You most likely don’t immediately associate zucchinis with desserts. I sure didn’t. And even if, least likely with a chocolaty kind, like brownies. The idea almost sounds oxymoronic! Zucchini bread, sure, viable, but zucchini brownies, less so, I think, like watermelon soup — which funnily enough exists!
On the note of soups, the oddest one I’ve to date come across must be deer placenta soup… how do you come up with that?!
Thinking about it again, zucchini brownies sound very normal. And truth be told, they are extraordinarily delicious. Shredded zucchinis, when mixed with chocolate and baked in the oven, become just the perfect texture, making your brownie creations soft- and light-feeling. Notably, these edible chocolate cushions aren’t just soft to the touch (which wouldn’t be fun for long! — though, playing with our food is perhaps something we should be doing more of), these treats are equally gentle on your stomach. It’s like quinoa pasta (which I’ve only tried eating for the first time ever last week) — you’re eating real spaghetti, but walk away from your meal without feeling drained because you just consumed a kilo of white flour. Same with these innocent little brownies — you get your sweet-tooth kick without your sugar levels exploding!
So, bottom line, zucchini brownies feel and taste like real brownies, without anything ostensibly zucchini-like about them, save for the health benefits!
(To really beat the point home, I’d be willing to bet hard-earned money that a blindfold test, where someone eats both zucchini brownies and brownie brownies, would prove the zucchinis totally undetectable.)
Back to feeling good about binging on zucchini brownies, part of what makes them so non-taxing on your health and the way you feel is that this recipe — kudos to Ambitious Kitchen for coming up with it — is that these treats are made without flour or butter! Typical store-bought versions contain unapologetic amounts of bleached flour, refined sugar and salt, GMO dairy, soybeans, and cornstarch. The effect of avoiding all of these nocuous ingredients classifies these goodies as totally gluten-free — potentially vegan-free too if you take it up a notch and use vegan chocolate chips!
Although remaining stealthily undercover, flavor-wise, the zucchini’s many nutritional health benefits are definitely worth blowing the whistle about.
These green cucumber-looking, irregularly-shaped, smooth-skinned cylinders (they’re available in yellow too) are part of the summer squash family. They’re very low in calories, being high in water and fiber content, and are good sources of potassium (heart-friendly, blood-pressure reducing electrolyte), as well as are rich in carotenes (especially the golden-colored variety of these cucumber-looking, irregularly-shaped, smooth-skinned cylinders), an antioxidant helping fight free radicals that accelerate aging and related diseases. Add to the list their ability to control cholesterol levels, high content of vitamin C, and bone-strengthening minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and it turns out that thanks to the virtues of this otherwise imperceptible green fellow (unless you prefer the blonde type) you’re about to treat yourself to the world’s healthiest brownies.
Leaving off, some food for thought, did you know that the British terms for zucchinis is ‘courgette’?
- ¾ cup (175 mL) oats
- ½ cup (125 mL) all-natural unsalted peanut butter
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened natural apple sauce
- ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1.5 cups (355 mL) shredded zucchini
- ½ cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips, divided into two portions
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Spray 8’’ x 8’’ square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pulverize oats in blender or food processor.
- In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla, until smooth.
- Mix in zucchini, cocoa powder, ground oats, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently fold in half of your chocolate chips.
- Pour batter onto baking pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over top.
- Bake for 25-30 min.
- Cool brownies completely on wire rack, then cut into cute squares, and eat!