There’s no time of year when chocolate is “out of season.” We don’t eat pumpkin pie in the summer, or cold soup in the winter, but we will eat brownies all year long. That makes these lush, dark chocolate treats appropriate for every month of the year.
But they have a “secret ingredient” that is all the rage in August. I’ve written many articles on how to use your bountiful harvest of zucchini at the end of summer, so I know. Zucchini is trending, as they say. So, in the spirit of the annual quest to eat more zucchini, I put an entire zucchini in this pan of delicious vegan brownies.
I hope you’ll watch the video!
Dark Chocolate Vegan Brownies
Because we love chocolate, and a brownie is a sweet and familiar treat, it’s easy to slip a green vegetable in there. Especially a relatively bland and wet one, like zucchini. I promise I won’t be offering you kale brownies any time soon. In these, the deep flavors of chocolate and vanilla completely overshadow any hint of squashiness. It’s a bonus that these are vegan brownies, with no butter or eggs.
All that chocolate flavor takes the lead, and you’ll never suspect that the super-secret other ingredient is aquafaba. I’ve been baking and cooking with aquafaba quite a bit, making aioli, muffins, veggie burgers, even “crab”cakes with it. It’s such a handy, versatile ingredient that whenever I use canned chickpeas, I pour the bean juice I drain from the beans into a zip-top sandwich bag and freeze it. That way I have a little stack of 1/2 cup portions of aquafaba, ready to go.
In this recipe, I boiled the aquafaba from my cans of chickpeas to reduce it and concentrate it. It only takes a few minutes and is a good practice to guarantee that your aquafaba has the “strength” you need to do “eggy” things with it. Mousse, Meringue, all can be made with the magic of aquafaba. But these vegan brownies are something you will make again and again.
Of course, you don’t have to keep the zucchini a secret. You may even be serving your brownies to adults who actually like the idea of eating more vegetables in the form of dessert. Once you get the ganache on there, everybody will want to try one, trust me.
Vegan Zucchini Brownies
- 1 1/2 cup aquafaba
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 ounces zucchini, 1 medium chunks
- 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 4 ounces very dark chocolate chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- powdered sugar for sifting over
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and oil a 9-inch square baking pan, reserve.
- Place the aquafaba in a 1 quart saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer vigorously to reduce to 3/4 cup. Let cool. Place the cooled aquafaba, vanilla, zucchini and coconut oil in strong blender and secure the lid. Puree until very smooth, reserve.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Pour the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined, then stir in the chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is dry and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with a little thick batter, don't overbake.
- Cool on a rack, then cover and refrigerate.
- For ganache: chop chocolate, then place the coconut milk in a small pan and bring to a boil. Take off the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for a minute, then stir. When the chocolate is melted, drizzle over the brownies. Spread evenly, unless you like the look of the drizzles Let cool.
- Chill the brownies so they will cut evenly. Slice 3 by 3 for 9 brownies. Sift powdered sugar over them and serve.