Vegan Flourless Zucchini Brownies

Vegan-Flourless-Zucchini-Brownies
My plan was to make these gluten-free, vegan flourless brownies, serve them to my family and feel good knowing I had just given them something healthy to eat – and keep a little secret to myself.

The secret is the main ingredient – zucchini.

I know, I know…it sounds pretty weird, but I’ve actually made wonderful dips and even cheesecakes with zucchini and you’d never know.

So that was my plan for the brownies.  Until my son saw the recipe I had printed laying on the kitchen counter.

Son:  “What are you making mother?”

Me:  “Some brownies”

Son (looking at the recipe suspiciously):  “Zucchini brownies?!?  Oh, ~please~ don’t put zucchini in the brownies!”

After hearing that for about 10 minutes over and over, I think I was pretty sure he didn’t want zucchini in his brownies!  lol

But, I just couldn’t pass up brownies that didn’t require flour, so I proceeded and am so glad I did.

These were a little bit of an experiment because I made a few changes to make them vegan, but they turned out really well.

I was out of almond butter so I used crunchy peanut butter and that worked out good because it added a nutty texture to them.  I also added a little raw cacao to make them extra “chocolate-y”.

Do they taste like zucchini?  I ~might~ have tasted a tiny hint of vegetable right when they came out of the oven, but it was only because I knew the zucchini was in there and was actully ~trying~ to see if I could detect it.  The next day, though, I didn’t really notice any vegetable taste at all.  I really think it was just when they were hot out of the oven.

The melted chocolate chips took them over the top!

Here are some typical ingredients in a traditional brownie recipe:

Ingredients:  3/4 cups cocoa, 2/3 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/3 cup flour, 12 oz package of chocolate chips, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla

Lots of dairy and white flour plus refined sugar and salt.

 

Feel-Good-About-What-You-Eat

5 Fast Facts About Zucchini:

  • low calorie food – 94% water
  • high in manganese
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • anti-inflammatory
  • helps lower cholesterol

5 Fast Facts About Almonds (Almond Butter):

  • helps to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure
  • energy booster
  • loaded with calcium and fiber
  • 1/4 cup contains 8 grams of vegan protein
  • high in anti-oxidants

5 Fast Facts About Maple Syrup:

  • contains manganese and zinc
  • super high in anti-oxidants
  • helps with inflammation
  • 1/4 cups contains more calcium than the same amount of milk
  • 1/4 cup contains more potassium than a banana

5 Fast Facts About Raw Cacao:

  • contains over 300 compounds including protein, calcium, copper, zinc and iron
  • super high in anti-oxidants
  • promotes cardiovascular health
  • contains essential fats
  • can help to decrease blood pressure

5 Fast Facts About Cinnamon:

  • contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • helps to control blood sugar
  • excellent source of manganese and iron
  • can help to lower bad cholesterol
  • aids in eliminating migraine headaches

 

Flourless-Zucchini-Brownies

 

Flourless-Zucchini-Brownies

 Where to Buy:  If you have trouble finding any of the ingredients to make this recipe, you can order online from Amazon and have them delivered straight to your door….and you’ll be supporting The Healthy Family and Home website at the same time!

 

 

Tip #1:   I’ve made them a couple of times and the first time I used a hand held microplane grater to finely grate the zucchini, so it added a coconut flake texture more than anything else.   The second time, I put the peeled zucchini in my food processor and shredded it that way and it worked well too.

Tip #2:  I’ve made them with an egg replacer (Ener-G Egg Replacer), with 1/3 cup of organic applesauce and also with a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons of water) and all work fine.

Tip #3:  For a low-sugar alternative, I’ve made them with the organic raw coconut crystals , non-GMO xylitol and stevia (10 tiny scoops from the spoon included in the container), as well as reduced the chocolate chips from 1 cup to 1/2 cup.

Tip #4:  I’ve made these with both almond butter (paleo) and peanut butter and both were really good.

 

Vegan Flourless Zucchini Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly)

www.thehealthyfamilyandhome.com The Healthy Family and Home

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic almond butter (or organic peanut butter)
  • 1 1/2 cup organic zucchini (peeled and finely grated)
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup organic raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic applesauce (or 1 flax egg: 1 tbs ground flax seeds + 3 tbs water)
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (non-aluminum)
  • 1 cup vegan/gf chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)

Directions

Step 1 Peel and grate the zucchini.

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. (If using a flax egg, prepare it separately with 1 tablespoons of ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water).

