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!

zucchini brownies

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!

baked brownies in pan

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!

brownies in pan

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.

stacked brownies

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.

zucchini brownie

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Yield: 12 brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients-

2 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
2 eggs
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)

Directions-

- 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.

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30 Responses to “Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies”

  1. 1

    Love anything with zucchini, but have never had it in brownies. These look wonderful!

  2. 2

    We had chocolate cake with zucchini in it at our wedding and it was delicious (easier to stack like carrot cake). My husband was skeptical but ended up loving it as well. I really want to try these.

  3. 3

    These look awesome! I have had zucchini in baked goods, but never with chocolate. Can’t wait to try. Would love if you’d share this recipe in our online Seasonal Potluck. One of July’s featured ingredients is zucchini. I think this recipe would be a great addition! http://wp.me/p1vvGp-aH

  4. 4

    I have zucchini in my refrigerator right now, and I know just what I’m doing with it tomorrow. Hot kitchen or not! :)

  5. 5

    That is my kind of veggie dish:-)

  6. 6
    Leslie — July 13, 2011 1:07 pm

    These brownies look great–and I am loving the idea of sugar alternatives. I love sweet, but I know I eat way too much sugar!

  7. 7

    These look absolutely delicious! I had a bunch of zucchini that I had to use and I made Banana Zucchini Muffins, but I like these much better! I am also a fan of agave nectar and like how you incorporated it in to this recipe. Great recipe! Can’t wait to try these. ~Jennifer

  8. 8
    Sharon — July 13, 2011 2:31 pm

    Would love to have the nutrition facts. The brownies look and sound great!

  9. 9
    erin — July 13, 2011 5:11 pm

    Not one to waste any time, I’ve got these in the oven as I type! Just wanted to check to see that you got a super thick batter too. I could have spackled a hole in the wall with that stuff. ;-)
    Thanks!
    ~e

    • kate replied: — July 13th, 2011 5:48 pm

      Sharon — I don’t usually calculate the nutritional info for the recipes I make at home, but here is a handy calculator where you can type in the recipe and it will spit out the nutritional info. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the results, so you will have to consider it all with a grain of salt.

      Erin — Yes, the batter is extremely thick! It will bake up just fine, I promise.

  10. 10
    Karen — July 20, 2011 6:58 am

    It may be 4:55 in the morning but I was so eager to try these I got up early and whipped them in the oven before it gets too hot out. The batter tasted delicious; can’t wait to taste the final product (perhaps with a dollop of whipped cream!). They’ll be ready in time to share with my coworkers – I’m thinking it could be dangerous to keep them in the house. Glad Erin asked about the batter thickness – spackle was exactly what I thought of when I mixed mine together.

    Oooh! And I’m thinking the next time I make these, I’m going to add some chili pepper flakes or chipotle peppers. The heat will go great with the rich chocolatiness.

  11. 11
    Fern — July 22, 2011 10:56 am

    Thanks for a delicious recipe! I’d recently sworn off refined sugar, was having a serious chocolate craving, AND had a huge zucchini from the garden. Perfect! Left out the chocolate chips so probably should have increased the honey slightly… Was thinking the same thing as Karen re: hot chilies, or maybe dried cherries — will report back on that.

  12. 12
    Wendy — July 26, 2011 10:16 pm

    These brownies were amazing!!!!!!! i used w/w pastry flour and they were
    more cake like than the picture of your fudgy ones but so delicious. Our
    garden produced so many zukes, this was a fun way to use them up! Thank
    you – I look forward to more yummy recipes!

  13. 13
    Stuart — August 8, 2011 12:50 am

    An interesting concept … a healthy brownie!

  14. 14
    erin — August 12, 2011 5:08 pm

    currently they’re baking in the oven! used golden syrup (like corn syrup) instead of honey…will let you know! they smell scrumptious.

  15. 15
    Brook — August 24, 2011 10:37 pm

    Zucchini success! I’ve been trying to get my zucchini-hating husband to do his fair share in eating our garden’s bounty . . at last I have found a recipe worthy of his approval! A few things I did differently: 1) did not use parchment paper (lazy), just oil spray, and it worked fine, 2) used canola instead of olive oil (afraid my discriminating husband would detect the olive flavor), 3) baked the original recipe in a 9×13″ pan for 30 minutes – turned out well, 4) omitted the cinnamon (again, for my DH). The results: a super-moist, richly chocolaty brownie and one less zucchini in my kitchen. Woohoo!

  16. 16
    KristenK — August 24, 2011 10:57 pm

    Have you tried substituting unsweetened applesauce for the oil? It’s worked well in other recipes and I bet well in this one too! Looks great – can’t wait to try them!

  17. 17
    Beth — September 14, 2011 4:51 am

    Thou art a genius.

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  19. 18
    Katlyn — October 17, 2011 11:55 am

    I just found your amazing blog this weekend and decided on the spot to make these! I just subbed maple syrup for the sweetener and 1/2 cup pumpkin to not use any oils, and they turned out perfectly! The most fudgy, dense, chocolatey brownies I have ever made! Thank you for the recipe!

  20. 19
    Babs — November 2, 2011 5:35 pm

    I must have made these a dozen times this past summer…..tooooooooooooo delish! Now that zucchini season is pretty much gone, any ideas for subs? grated carrot or squash? I know I could just try it but maybe you have already. Not sure I can wait til next summer….. Thanks for a gorgeous site!

    • kate replied: — November 5th, 2011 2:56 pm

      Babs — I haven’t experimented with a “winter” version of this recipe yet but I’m thinking that your suggestion of using carrots sounds promising! Give it a try and let us know how it works out. I also like Katlyn’s suggestion of using pumpkin puree in place of the oil. Swapping in carrots and pumpkin puree (with a solid dash of cinnamon for some extra spice!) might give you a perfect winter alternative!

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  22. 20
    Teri — February 26, 2012 8:32 pm

    Liked the idea so I tried them. I only used 1 cup of chocolate chips and the agave nectar for sweetening, not as sweet as honey, using all ww pastry flour also made them a bit dry. I added walnuts on top that helped with the healthy factor!

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  24. 21
    Megan Silva — August 11, 2012 6:17 pm

    Okay, I just made these brownies, and YOU DID NOT LIE!!! They are INSANELY DELICIOUS! Add the fact that they’re so healthy, too (chocolate is the new super-food these days, after all)… they really can’t be beat. Nice one, Kate!

  25. 22
    T. McNail — August 30, 2012 1:45 pm

    Zucchini is also good grated into cornbread for moist yummy bread and grated into muffins. No one knows it’s there!

  26. 23
    B Lee — September 15, 2012 12:53 am

    I made this. Forgot to grease the parchment paper, but I did put an extra few tablespoons of butter into the batter, so no sticking here. I don’t think I added enough chocolate chips, I’m missing some sweetness, and I guess I shouldn’t have cut back there. (the chips) But it does seem quite moist, made yesterday.

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