by Olena

Healthy Zucchini Brownies

by Olena

5 from 20 reviews

Zucchini Brownies made healthy with sneaky veggies and whole wheat flour. No one will complain! Trust me.

If and when I bake, I make mostly healthy desserts. Black bean brownies and healthy zucchini bread are at the top of the list because kids love them!

3 zucchini brownies stacked on top of each other

Zucchini Brownies

These zucchini brownies are pure delight! Fudgy, healthy and easy. They do taste like real brownies while made with whole foods. And let’s be honest. Because zucchini is a seasonal item, I make zucchini brownies during summer months. In winter, you can find me cooking batches of Instant Pot black beans and making these brownies.

Everyone in my household was particularly excited for the re-do of healthy brownies with zucchini. Kids want to eat zucchini. Pinch me.

Let’s dive in!

Ingredients

  • Zucchini
  • Coconut oil
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Egg
  • Cacao powder
  • Whole wheat or spelt flour

Please read further about zucchini as it’s important.

How to make healthy brownies step by step

Substitutions

I will go over most commonly asked questions.

  • Flour – You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Any gluten free flour will not work because it doesn’t have gluten in it. This zucchini brownie recipe relies on gluten in dough to rise. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour too. So please stay the course for successful healthy brownies.:)
  • Maple syrup – You can replace only with liquid sweetener like honey, agave, brown rice syrup etc. Baking is a science and the ratio of dry : liquid is important and can’t be offset. Can’t use sugar.
  • Coconut oil – You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil. Or basically any oil you like the taste of. Oil is oil. One thing though. Because coconut oil is solid, zucchini brownies will be a tad more fudgy as it cools down and becomes solid again after baking. Haven’t tried applesauce either, so can’t tell.
  • Cacao powder – More common cocoa powder is OK. It’s just more processed where as cacao powder is considered a healthy choice with more antioxidants and nutrients.

Do I Have to Squeeze Zucchini?

Just a gentle mini squeeze.

We do not squeeze out zucchini completely. Just a gentle squeeze. Please read the recipe. Assume nothing. All zucchini brownies use different techniques. And baking is a science. We need the water contained in zucchini to make brownies moist and fudgy.

Grate zucchini on a medium size holes side of grater. Not large but not tiny holes. This helps with “nobody will be able to tell brownies contain sneaky veggies”.

Place zucchini in a colander while you are getting other ingredients ready. Do not overpack your measuring cup with zucchini because even extra 1/4 cup increases baking time.

chocolate zucchini brownies batter in a baking dish and sliced after baking

How Do I Know Brownies Are Ready?

  1. Bake for 28 minutes at 375 degrees F preheated oven.
  2. Remove zucchini brownies from the oven and let cool for about an hour in the pan. Baked zucchini brownies top should be soft and glossy and the centre not too jiggly.
  3. Do not over bake as brownies will have more of a cake consistency. A toothpick inserted has to come out somewhat not clean. If centre is too jiggly bake a bit more, ovens vary.
  4. Lift by the parchment paper flaps and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Cut into 16 squares.

Frosting?

No frosting, friends. No 1 cup of butter + 2 cups of icing sugar frosting. These are healthy brownies. Healthy.

We pack them with heart healthy monounsaturated fats from coconut oil to make fudgy and irresistible. They are absolutely satisfying a dessert craving without unhealthy frosting. You will be just fine.:)

healthy brownies on a platter

How to Store Brownies (Important)

Here is how I generally store these zucchini brownies.

Brownies become fudgier the next day, especially if stored cut up and separated or refrigerated. I leave them on a plate covered with kitchen towel on a counter overnight or for another night. Then in the fridge they go.

Since zucchini is a summer vegetable when many people make this zucchini brownie recipe. If it’s too hot outside I refrigerate brownies by the end of the day I baked them. And for up to a week.

Zucchini brownies taste even better the next day as they settle and cool off. That’s when brownies become really fudgy as coconut oil solidifies and settles. At first brownies might look like cake.

There is no such obvious crust on healthy brownies as with their butter and sugar counterpart. Obviously. However, if you cut and place brownies on a plate, their sides and edges will dry up a bit overnight.

Freezer Friendly?

Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 – 4 months.

More Yummy Healthy Summer Desserts

Print

Healthy Zucchini Brownies

5 from 20 reviews

Zucchini Brownies are easy, fudgy and healthy. Kids will eat them up. Taste even better next day.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups zucchini, finely shredded (not tightly packed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

Instructions

  1. Place zucchini in a colander while you are getting other ingredients ready. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 8 x 8 baking dish with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add egg, oil, maple syrup and pure vanilla extract; whisk to combine. Add cacao powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until well mixed.
  3. Give zucchini a gentle squeeze but do not ring out completely, add to a bowl and stir. Add flour and mix gently until combined.
  4. Transfer batter into prepared baking dish and level with spatula. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the centre is barely jiggly. Do not over bake as brownies will have more of a cake consistency. A toothpick inserted has to come out somewhat not clean. If centre is too jiggly bake a bit more – ovens vary.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour. Lift by the parchment paper flaps and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Cut into 16 squares.