Pour into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Note

Recipe inspired by and lightly altered from:  http://www.delightedmomma.com/2012/05/flourless-zucchini-brownies.html?m=1

 


 

 

 

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50 comments to Vegan Flourless Zucchini Brownies

  • I love zucchini muffins so I will have to try this! Yum!

  • Rebecca

    I tried these today and they turned out so well! I took them out a bit early partly because they seemed to be baking fast, partly because I couldn’t wait any longer! They are SUPER chocolate-y and absolutely delicious! I think next time I make them, I may try adding even more zucchini and possibly some chia seeds. :)

    • Karielyn

      Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad you liked them! Hmmm…I never thought about adding the chia seeds but I bet that would be good not only to add extra nutrients but it would give them a little crunch too. Great idea! ;)

  • carmen

    hi karielyn, what can i use instead of egg replacer. i havent seen it in south africa.

    • Karielyn

      Hi Carmen! You can use a “flax egg” which is just ground flax seed + water. Take 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and add 3 tablespoons of water and whisk it briskly. That is the equivalent of 1 regular chicken egg.

      If you can’t find ground flax seed, you can grind your own with a coffee grinder. That’s what I do to make sure it’s always fresh.

      Thanks for your question and I hope you enjoy them :)

  • Amber

    Looks good! Can I use applesauce instead of egg replica?

    Thanks!

    Amber

    • Karielyn

      Hi Amber! I made a batch this afternoon to see if the applesauce would work and I think it will do fine.

      They seemed to be a little softer and a little more “fudge-y” than with the egg replacer. They are already a really soft and “fudge-y” brownie as opposed to cake-like because of when the chocolate chips melt (this is a good thing!). You will need to make sure they cool off completely before cutting or serving because they are super soft right out of the oven.

      If you need these for a special event like a bake sale or something, they might not hold up as well as a traditional brownie.

      But if they are just to eat at home (or right out of the baking pan like I do!), they will serve the purpose of a healthy, gluten-free chocolate treat!

      Thanks for the question and I hope you enjoy them if you make them :)

  • That’s funny, my family gets suspicious too with adventurous add-ins to baking! I hide the recipes now and do the big reveal after they’ve tasted it. I would love to try these, not a huge fan of zucchini cake but I can def get on board with brownies!! Love zucchini bread and chocolate so…..yum!

    • Karielyn

      Hi Katy! Yes! And believe it or not, the ingredient I sneak in and surprise them with the most is coconut oil! They always ask “does this have coconut oil in it?” lol

      I have never tried zucchini cake or muffins, but that may be next!

      Thanks for stopping by ;)

  • Aimee B.

    I am so thankful to have found your blog and this recipe in particular. My hubby requested brownies, but I didn’t have even 1 teaspoon of flour, so I decided to search the internet and came across your recipe for flourless brownies. I just so happened to have one zucchini left, which allowed me to halve the recipe. My hubby despises zucchini, so I was a little worried. My kids and I tried one and they couldn’t believe there was zucchini in them. The real test came when my hubby came home. I have him one. He made the sound I always wait for… Mmmmmmmmm! I told him the secret ingredient and he was beyond shocked. He told me I could make these ANY time, lol! As a matter of fact, he requested them today, so there is a batch cooling on my counter as I type this. These are truly amazing and I just have to thank you SO much for this lovely recipe. I actually like these more than regular brownies, or at the very least, just as much. I served mine with vanilla soy ice cream and homemade strawberry sauce, sooooooo good! It is going in our favorites. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! <3

    • Karielyn

      Hi Aimee! Wow…that just made my day! I am so happy to hear they were a hit with your family. I know how hard it can be trying to please everyone (especially husbands!) as well as trying out a new recipe lol.

      I was very surprised myself when I first made them at how moist and chocolate-y they were and couldn’t believe they were so good without flour.

      And the non-dairy ice cream and strawberry sauce…oh my gosh I will definitely try that next time!

      Thank you so much for trying the recipe and leaving feedback, I really appreciate it ;)

  • Rebecca

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m going to be super busy over the weekend baking up a storm!

    • Karielyn

      Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad you found some recipes here that you’d like to try!

      I was actually going to make these Zucchini Brownies this weekend for my dad who’s coming into town to visit.

      I’ll be thinking about you when I make them lol! :)

  • Rebecca

    They were amazing. I couldn’t taste the zucchini at all & the kids are none the wiser! Thank you!

    • Karielyn

      Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad your family liked them…especially the kids!

      Isn’t it amazing how that “secret” ingredient can be in there and you can’t even tell?

