At work yesterday I got the survey results from the staff on what food they enjoy, and don’t enjoy, in the hospital cafeteria. Overall, the results were very good and gave us a lot to go build upon to improve the options.
While there were certainly the “burgers every day!” crowd, there were also those that were requesting vegetarian, whole wheat, and healthier options. Of course, this was music to my ears. Perhaps it’s time to show the hospital that healthy and healthier meals can be absolutely, positively delicious? I think so!!!
From time-to-time I run across recipes that I simply must try. Generally things that include sneaking veggies into the unexpected food vehicle top the list, as was the case with these zucchini brownies. What a concept…I love it!
While I was able to get a whopping 2 zucchini off my plant before uprooting it to move to Michigan, I am glad to have found the sweetest farmer at my farmer’s market who sells gobs of zucchini for next to nothing. I’ve debated suggesting to him that he could raise his prices and still be giving a steal, but I haven’t yet. And I probably won’t. I love zucchini…and a good deal. 😉
I excitedly whipped these together for a nearly sin-less treat for the week. I got to mixing the ingredients and quickly realized that the batter was going to be very dry and very crumbly, not at all the thin, liquid batter that brownies normally start off as. Not at all. As I popped the brownies into the oven I didn’t dare start on the frosting. With 99% certainty, I thought this recipe was a flop. It just seemed that off.
Alas, I was wrong and these were DELICIOUS! The brownies are not the least bit dry and this is thanks to the shredded zucchini that lets off so much moisture when being baked. After being frosted and then refrigerated, these are truly heavenly. I have mom, dad, brother, best friend, and Mr. Prevention to attest to this, too!
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups zucchini, shredded (about 2 zucchini)
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish, or line with parchment.
In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until well blended. In another bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. A little at a time stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in zucchini. Note: the batter will be dry and crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
To make the frosting, melt together the cocoa powder and butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl blend confectioner’s sugar, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the butter/cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into squares. Refrigerate 1-2 hours to set.
Yield: 32 brownies.
Nutrition Information (per brownie): 141 calories; 5.3 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 131 mg. sodium; 23.9 g. carbohydrate; 1.8 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein
Result: Mmmm! If the batter is suuuuper dry and crumbly, NO WORRIES! That’s how they’re supposed to be. These brownies have a sugar granule texture that I enjoyed, but it’s just something I want to make not of because it is very pronounced. Again, not in a bad way…just an atypical way for brownies. I also felt the sugar could be cut down by 1/2 cup…these were PLENTY sweet, especially with the rich chocolate frosting. I did opt to use whole wheat pastry flour in these and they turned out great. I think half of the oil could be subbed for applesauce to slim them up even more. Store them in the fridge and they are best served cold. Enjoy!
This week has been INSANELY busy but fun! Miss Lily is going to daycare today so that I can get in a long run tonight and make dinner without a dog attached to my hip. It’s been quite the transition to go from every day fun to every day alone 🙁
Day 3…here I come!