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 a household favorite! Definitely a fun twist to using up all of the extra zucchini during the Summer. I love that I can make a delicious treat that I feel so good about giving my family. I personally like to cook them a bit longer to make them more cakey versus fudgey, but that is just how our family likes them. I have also made them super cakey & frosted them with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream to take to a potluck. They were a HUGE hit!

  2. I made these and they were great! I’m wondering if I could double the recipe. Also, could I make it in a bundt pan? Thanks!

    1. That’s so awesome to hear!!! Yes, if you double the recipe, make sure to use double the size pan. You can use single dose of recipe haha in a bundt pan but I have a feeling brownies will be more cake like if you are fine with that.

  3. This is excellent.
    My husband was completely behind my experimenting, but had no high hopes for any ‘sweet/cake’ featuring zucchini.

    Dear reader, yesterday, after making this for the second time, the sentence ‘Why would anyone, ever, make brownies WITHOUT zucchini?’ has been uttered.

    People who have tried them asked immediately for the recipe and we’ve been enjoying both their joy and their surprise when they hear about the ingredients.

    The coconut oil is a bit expensive around here, so I look forward to trying the fudgier version some day, but until then – this one goes straight into the family cookbook 🙂 !

    Thank you!

  4. So easy to make and super delicious! I added some roughly chopped dark chocolate through the mixture for some extra gooey bits but overall a winner recipe for when you need a feel-good choc fix! Will be recommending to my sister!

  5. Taste great and easy to make. I only had 1.5 cups of zuchinni so I added .5 cup of homemade apple sauce. Still turned out great in spite of deviating from the science of the recipe. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. These were amazing!!!!! I just made them this morning, so I’m excited to try them tomorrow and see how the texture is. I did try one an hour after getting them out of the oven and they were great! The only thing I did differently was I used sugar-free maple syrup. They ended up being about 100 calories per piece! I thought about adding some sweetener, but honestly, the syrup was enough. Thank you for this great recipe!!!

  7. Very tasty! Next time I will bake at 350 for 25 min. instead of 375 since it turned out more like cake than brownies. The only things I did differently was sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top and put a little ground flax in with the whole wheat flour.

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