Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
I’m not going to tell you about how easy these brownies are to make. I won’t bore you with the fact that they are sweetened naturally, use an olive oil base and are made with whole wheat flour. Going on about the healthfulness of these brownies, the ease of assembly and the practical bonus of using up excessive amounts of zucchini distracts from the main selling point about these brownies: They are insanely delicious!
A multi-tasking brownie that cranks the chocolate meter up to a level 10, these Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies pack a serious punch. These two-faced little devils are intensely fudgy when served chilled from the fridge yet cakey, moist and gooey when served warmed. A chocoholic’s dream, these brownies satisfy even the pickiest sweet tooth while secretly throwing in a healthy dose of veggies!
Summer is zucchini season. Gardens and farmer’s markets are bursting at the seams with the versatile summer veggie. I tend to cycle through loaves of whole wheat zucchini bread, zucchini boats, roasted zucchini fries and still have pounds left over! As I started craving something chocolately, it seemed like brownies would be a perfect place to sneak in some extra zucchini. If you grate the zucchini very finely (use the small holes on your grater) you won’t even notice that you’ve got some veggies in your brownies!
Recently I’ve become slightly obsessed with creating baked goods without pounds of granulated white sugar. As a result, I’ve turned to agave nectar, honey and maple syrup as my sweeteners of choice. I don’t have anything against processed sugar in moderation, I just have a mental block preventing me from dumping heaping cups of the white stuff into my baked goods. Here comes the paradox: Yes, these brownies have semi-sweet chocolate chips added in (hence the double chocolate aspect). Yes, those chocolate chips contain processed sugar. I understand the dilemma. If you are a purist, leave the chocolate chips out. If you don’t mind the little bit of processed sugar added by the chocolate chips, go for it.
Now, I’m not an advocate for the whole Jessica-Seinfeld-sneak-veggies-into-junk-food-to-get-your-kids-to-eat-them approach. Teaching people to like veggies as veggies is a much more sustainable approach to long-term health. These brownies are merely the result of a pragmatic approach to the overwhelming heaps of zucchini piling up in my kitchen coupled with an intense desire for some moist, chocolately brownies. Zucchinis get put to use and I get a delicious brownie in my tummy. That’s what we call a classic win-win situation.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Yield: 12 brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
2 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Chips)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper leaving 1 inch of the paper hanging over the edge to create handles. Grease parchment paper. Set aside.
- Grate zucchini. Press with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Fluff with a fork, set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together oil, eggs, agave or honey and vanilla. Add zucchini.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Add dry mixture to the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Remove from pan using parchment paper handles. Serve chilled for a fudgy brownie or warmed for a gooey, cakey brownie.