They’re the real deal. I think they might just be my new favorite incredibly-decadent-but-healthy dessert.
By now you’ve probably noticed that I like sneaking veggies into my desserts. These brownies are no exception. I like to see food as a way to satisfy our palate while providing our cells with the most nutrition they can get.
But I swear, you seriously would never guess that these contain zucchinis. They are one of the most gooey, fudgey brownies I’ve ever had.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden at home, I bet it’s overflowing with zucchinis right now. My tiny little apartment doesn’t allow me to grow more than herbs, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers, but I know that many of you have a beautiful garden in your backyard. If so, you might be running out of ideas on what to do with all those zucchinis and I thought I’d help you a little.
This post was inspired by Renée Kemps‘ week of gorgeous zucchini recipes over at Food 52. Because of its texture and somewhat neutral taste, the zucchini is incredibly versatile. There are so many ways to enjoy it, and chocolate brownies is definitely one of my new favorites.
When blended into a puree, zucchinis give an incredibly moist texture to the brownies, while boosting each bite with their incredible nutrients.
Zucchinis are very low in calories and have an impressive nutritional content. They are an excellent source of potassium, which helps balance blood pressure levels, and are a good source of dietary fibre, which promotes a healthy digestion. They are rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, carotenes and antioxidant compounds that help prevent and fight diseases.
To add depth of flavour and give a nice little crunch to the brownies, I’ve added some dark chocolate, chopped into chunks. When buying dark chocolate, aim for a higher percentage of cacao concentration (at least 70%). The higher the cacao concentration, the lower the sugar content and the higher the health-promoting compounds such as flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants.
Also, try to buy chocolate that comes from fair-trade organic sources. The production and trading conditions in the cacao market can be extremely difficult and buying certified fair-trade chocolate is a great way to support decent working conditions and salary for the cacao farmers. I personally love this brand (a Toronto-based enterprise) for the quality of their products, and their respectful processes and values.
Notes on the recipe: These brownies are not overly sweet, which I like. If you like your desserts on the sweeter side, I believe you could add a little bit more coconut sugar or even swap some of it by some maple syrup.
Although spelt flour is very low in gluten, it stills contains some and therefore may not be tolerated by individuals who are highly allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. You may substitute spelt by your favourite gluten-free flour.
These brownies are vegan.
- 1 tbsp freshly ground flax seeds + 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups zucchini puree (about 2 large zucchinis)
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole spelt flour
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 bar/100 g. dark chocolate, chopped (I used 80% cacao)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
- Place the ground flax seeds in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp fresh water. Mix well. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- To make the puree, cut zucchinis into big chunks and place in your food processor. Pulse until pureed. Transfer into a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract and flax mixture and mix well.
- In another bowl, combine the spelt flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, baking soda and sea salt.
- Transfer the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and gently mix to combine. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate.
- Pour batter into the pan and even the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before gently slicing into squares. Enjoy!
Train your mind to see the good in everything.