Zucchini. Tons and tons of zucchini. I like it and all, especially in Creamy Shrimp Linguine, but really…how much zucchini can one person eat? And yet I keep getting it in my CSA share.
So last night I went on a search for things to do with my abundance of zucchini, and as soon as I saw the idea for this recipe I knew I wanted to try it. As in, immediately.
So immediately, in fact, that when I discovered I was short on cocoa powder (gasp! horror!) I sent my 12 year old daughter out to the neighbors in her pajamas in search of some. At 9:00 at night. And when those neighbors weren’t home I sent her back out to the other neighbors to ask them. That’s how desperate I was to do this thing.
Ah, children. God’s little way of helping us do all the unpleasant, embarrassing things we don’t want to do ourselves.
Fortunately that neighbor was home, and awake, and in possession of cocoa, and willing to give me some. (Thanks, Tracy!) So I plopped in all the ingredients – changing up some things according to my whim at the moment – baked it, let it cool for about 20 minutes, and….
Oh. My goodness.
So good! It’s not necessarily like my old Baker’s Chocolate recipe that had 2 cups of sugar in it – but it is hands down the best attempt at better-for-you brownies I’ve ever tried. (And, believe me, folks, I’ve been TRYING.)
Before now, none of my attempts were at all worthy of sharing with you guys. But this one totally is.
What makes it special is that it’s really fluffy – spongy and springy – and yet at the same time is really, really moist. It just kind of dissolves in your mouth. And so chocolatey! Really, really chocolatey. There’s no hint of the zucchini in it at all, except for the fact that it’s so wonderfully moist and tender.
Also, this recipe has no flour. At all. Of any kind. It just has almond butter as the main ingredient!
I’ve been able to have foods like this, made with whole food sweeteners, just fine recently. (Well, I had to go through a detox after vacation, but after that I was fine.) Not everyone will be able to, though – in the beginning I wasn’t. So if you’re still sensitive to any kind of sweetener be sure to tread carefully with this! But if you’re able to have whole-food sweeteners in moderation, then this is definitely a recipe to try out!
What else are we supposed to do with all those zucchinis this time of year?
- 1 cup natural almond butter
- 1 cup zucchini, grated VERY fine
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup honey
- 10-15 drops liquid Stevia extract, or to taste, optional (I used Trader Joe's organic)
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder (preferably dark)
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup chopped pecans (or whatever nut you prefer)
- 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- Mix all ingredients except Stevia together in a large bowl. (Make sure the zucchini is grated finely if you want to disguise it thoroughly!)
- Taste the batter, and if you think it needs to be sweeter add more honey or 10-15 drops of Stevia extract.
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish with butter or coconut oil, and then pour in the batter.
- Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before cutting into it, or it will fall apart!