      Thanks for taking the time to leave me feedback on how they did :)

  • Marilyn

    I used ground flax and water as the egg replacer, and I replaced half of the agave with maple syrup and 1/2 tsp of Now Better Stevia. They were good but I don’t recommend the stevia, it’s all I can taste now. I also used crunchy peanut butter, that made them really nice.

    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Marilyn

      I meant that I didn’t use agave at all:o)

    • Karielyn

      Hi Marilyn! Thanks for sharing your substitution tips!

      I’ve eliminated using agave nectar in all of my recipes now so I need to go back through some of my older ones and re-test them using an alternative sweetener. I’m glad to know that the maple syrup worked in this one.

      I’ve only tried powdered Stevia once and didn’t like it but may try the liquid version.

      Thanks again for sharing and for trying them out ;)

  • […] y un poco más divertida. La receta de hoy fue adaptada de uno de mis blogs favoritos de comida The Healthy Family and Home. La premisa de este brownie es que es ‘flourless’ o sin ningún tipo de harina. En […]

  • Anna-Lynn

    I’m trying these right now…do you squeeze out some of the moisture from the grated zucchini or throw it in as is? I am worried there may be too much moisture and they won’t properly bake or set up.
    Thanks!

    • Karielyn

      Hi Anna-Lynn! Just add the grated zucchini into the mixture, as is (without squeezing out any moisture).

      I don’t know how this flourless recipe magically transforms into a moist, gooey-chocolate dessert, but it does lol!

      Thanks for trying out the recipe and I hope you enjoy them ;)

      • Anna-Lynn

        I’m making a double batch this time, mostly because I’m bringing them to my best friend’s house and I still want to eat most of the pan..haha…I literally make these at LEAST once a week for my family. Not only is this the best flourless brownie recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s the best brownie PERIOD that we’ve ever had. And so easy to make!! I did find that I squeezing a bit of the liquid from the zucchini made them come out perfectly, my grater grates it so fine that it’s a squishy mess, not like the nice coconut-flake-like zucchini like your picture shows. So if anyone else has a grater like mine that does it super fine, I found that removing some of that moisture really made a difference and they were perfectly gooey. :)
        THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

        • Karielyn

          Hi Anna-Lynn! Thanks for sharing your tip!

          I remember back in the day when I used to buy the horrible brownie mixes in the box and now thinking back at how sickingly sweet they were and the ingredient list just makes me cringe.

          This is my favorite brownie recipe too and I especially love it because I can enjoy it with my family because it’s flourless/grain-free.

          I am so glad that you like them…it just makes my day ;)

  • Mary

    If I use applesauce – how much?

  • I made this today and it is amazing! YUM YUM YUM!!! Thanks for sharing! Blows me away that there’s no four in it:-/ ~Kelli

    • Karielyn

      Hi Kelli! Thank you, this recipe is one of my favorites!

      As many times as I make these, everytime I take them out the oven and eat one, I say the same thing “I can’t believe these don’t have flour in them!” lol

      It’s amazing how they end up tasting just like a moist brownie with no flour.

      If you like these, I have another flourless recipe coming up this week that you will LOVE!

      Thanks for trying out the recipe and I’m glad you enjoy the brownies ;)

  • Julie

    Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe!! My grandson is gluten, soy, dairy, egg free, so it’s difficult finding treats for him. I’ve been looking for a decent brownie recipe for years. Every recipe I tried was terrible, but this recipe is actually good! I found that it’s best to wait for hours or overnight to eat them. They freeze well, too. So I can make a pan, cut them up, the freeze them for when my grandson comes over. He’s denied so many things, so he’ll be thrilled to eat these…….

    • Karielyn

      Hi Julie! I’m so glad to hear you found something that you can make for your grandson to enjoy! What an awesome grandmother you are for taking such care and effort to make him healthy treats :)

      I don’t know if he can have peanut butter or not, but I just posted another flourless, gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, dairy-free and no refined sugar brownie recipe you might could try too: http://thehealthyfamilyandhome.com/flourless-peanut-butter-swirl-brownies/ I’ve been making a batch of it almost every other day because it’s so good.

      Thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed them and it just makes my day to hear that they will make your grandson happy ;)

  • Joseph

    My mom has actually made a mock apple pie from zucchini (instead of apples) that tasted so much like apple pie that if I hadn’t known it was a mock apple pie I wouldn’t’ve known any better….it was delicious

    I stumbled across this looking for a good flourless vegan brownie recipe and I might add this one to the list (though I’m actually looking for one that takes a vegan Irish stout cuz one lady at the massage school I go to wants me to make Guinness brownies for the next pot luck and I’m looking for a variation that fits most diets like vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free)

    this one could be made nut-free with a product I’ve seen called “NoNutz” which is a PB substitute made from roasted brown peas (albeit one without salt so on its own its kinda bland but might go well in recipes)

    • Karielyn

      Hi Joseph! Thanks for the story about your mom’s apple/zucchini pie…that actually sounds like a really good idea!

