Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Happy New Year, dear readers!

As I write this post, Younger Daughter is still home for Christmas break.  I love having her here because we do all kinds of things together, including cooking, a little knitting and perhaps some shopping.   

Younger Daughter has a friend from school who posts her food adventures on an Instagram account…she is a bit of a epicure.  Her friend enjoys healthy choices and Younger Daughter (who respects her opinion on such things) often tells me about the dishes her friend made and Younger Daughter has either taste-tested or saw posted on Instagram.  Like these brownies made with zucchini and whole wheat flour. 

Whole wheat flour contains the bran, germ, fiber, vitamins, iron and protein (macronutrients) of the grain and is, of course, a healthy, unprocessed alternative to white flour. Some might think that it doesn’t substitute nicely in baked goods…I don’t agree. I love the earthy, somewhat gritty quality that whole wheat flour adds to baked goods (both sweets and breads) and zucchini adds to the assertion (or is it illusion?) that the decadent fudgy squares might actually be good for you.

This recipe is from the blog Texanerin and Younger Daughter followed it precisely as posted, which I think is a good idea the first time you make anything a little unfamiliar.  These brownies are 100% whole grain, dairy free and applesauce steps in for its fatty counterpart, oil.  The only fat comes from the chocolate and we used the dark, healthier variety.  The zucchini adds moistness.

These beautiful brownies very good, not super sweet.  I played sou chef and grated the zucchini very finely so the vegetable is appropriately disguised among the gooey goodness.  This recipe makes 16 brownies and each square has about 160 calories and 6 grams of fat.

She also made Lemon Chicken, courtesy of her foodie friend.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole wheat or splet flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (we used the fancy kind, Scharffen Berger)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup dark chocolate chips plus more to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.  In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar, and apple sauce and let this sit for 5 minutes to let the coconut sugar dissolve. In a separate medium bowl, mix together until smooth the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry mix to the wet, gently stir until just combined.  Fold in the zucchini and 1 cup chocolate chips.  Pour the batter into the pan and even the surface with a spatula.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to one week in the refrigerator.

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