Rich and delicious Healthy Zucchini Brownies made with shredded zucchini, whole wheat flour, and no refined sugar. Super moist and fudgy, no one even realizes that there is two cups of zucchini packed into the recipe!
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These zucchini brownies are pure delight! Fudgy, healthy and easy. They taste like real brownies while made with whole foods perfect for even midday healthy snacks!
Because zucchini is seasonal but the love for brownies can be year round, I make zucchini brownies during summer months.
Everyone in my household was particularly excited for the remake of healthy brownie recipe with zucchini. Kids want to eat zucchini. Pinch me. 🙂
This healthy zucchini dessert has the best simple yet clean ingredients. In fact, you could almost get away with eating these at every meal.
Plus, they are so easy to make! No wringing out your shredded zucchini for hours, just a quick squeeze and into the bowl they go. And did I mention, you can make this all in one bowl?
They actually get fudgier the next day (cue the swoon!) and can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week, although ours never last that long!
Ingredients for Healthy Zucchini Brownies
Zucchini is the perfect vegetable to sneak into desserts because of both its mild taste and high water ratio keeps your brownies moist without ever fear of being dry!
- Zucchini: We will be adding a full 2 cups of shredded zucchini, talk about nourishing!
- Egg: For binding and holding these brownies together.
- Whole wheat or spelt flour: You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Any gluten free flour will not work because this zucchini brownie recipe relies on gluten in dough to rise. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour too.
- Maple syrup: I love to use this natural sweetener in baked goods because its flavor is mild without overpowering.
- Coconut oil: I find coconut oil best to use because it is solid. Zucchini brownies will be a tad more fudgy as they cool and oil becomes solid again after baking. Plus, that means these are dairy free!
- Cacao powder: A superfood full of antioxidants and nutrients. Can use cocoa powder too.
Here are some common substitutions if you happen to be out of an ingredient!
- Liquid sweetener: You can use any other liquid sweetener like honey, agave, brown rice syrup. Baking is a science and the ratio of dry to liquid is important and can’t be offset.
- Oil: You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil, however best results are with coconut oil!
- Cacao powder: More common unsweetened cocoa powder is OK. It’ more processed but can be found easily at any grocer.
- Other flour: Unfortunately for this recipe, no. If all you have is coconut flour, make these chocolate coconut flour muffins, instead.
- Egg: Unfortunately, using applesauce instead of egg results in a cake like zucchini brownie. This recipe needs an egg! You may like this healthy chocolate cake, too!
- Chocolate chips: Not a substitution but if desired, sprinkle chocolate chips on top before baking.
How to Make Healthy Zucchini Brownies
This recipe comes together in one bowl, but all zucchini recipes use different techniques, so please read.
Prep baking dish: I highly recommend to line dish with parchment paper for easy removal.
Prep zucchini by shredding on medium size hole side of grater and giving a gentle squeeze. Set aside in colander while preparing remaining ingredients.
Do not salt zucchini or squeeze excessively to remove excess water. The water in the zucchini is what gives these brownies their moist fudgy texture!
Liquids: Measure oil in liquid state. I recommend not to make oil very hot so it doesn’t “cook” the egg in batter.
Whisk all liquids first, and then add and whisk your leavening agents and cacao powder until “chocolate sauce” consistency.
Fold in shredded zucchini: Gently stir your previously set aside shredded zucchini.
Add flour: Mix until just combined.
Bake: Bake for 28 minutes at 375 degrees F preheated oven. Top should be soft and glossy and the centre not too jiggly.
Do not overbake brownies! They might seem slightly undercooked when you test them. If you insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies pan it should come out with some damp crumbs attached. If you shake the pan and center is not wiggly, your zucchini fudgy brownies are set!
Cool properly: Let brownies cool in the pan for about an hour. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. If you have patience, brownies become fudgier next day.
Tips for Baking with Zucchini
- Use large or small zucchini: The size of the zucchini doesn’t matter, just the amount.
- Measuring: Do not overpack your measuring cup with zucchini because even extra 1/4 cup increases baking time.
- A word about baseball bat sized zucchini: Please do remove large seeds before grating as they could have a bitter taste!
- Don’t peel the zucchini: It’s so thin no one will notice plus researchers say it has the highest level of antioxidants. Yeah!
- Follow the recipe: All zucchini recipes will differ how they prep the zucchini. For this recipe, give zucchini only a small squeeze to release some water.
A perfect fudgy brownie is moist and gooey and resembles a fudge like texture! When you add more flour and a leavening agent such as baking powder, you will have a cake like brownie.
This recipe uses only 1 cup flour, no baking powder and quite an abundance of moist ingredients (coconut oil, zucchini, eggs) which results in a healthy fudgy brownie!
No you can’t! That is the beauty of zucchini brownies. You may also like to make these healthy banana zucchini muffins.
You could, but you don’t need to! Zucchini is not like flour in that it will throw off recipe by much if you use a little more/little less. Just don’t pack zucchini tightly and you will be fine!
Definitely and many readers have! You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes, so keep an eye on your oven.
How to Store
Overnight: 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. I leave them on a plate covered with kitchen towel on the counter overnight.
Past 24 hrs mark: 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.
Freezing: Freeze brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 – 4 months. I would be surprised if you have any left to freeze. 🙂
Crust? There is no such obvious crust on healthy brownies as with their butter and sugar counterpart. However, if you cut and place brownies on a plate, their sides and edges will dry up a bit overnight.
More Healthy Zucchini Recipes
- Almond flour zucchini bread
- Healthy lemon zucchini bread
- Healthy lemon zucchini muffins
- Healthy zucchini banana bread
- Healthy chocolate zucchini bread
Need even more zucchini recipes? Browse our collection of 45 healthy zucchini recipes!
Best Ever Healthy Zucchini Brownies
- 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.
- 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.
- Give zucchini a gentle squeeze but do not ring out completely, add to a bowl and stir.
- Add flour and mix gently until combined.
- 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.
- 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. Then cut into 16 squares and enjoy!
- Store 1st day: 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.
- Store past 24 hrs: 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: In airtight container for up to 3 – 4 months.
- 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. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour, too.
- Maple syrup: You can replace only with liquid sweetener like honey, agave, or brown rice syrup.
- Coconut oil: You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil or your favorite. 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 okay to use.