Okay, we all have that one friend who tries to substitute ingredients for 'healthier alternatives.' Yeah, they're kind of annoying, and sorry to say I'm guilty as charged. Rest assured that sometimes healthy replacements can still make a dessert taste just as good (or better). These vegan zucchini brownies are a perfect example.

The list of veggies that are now used in baked goods is endless. From sweet potato pancakes and black bean brownies to chocolate avocado truffles and chickpea cookie dough. Adding zucchini to that list may be a bit of an overkill, but its subtle taste holds a major advantage over the other veggies. Check out these two recipes for vegan zucchini brownies and my verdict on whether or not it can pass as a dessert for the sugar-lovers.  

Vegan Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:50 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F ( 175°C) and oil the baking pan.

Step 2

Combine the 2 tablespoons of flax meal with the water to make the flax egg. Let the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow it to gel.

#SpoonTip: An egg can be used in place of flax egg for non-vegans
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Step 3

Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Step 4

In another bowl, mix the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, zucchini and the flax egg.
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Step 5

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts.
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Step 6

Add the mixture to a pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Make sure to let them sit and cool before you cut them.
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Usually when desserts come out extremely gooey and moist, it means they need more time in the oven, but these were so amazing. They were soft and fudge-like with just the right amount of chocolate drip. I highly recommend enjoying them fresh out of the oven and having a bite while they're still warm. If you prefer a harder consistency, leave them in for an extra 5-10 minutes and wait before cutting. Warning: This may lead to overindulging and actually eating the whole pan of brownies before they even have time to cool.

Flourless Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:35 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • pinch salt
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F ( 175°C) and oil the baking pan.

Step 2

Add all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and mix well. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 3

Put in pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool overnight before cutting.
Diana Ghidanac
Diana Ghidanac

This recipe is easier to make because there are less ingredients and only requires one bowl. These brownies were slightly different than the first batch, but in all the right ways. They had a spongey, denser texture and definitely a delicious peanut butter taste. I know it's so hard to wait for these to cool before cutting, so definitely try a little bite while they are warm. It will basically be a spoonful of chocolate peanut butter goodness that will warm your tummy.

The Verdict

For all those who don't want veggies in your desserts and actually want a dessert to be a dessert, we are on the same page. But trust me on this one, you cannot taste the zucchini in these brownies. Several people—non-vegan and sugar-loving—have tried these brownies with no idea that they had any trace of healthy ingredients within. No one could guess that I had added zucchini to the brownies so I assure you, your indulgence will not be restricted with the addition of zucchini. 

After you bake a batch of zucchini brownies, I guarantee you will feel this way. Enjoy!