Looking for a good way to trick your family into eating some veggies? You’ve found one. Over the past year or so, I’ve been seeing more and more recipes where veggies are masked in recipes. Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of zucchini on its own, but I have family members who don’t share my passion for it…and this is one heck of a way to sneak these bad boys into a sweet treat. In fact, when I told my brother that I was bringing brownies over for dessert, all he wanted to know was how many calories they had in them, so he wouldn’t go overboard. No problem. I cut this batch into 24 pieces, and they are 215 calories each (without the walnuts, with the walnuts, they’re 229 calories each). There, he was satisfied. As I watched him eat a whole piece, this made me smile…because he doesn’t like vegetables. After he ate the whole thing and said it was good, I smiled and said, “I’m glad you liked it, because you just ate some zucchini!” Ha ha!!
My next project is to make these even healthier, by using gluten-free flour and sucanat in place of the sugar. Then, maybe just a chocolate glaze on top instead of the icing. Wish me luck on that one.
For the Brownies:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a blender, combine the oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Puree until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients (batter will be thick), and spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. Spread icing over cooled brownies before cutting into 24 squares. Store in airtight container, does not need to be refrigerated.
For the Icing:
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and continue mixing for 3-4 minutes. Spread over cooled brownies.