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 and a store-bought boxed version:
Pillsbury Brownie Classics Traditional Fudge Brownie Mix:
Ingredients: SUGAR, FLOUR ENRICHED BLEACHED (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN VITAMIN B3, IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE VITAMIN B1, RIBOFLAVIN B2, FOLIC ACID VITAMIN B9), SOYBEANS OIL PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED, COTTONSEED OIL PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED, COCOA, CORN STARCH, SALT, FLAVORS NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL, BAKING SODA, MILK NON-FAT, SOY LECITHIN (source)
Traditional Homemade Brownie Ingredients:
Ingredients: 3/4 CPS 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
The store-bought version is full of bleached flour, refined/processed sugar and salt and GMO dairy, soybeans and cornstarch.
And, the homemade recipes aren’t much better…lots of dairy and white flour plus refined sugar and salt.
This healthier version is vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, paleo-friendly and contains no refined sugars!
5 Fast Facts About Zucchini:*
- low calorie food – 94% water
- high in manganese
- helps lower blood pressure
- 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 Powder:*
- 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
*These statements have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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.
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