes, then basically just ended up writing my own (based mostly off of this one). In fact, I made them 3 times – not only because they were delicious and I had a plethora of zuke, but I also tweaked them each time to reduce the sugar and make them vegan (sorry – no gluten free version at this time).
These brownies are delightfully chocolaty and fudgy, especially if you undercook them ever so slightly (which is perfectly food safe when you are doing vegan baking). Unless you tell someone, or they do some investigating with a magnifying glass, they aren’t going to know that there is a green vegetable in there. The zucchini keeps them moist, and the applesauce does double duty for sweetness and moisture. Did I mention they are also whole grain and oil free? Basically, you could eat them for breakfast…not that I ever did that…with a smear of peanut butter on top. I swear.
Fudgy Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
makes one 8” by 12” baking pan (24 brownies)
Break out your baking dishes and use up the last of your summer zucchini bounty! These brownies are packed with all sorts of goodness – low in sugar, high in fibre, oil free, and vegan. But don’t let that fool you – they are all about decadent, fudgy chocolate taste. And if you don’t want to tell anyone about their secret ingredient, that’s okay with me – I won’t spill the beans…or should I say zucchini?
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (no need to peel)
- 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8” by 12” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine flaxseeds and water. Allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes, until thickened. Prep other ingredients while this is setting up (ex: shred the zucchini).
3. In a stand mixer, combine flax-water mixture with sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add gradually to the wet mixture, using low speed, so you don’t have flour flying everywhere. Once combined, remove from mixer stand.
5. Stir zucchini, 1 cup chocolate chips, and walnuts (if using) into the batter until combined. Spread into prepared baking dish, making sure to get batter into the corners and even. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – the shorter time will give you a slightly more fudgy consistency. Cool on a wire rack until. Cut into desired size brownies, and enjoy!
Note: If you do not have flax seeds, you can substitute the flax-water mixture with 2 eggs.
Tell me – what’s your favourite way to use up an excess of zucchini? Baking, relish, or…?