I recently overheard someone say they’re so over avo toast?! There are a couple of things I can never have too much of. Caramel sauce being one and avocado ‘everything’, the other. Although a buttery caramel sauce will do little to extend your life, you can’t be anything but blissfully happy while licking your sticky lips. Speaking of which, I think it’s time we get rid of words like guilty pleasures. Perhaps it’s more about finding balance. Like with these healthy zucchini brownies slathered in a rich chocolate avocado frosting. They’re loaded with good-for-you ingredients without forgoing on the all important fudge-factor.
Given the chance, I’ll add vegetables to just about anything. Just last week my daughter asked if I could please bake something without vegetables. I agreed and then proceeded to make these zucchini brownies. I grated the zucchini really fine to hide my blatant deceit. After working my way through thousands of healthy brownies recipes on Pinterest and experimenting with different combinations of fruit and vegetables, I’m finally happy with the rich chocolatey taste of these brownies.
Apart from the obvious health benefits of eating more veg, the addition of vegetables to baked goods helps to keep cakes moist and bolsters both the flavour and texture. Zucchini has a lovely subtle taste which makes it ideal for sweet bakes. For a savoury loaf, this Zucchini basil pesto bread is exceptionally good and gluten-free. It’s good for creamy scrambled eggs and even better for, yes you guessed it, more avocado toast!
Onto the brownie slab, then. A good brownie flies solo, unadulterated and frost-free, but why stop at one vegetable when we can have two? Technically avocado is a fruit and used primarily for savoury dishes. Today though, we’re making a chocolate and tahini avocado frosting. Sounds good, right? Without the usual sugar overkill, this chocolate frosting recipe is refined sugar-free and rich in Vitamin E. Good news for a healthy, glowing skin. The avo frosting could easily be mistaken for chocolate mousse, it’s that smooth. Using a perfectly ripe avocado will yield the creamiest consistency. I could go on and on about how these are the best healthy zucchini brownies, but as we all know, the proof is in the eating. And here I did my homework!
For the batter, I’ve used a combination of spelt flour and almond meal which gives the brownies an underlying nuttiness. Wellness Warehouse stocks an extensive range of alternative healthy flours, including UK brand Rude Health‘s, sprouted organic wholewheat spelt. Alternately, finely ground wholemeal flour will work equally well. Brownies are usually good for a couple of days, but regrettably I can’t vouch for this as we ate the lot on day one!
Healthy zucchini brownies with avocado frosting
- Healthy zucchini brownies with avocado frosting
- 2 eggs
- 100ml coconut oil
- ¼ cup honey plus ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup wholemeal spelt flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups finely grated zucchini (excess water squeezed out)
- 100g (1 cup) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- Avocado frosting
- 1 ripe avocado
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 3-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, depending on sweetness preferred
- 1 heaping tablespoon (25ml) tahini paste
- 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- cocoa nibs, to finish
- Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper, extending the opposite ends to create paper handles.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat until well incorporated.
- Fold through the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and smooth over with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. When testing with a skewer, the centre should still be fudgy and gooey.
- Cool on a wire rack before carefully lifting from the tin.
- To make the frosting, place all the ingredient, except the cocoa nibs into a blender and blitz until completely smooth and silky.
- Spread the avocado frosting over the cooled brownie slab and scatter with cocoa nibs.
- Slice into squares and serve at room temperature.
For moer crafty ways to hide vegetables : Cheesy vegetable waffles