Monday, December 31, 2012

Low Fat Zucchini Brownies

Happy New Year’s Eve! Time to make resolutions...so what is it this year? Spend more time with family? Get in shape? Eat healthier?

Maybe I can help you with that last one. See, I finally got around to baking again, since it’s the final week of break. My mom had already made cookies, my dad had opened a package of Oreos (yes, this is how things usually are in our house), so I decided, why not brownies? Zucchini brownies, that is!

Here’s what you need (original recipe from SparkRecipes):

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 small or medium bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini (ours was basically mashed)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (we omitted these)

Start out by greasing and powdering a 9x13-inch pan. Then you probably want to prepare the ingredients, i.e. shred the zucchini and mash the bananas. That way you can just dump it in and stir without having to leave the batter for long periods of time, because the zucchini really does take a while. We used an electric food processor; grating it by hand would be very time-consuming.

Anyway, I did an amazing job mashing the banana:


Add the applesauce and sugar to that, and mix it up. Add vanilla and cocoa and mix again, and then add the baking soda, salt, and zucchini. Again, it helps if the zucchini is already shredded so you don’t have a bunch of applesauce and banana and whatnot sitting around while you do it.

Last is the 2 cups of flour, and the walnuts if you want them. Which we didn’t (nor did we have walnuts). At this point it does look something like brownie batter.


Pour it into the pan...


...and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Here’s what it looked like when it came out. They really do look like brownies, though close up there are green chunks...and what you can’t see is that the middle is still liquid. Which we discovered several hours later when my dad went for a taste.

This pan of “brownies” did get baked for 25 minutes. Twice. Finally we just decided if they weren’t done yet, they never would be. I haven’t eaten one yet today, but last night they were still slightly mushy in the middle, although the edges were good. They seem to have gotten a better texture overnight, so we’ll see. They work fairly well with whipped cream, I may try chocolate sauce next time. (Note: this is the first time in my life that I
’ve ever chosen an edge piece over an inside piece!)


I won’t lie...they’re not going to fool anyone into thinking they’re real brownies. I can definitely taste the bananas, and the texture is off. Maybe it’s just because it was still warm and slightly mushy, but it actually got me thinking is mushed bananas with a chocolate twist. I couldn’t really taste the zucchini, but these definitely remind me of zucchini bread. Which is OK because I like zucchini bread, but not what I’m going for when I want a brownie!

Oh, well. I guess I should have known they wouldn’t be real brownies...you can’t always win! But if you’re the zucchini type or the healthy-dessert type, these might be right up your alley. They
’re actually pretty good in their own right. Just make sure they’re fully cooked, unless you’re the drink-your-dessert type. ;)
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