      I have never come across the “NoNutz”, but that would certainly be a perfect substitute for a nut-free option.

      Thanks for the ideas and I hope your brownies are a hit at your potluck ;)

  • OMG… I just had one of those aha moments! I’m gonna try to make this nut and legume free! by using coconut butter!!! YEA!!!! :D Ill let you know once I try it ;) Thank you for the inspiration :)

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Susan! I would have never thought of using coconut butter but I sure do hope that works because I always wish I had other options or substitutions for my nut-free readers…that would be great!

      I hope you stop back by to let me know how it comes out ;)

  • […] found this flour less zucchini brownie recipe and was about to put 1 cup of peanut butter into the mix when I decide that was just WAY too much […]

  • Tania Thompson

    Wonderful recipe! Just came out of the oven and almost devoured by my family. I used pureed dates instead of the maple syrup. So very chocolatey and sweet. Thank you!!!

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Tania! I’m so glad to hear everyone enjoyed them and loved the pureed dates idea…thanks for sharing that!

      Thank you for trying out the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you liked them ;)

  • Usnea

    Holy moly this is finally going to happen!!! The only thing is I dont have enough peanut butter…but….. I have cashews!I think im going to make a cashew butter and replace the peanut butter. I’m super excited and cant wait to update with the results.

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Usnea! You might could try almond butter. I’ve made other “flourless” cookies and brownies with homemade almond butter and it worked really good.

      I’d love to know if the cashew butter works though..I ~love~ cashew butter!

      Hope you enjoy the recipe ;)

      • Usnea

        These are sooo good just like everyone says! I made the cashew butter by soaking them a few hours, drained and squeezed excess water out. Then blended it w a lil raw honey and amazing. Super hard not to eat it straight up. I also had to use yellow squash since that’s what we had. I also squeezed out as much of the water as I could from the squash, and mixed the rest as directed. Next time im going to dehydrate the cashews a little before making the butter to get some more water out. The cooking time was way longer and oh so painful to wait lol just wondering, is there a difference in baking science when using almonds? My partner is allergic to almonds, pecans, and walnuts, so we usually just replace with cashews and macadamia… not a bad option really. just wondering if the fat content and such makes a huge diff in the outcome.

        • Karielyn

          Hi there Usnea! I’m so glad these got the seal of approval lol! And thanks for sharing your tip about the cashew butter working (I ~love~ cashew butter!)…that’s good to know.

          I don’t think there is any particular reason for using the almond butter (as opposed to peanut butter, cashew butter, etc) because I’ve made other flourless desserts and cookies and they worked with other nut butters.

          I still, for the life of me, cannot figure out how you add almond butter/peanut butter/cashew butter in place of regular flour and still have a moist, delicious dessert…it’s almost like magic!

          Thanks for trying out another recipe and for letting me know you liked it ;)

  • Playfulcake

    Thank you for this sweet recipe! My brownies are in the oven and I can wait to try them. I used sunflower butter as my little one has a nut allergy. Figured it would be a great alternative for people with allergies and thought I might share :) happy baking

    • Karielyn

      Hi there! I hope you enjoyed them and thanks for sharing the tip about the sunflower butter as a substitute…that was a great idea!

      Thanks so much for trying out the recipe ;)

  • […] Treat yourself to this vegan flourless zucchini recipe. […]

  • Julia

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!! I made these yesterday, replaced half the almond butter with cashew butter cos I didn’t have enough of either ;) , the maple syrup with agave and the apple sauce with plain yogurt and they turned out to be delicious! First time I tried zucchini brownies, will definitely make yours again! :)
    Thanks and greetings from Germany

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Julia! First of all…hello to you over in Germany! Second, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the brownies and I ~love~ the substitutions you made!

      Thanks for trying out the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it…I really appreciate it ;)

  • Katie

    What could I use in place of the almond/peanut butter for someone with nut allergies?

    • Karielyn

      Hi there Katie! I haven’t tried this but if I were to try to make them without a nut butter, I would use sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) as a replacement. I don’t know for certain if it would work but it has a similar texture and the flavor is pretty neutral so it would be the most similar replacement.

      If cashews aren’t a no-no, I would try the cashew butter before the sunflower butter, as I’ve used it before as a peanut butter/almond butter replacement in similar recipes and it worked fine.

      I hope that helps and that you are able to enjoy the recipe ;)

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