Zucchini in My Brownies?

30 05 2014

As you can imagine, being a registered dietitian, I am all about vegetables. The more the merrier I always say! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will remind

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

you that vegetables not only add beautiful color to your plate, but are a power packed source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. The texture and fiber content of vegetables help slow down our eating pace (think “chewability”!). They can help curb hunger with fewer calories. They can even help extend a recipe, making it overall higher in nutrients and lower in calories per serving (think what adding another 2 cups of vegetables to a casserole dish can do). But hiding them in scrumptious desserts has never been my cup of tea…until now.

When I bake, I bake. If I am going to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie, which is not too often, I want a REAL cookie! Yes I mean with real butter, real white sugar (gasp!), white flour (double gasp!), and chocolate. Foods like this I treasure and savor as I try to make most of my choices healthy and nutrient rich. Well, this week I was faced with a challenge. I had to prepare food for an event that centered around healthy food choices, and my goal was to have everything I prepared contain fruits and vegetables. I wanted to be creative with dessert…not the same old fresh fruit with whipped cream on top here. So that led me to…zucchini brownies. Yes, you heard me right. Zucchini in my sacred, indulgent brownies.
Well, I must say, I was impressed. These brownies turned out super moist, chocolaty, and totally yummy. The recipe actually made more than it estimated, and was more like a “cake” brownie recipe. You could not taste the zucchini, and really would not know it was there unless you looked really closely. Adding the zucchini extended the recipe (made a 9×13” pan), and adding 2 cups of shredded zucchini also added Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Fiber, and a whopping 650mg of Potassium to my recipe. Not bad, eh?

So moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to get creative once in a while. Try these zucchini brownies this weekend…you just might like them!

Zucchini Brownies

Prep time:15 mins
Cook time:30 mins
Total time:45 mins
Serves: 30

• 1½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup oil or ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• ¼ cup cocoa
• 2 cups finely shredded zucchini
• 1½ teaspoons vanilla
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1½ teaspoons baking soda
• 1 cup chocolate chips – your choice whole or melted
• 2 eggs

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray, or oil.
3. Combine sugar, eggs, oil, flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
4. Add cocoa, zucchini (no need to pat dry). Mix until well combined.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips or melt chocolate chips and add (I softened in the microwave-half melted and half not).
6. Pour brownie batter into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are set.
7. Cool and cut brownies into 1 ½” squares and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 137 calories, 5.8g fat, 1.8g saturated fat, 20g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein, 150mg sodium

Adapted from: http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2012/07/zucchini-brownies/#

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