These dark chocolate zucchini brownies will cure what ails you – and they may prevent a stroke!!!
Dark chocolate is naturally the best and to get the benefit you should eat 2.3 ounces per week. (Not per hour!)
What? Now you’re thinking, “Clare’s gone over the cliff trying to justify another brownie recipe.” Well yes, but I tore out this article (sorry didn’t note the magazine) that quoted a Swedish study of 33,000 folks. It said the frequent chocolate indulgers were “20% less likely to have a stroke compared to women who ate hardly any chocolate.”*
Now if you sneak some vegetables into the brownies you can eat more of them, right? Well you will want more of these. I first saw a similar recipe on a fun blog called “A Dash of Sass.” http://www.adashofsass.com/2011/07/12/double-chocolate-zucchini-brownies/
However after the last attempt to make healthy brownies, I changed these in a number of ways to make sure they would be incredible. And they are – or should I say – they were? The zucchini is finely grated to add moistness to the brownies and little taste. So the chocolate really shines through.
I hope you tried the zucchini muffin recipe I blogged about recently. It doesn’t contain any chocolate, but the cinnamon really plays well with the delicate moisture in the zucchini. http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/08/18/zucchini-cinnamon-muffins/
Zucchini Help: Grate it – peel and all – with a fine grater and then either press the moisture out with a paper towel – or let the zucchini rest for awhile sitting on a piece of cheesecloth with a bowl under it to catch the drips. (Think of it like a nap on a swing.) Either way, get some of the moisture out and then fluff the beautiful green stuff with a fork. Measure it in the fluffed state. Don’t pack the zucchini in the measuring cup or it will be too dense and too much of a good thing.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
2 cups grated zucchini – see note above
1/2 cup coconut oil (a light olive or canola oil will also work)
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coffee espresso (optional)
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (You could cut back on these a bit.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease an 8″ or 9″ square pan – or spray with baking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, honey and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended.
Fold in the zucchini.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake 30 – 40 minutes. It will be difficult to get a toothpick to come out clean because of the chocolate chips. So if the brownie is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and if the center is mostly set up, they’re done.
They will firm up as they cool, but don’t wait. Eat at least one while they’re warm and gooey.
Optional additions; nuts, craisins, coconut, cacao nibs
This is a recipe to play with. While the zucchini are plentiful in the garden or in the grocery store, stock up, grate and freeze some.
*Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D., National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden.