Guest Post #5: Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Hi everyone, can you believe it? Finally, I am this close to Graduation (Imagine me pinching my pointer finger with my thumb) :D – And with graduation comes performances, baking, class parties, baking, muck up days and lots of baking!

Before I graduate though, here I am ploughing through my workload because before every beautiful part of life, comes this hideous, clawing at your neck part known as my final exams. Eep! And because I cannot bake my butt off right now, I would like you to enjoy a huge range of wonderful guest posters especially chosen just for you! 

So close to the end of school, I can taste it! Au revoir mes cheris! 

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I have recently met a new blogger, Candice over from Not Just An Auditor and her change to a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying all the flavours food had to offer is pretty inspiring :)

I am so thrilled that she offered to do a guest post today and share with you not only a brilliant recipe, but how she manages this ideal balance! Take it away Candice, and hope everyone enjoys it!

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How You Can Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

1

In the last few months, I have been making an effort to increase my fitness and improve my diet so that I could lose some unwanted weight. For me, the exercise has been pretty easy but one of the toughest things was giving up all the sugary & fatty foods that I loved. As part of this, I have been discovering new recipes so that I can eat foods which I enjoy but with a reduced amount of sugar and/or fat.

There are a large number of recipes on Pinterest that are ‘healthier’ options and I have spent the past few months trying these recipes. Whilst a couple have not been as successful as I would hope, as part of my guest post for Uru, I wanted to share a recipe which I found for Chocolate Zucchini Brownies. Yes – you read right, Chocolate Zucchini Brownies! Now, I am not a fan of zucchini generally, but the comments on the recipe generally stated that the zucchini does not have a prominent flavour in the cake. What is does is it keeps the cake really moist without the need to use eggs.

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Whilst this brownie is considered to be a ‘healthier’ version of your regular brownie, it does not give you a free pass to eat 10 pieces of it in one go! You average brownie contains about 243 calories whereas these brownies contain 122 calories. For an afternoon snack, 122 calories is acceptable (in moderation), so I am comfortable endorsing these brownies as an occasional treat when you do feel like something sweet.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies 

Makes: 24 slices in one batch

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                        

  • ½ cup apple sauce (I used the Woolworths brand as this had the least amount of sugar)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (there is an option to use artificial sugar such as stevia, however I generally do not like these types of sugars, so I prefer to use the real thing. This is my own personal choice but the brownies should work with stevia)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium zucchini, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups plain flour (there is an option to use an organic flour. I do occasionally use organic flour in recipes but it is quite expensive so I only like to use it for recipes that I have already tried)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line a 22.5cm x 30cm baking pan (can be slight smaller or bigger but you might need to adjust cooking time).
  2. Using a Kitchenaid (or by hand if you like, however it will take a bit longer), mix the apple sauce, mashed bananas & sugar until combined. Add the vanilla bean paste and cocoa powder to the mix until combined.
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  3. Add the baking soda, salt & zucchini and beat until combined.
  4. Add flour and mix until combined. At this point it you wanted to add some walnuts, you could. Photo 4 I am not a fan of walnuts so I chose to omit this from the recipe. However, if you did want to add them, ½ cup from be suffice. Another option for some extra chocolate deliciousness is to add some chocolate chips, however this would increase the calories in the recipe.
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  5. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and smooth the top with knife. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. You can test the brownies to see if they are cooked if an inserted skewer comes out clean.
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  6. Leave the brownies to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack. Once cool, cut the brownies.

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Overall, I found this to be a really moist brownie. When I was cutting it, the inside was still quite soft and this is from the zucchini. If you do prefer the brownie to be a bit more firm (more of a cake consistency), then do not use as much zucchini. As the brownie was so moist, no frosting was required.

I found that this brownie had a nice hit of sweetness due to the sugar and mashed banana but it was not over the top. I think when I make this recipe again, I might sneak ½ cup of chocolate chips in the batter. Whilst the cocoa powder did its job and gave a nice hit of chocolate, I do love my chocolate and I felt chocolate chips could have helped with this. However, saying that, the brownie was still delightful, even without the addition of chocolate chips.

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This recipe is one of the many examples of making adjustments to a traditional recipe in order to make it a bit healthier so that it can be enjoyed in moderation. I have found many different recipes on Pinterest, and this one in particular was adapted from the following website.

If you are interested in trying some healthy dessert recipes, I would highly recommend a search on Pinterest (health & fitness category). Another fantastic website is Teresa Cutter’s – The Healthy Chef . I have already made a number of recipes from her site including Healthy ANZAC Biscuits which I blogged about here .

I would like to thank Uru, for giving me the opportunity to guest post on her blog. Her blogs is one of the few I religiously read and I love some of the recipes she comes up with. Whilst it is important to enjoy everything in moderation, it is important to have an occasional treat and Uru’s recipes are worthy of that!

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That is so sweet of you Candice, in more ways than one, sharing this delicious recipe and teaching us how to eat with moderation while enjoying sweet treats :D – Thank you so much for guest posting!
I am more than willing to try this recipe if it means more brownies without guilt ;)

To see more delicious but healthy choice ideas, be sure to visit Candice at Not Just An Auditor and leave her a hello!

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37 Comments

  1. Veronica says:

    Too funny, I have a zucchini brownies recipe pinned on Pinterest – so happy to hear that it’s worth making! Yay for having your cake and eating it too! :)

  2. Hi Candice, nice to “meet” you:) What a wonderful guest post you have served up today. Zucchini Chocolate Brownies are quite yummy. I’m not sure how much healthier they are but hey, if you can “sneak” some veggies into a brownie with no questions asked, who am I to question it!

    Thank you so much for sharing…

    P.S. You are one smart cookie, Uru. Choosing this guest post just in time for Zucchini Day AND Brownies for Breakfast Month! Keep up with those exams, Uru, it’s almost over, lol…

  3. Candace, I feel the same way – I REALLY need to start working out and cut some of the butter ‘n sugar out of my diet (note I said “some” not “all”, lol. I’m only human!). Making these brownies would be an awesome place to start. I love how healthy the recipe is but I bet that it still tastes just as good as the normal fat-laden version.

  4. viveka says:

    This I can relate to. I bake a carrot, parsnip and zucchini bread every week. So good .. with lingonberries in – instead of the apple sauce. So this I will make a go of. Ages since I had brownies .. and it’s nothing I would bake – but this will happen.

  5. A_Boleyn says:

    I’ve yet to cook with zucchini but I’ll have to save the recipe for another day as I’ve made TWO desserts this week. For someone who doesn’t like desserts, that’s 2 too many. Though you’d probably enjoy the phyllo rolls

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