This week I took my littlest one grocery shopping for the first time in 2 years (thanks to COVID). And boy did she have a ball. She would have been closer to 1 years old the last time she’d been, so my daughter likely didn’t remember much. Given her enthusiasm for grocery shopping, you’d think she was in a candy store! This little girl was beyond excited to throw every veggie and fruit into our shopping cart (yes, my bill was a doozy!). One food that filled up our reusable shopping bags was zucchini. I would usually whip up a batch of my delicious Zucchini Blueberry Bread but I was in the mood for some chocolatey brownies. That’s when my Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies were born.
As soon as these Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies came out of the oven (warm, chocolatey and gooey) there were little hands all over them. But my real critic is my husband. After sampling a few he blurted “These are the best brownies you’ve ever made!“.
Let’s me be clear that I’ve made a lot of brownies in my time. But I had never made Zucchini Brownies. I’ve done Black Bean Brownies (which happens to be one of the most popular recipes on my blog). I’ve done Sweet Potato Brownies inspired by other foodies. And I’m in the process of perfecting Avocado Brownies (stay tuned!).
But these Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies were a first.
When I scoped out other similar recipes, I noticed they only used a smidge of zucchini. Though you know I like to load up on the nutrition when I can – which is a risky move when you’re working with a dessert like brownies. Yet, to my surprise, the zucchini did wonders for this recipe.
A time-saving tip:
While the recipe below suggests mixing the dry ingredients first, then the wet. Here’s what I did to simplify the process:
- Blend oats in my Vitamix
- Blend all other ingredients (except chocolate chips)
- Pour batter into baking pan and stir in chocolate chips
I know mixing dry and then wet is often recommended. However, given my recipe experimentation, it doesn’t seem to be required for these Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies.
Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownie – ingredient spotlight:
Dried Fruit: I used a mix of apricots, dates, and gooseberries but any combo works!) You can also sub out some of the dried fruit for apple sauce or honey. The dried fruit needs to be well blended so you may need to use a tool to push down the ingredients without hitting the blades (I have this Vitamix and use this tamper to get the ingredients incorporated).
Oats: I like using a mix of almond flour and oats for a protein boost, but you can go 100% oats if you like. If using regular flour you will need to adjust the portion as oats weigh less than flour. Be sure to choose certified gluten-free oats like these if you’d like to make these brownies gluten-free.
Zucchini: The nutrition in this recipe gets a serious boost with the folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium – thanks to zucchini. When it comes to preparation, you want the zucchini to be blended well (so it becomes part of the smooth batter). No chunks of zucchini in this brownie. Oh and there’s no need to squeeze out the water as required in most recipes. So that saves some time. And it makes the Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies extra moist.
Ok let’s go make some Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies.
Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies
Zucchini Applesauce Brownies
Gluten-free oat zucchini brownies
- 2 cups oats (grind oats into flour)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 medium eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce (or honey)
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (apricots, dates, etc)
- 2 cups zucchini (shredded)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Place parchment paper on a 9x12 baking pan
Blend oats until a fine flour, then mix with all dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, cacao powder).
Blend eggs, applesauce/dried fruit, zucchini until smooth and mix with dried ingredients.
Pour into baking pan and bake for approx 30 minutes. (time will vary depending on oven, etc so check with toothpick before removing).