It’s zucchini season! And we all know that means trying to find as many ways as possible to get rid of it. (See summer harvest pasta.) If you've ever grown zucchini, you know how it goes. You plant one seed and end up with a fridge full of the stuff. You give it away to your friends and neighbors until they are giving it away to their friends. I don’t actually plant zucchini in my garden, so I am the grateful recipient of my neighbor Jerry’s zucchini.
A few weeks ago, one of my college roommates mentioned that she was making zucchini chocolate cake so I asked for the recipe. When she sent it to me, it was on a document with a zucchini brownie recipe that she said was no good, but challenged me to fix it. Well, after a few alterations and a batch of brownies in the garbage can, I scrapped the recipe and went to my go-to chocolate brownie recipe. A few changes and voila—zucchini brownies!
Despite how weird it sounds, they are actually very good. Most people can’t believe there is zucchini in them.
I just want to make one thing clear (for the kids, of course): zucchini brownies are not a substitute for veggies. Consider the zucchini bonus nutrition. I put anywhere from two to three cups of zucchini in my brownies. At two cups per batch, there is only one tablespoon of zucchini per brownie if you cut them into 32 pieces. To get a whole serving of vegetables, you’d have to eat 16 brownies.
One key step in adding zucchini to brownies is to remove some of the water from it. I usually use my food processor to shred the zucchini, but a cheese grater will do. Either way, after it is shredded, dump it out onto a tea towel. Bring the corners together and twist, squeezing as much water out of the zucchini as you can. You will notice that the water is green. Unfortunately, that is some of the nutrients going down the drain, another reason why you can’t count after-lunch brownie as a serving of veggies.
To make the process easier, I shred and squeeze a bunch of zucchini at one time and store it in a container in the fridge for up to a week. That way I can quickly make a batch of zucchini brownies, cake, or bread.
1 c. butter, melted
1½ c. sugar
1½ c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla or 2 tsp. maple flavoring
2-3 c. shredded zucchini, squeezed
1½ c. flour
1 c. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9”X13” pan with foil; spray or rub with oil and set aside.
In large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in eggs one at a time, stirring in completely before adding the next egg.
|I like to use a fork for this step to cream the|
sugars into the butter...
|...and to help break up the eggs.|
Add vanilla or maple flavoring. Stir in zucchini.
|Kitchen tip: measuring spoons all dirty? Use a medicine|
spoon! If you have kids, you probably have
a whole drawer full of them.
In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, stirring completely each time.
Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Use foil to lift brownies out of pan. Cut into 32 pieces, using plastic knife.
|Another kitchen tip: use plastic, not metal utensils when|
cutting and serving brownies. They don't stick as much
so the brownies come out looking neater.