Store: In a glass airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. If it’s hot outside, refrigerate for up to a week. Freeze for up to 3 – 4 months.

Notes

Brownies become fudgier the next day, especially if stored cut up and separated or refrigerated. I leave them on a plate covered with kitchen towel on a counter overnight.

Substitutions

  • Flour – You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Any gluten free flour will not work because it doesn’t have gluten in it. This zucchini brownie recipe relies on gluten in dough to rise. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour too. So please stay the course for successful healthy brownies.:)
  • Maple syrup – You can replace only with liquid sweetener like honey, agave, brown rice syrup etc. Baking is a science and the ratio of dry : liquid is important and can’t be offset.
  • Coconut oil – You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil. Or basically any oil you like the taste of. Oil is oil. One thing though. Because coconut oil is solid, zucchini brownies will be a tad more fudgy as it cools down and becomes solid again after baking.
  • Cacao powder – More common cocoa powder is OK. It’s just more processed where as cacao powder is considered a healthy choice with more antioxidants and nutrients.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

99 comments on “Healthy Zucchini Brownies

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  1. These are great! I can’t wait to make you zucchini bread recipe next! We got so much zucchini this year that even freezing it hasn’t used it all up haha!

    1. Haha, isn’t it the same story every year?! They are so easy to grow, like cucumbers. That is why I keep making and posting zucchini recipes, they are just everywhere right now and so easy to cook with! Enjoy!

  2. As a mother who’s trying to make healthy school snacks for my children, these are great! They love them! These will be in a permanent rotation in our household. Thank you

  3. Question:
    My daughter hates seeing the string of zucchini in anything. What are your thoughts on if this recipe work if I blended the zucchini with the wet ingredients? (I blended all the wet ingredients along with banana and zucchini together in your muffin recipe and it worked great).

    1. Hi Jeanelle. This recipe calls for zucchini to be drained a bit. So I think if you blend zucchini first by itself and drain a bit of water, then add the rest of ingredients and blend it should work. Or shred zucchini, drain a bit and then blend. More work though but maybe better to ensure recipe’s success. See, zucchini banana chocolate chunks muffins call for not squeezed zucchinis all. So, that is easy to blend. I think do what said and you should be fine.

    1. No, I don’t, sorry. I went through a stretch of not posting nutritional info and then got “harassed” for it.:) But not this recipe. You can quickly do it yourself using spark people calculator.

      1. Health and weight loss are not about calories and low fat but rather eating real food and moderation. On top, modifying liquid amounts in recipe will not yield proper results.

  4. I’ve tried this recipe and even though I ended up with a chocolate cake, it was delicious fluffy…I can say it was a perfect accident!. I changed spelt flour (+2 tbsp over the measure) instead of whole wheat. I will try again with same measures instead of adding 2 tbsp and also I think I need to baked them in a lower temperature to get the right consistency,

    1. You could for sure. I don’t because I just pack it tightly or don’t pack it and that is it. Zucchini is not like flour that can throw off recipe by much. I hate weighing and measuring all together. But I have to for blog purposes. I cooked by the eye measure all my life so if I can avoid scale I will. In this case, scale is avoidable.

  5. Hi!
    Could you use apple sauce instead of the egg? I usually do this when I bake cakes and cookies but wasn’t sure how it would work with these.

    1. No. I know what you mean but in this recipe egg is crucial. I made these brownies without an egg and they were really like a cake. It will be the same issue with applesauce. I mean you can do it but brownies will be very cakey.

  6. Zucchini Brownies is a winner. Great flavour, it is just divine.
    Hi Olena,Thank you for your healthy recipes xx
    July 30th 2015

    1. 135 mg per each brownie. Daily recommended intake 2,000mg. Are you going to eat all 16 brownies at a time? Comments like this make me smile. So easy to just come in and throw in theories…

  7. Hi Olena,
    Have you ever tried these with coconut flour? I ran out of whole wheat flour and wanted to see if coconut flour will do the trick. Thank you for your awesome recipes!

    1. Hi Natalie. No, you can’t substitute coconut flour for gluten flour. Coconut flour is very “thirsty” and has no gluten. It is very tricky to bake with. You are welcome:) Wait until you get a ww flour.

  8. Response to my earlier comment. I’m sorry I missed the “through” part. Directions are fine, my mommy brain is not…Thanks again for sharing:)

  9. These are in the oven as we speak, can’t wait to try them! Also, I don’t not bake alot, so when I do, I go completely by the recipes directions, and I just wanted to let you know that in your directions I could not find where it said to mix in the coconut oil, syrup/honey, baking soda and salt. I realized after I put in the flour, that I had not put in the other wet ingrediants, so I mixed it in after, along with the baking soda. Hopefully they still turn out as amazing as yours look! Thank you for sharing!

      1. I think you’re missing a few steps… the directions do not include when to add the coconut oil, b. Soda. Salt and maple syrup.

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