Maple Pecan Zucchini Brownies (Flourless!) GrF, DF

Zucchini Brownies

You’re probably thinking, “Another brownie recipe?” Ok, maybe not. But it’s true that I don’t post sweets that often. Brownies twice in one month? Crazy. Over kill? I don’t think so. At least not in the current circumstances.

My sweet little dog died yesterday. Shasta was 10. She was rescued at 6 and a half years of age. We hope we gave her a good life, that we did right by her. Gosh, I miss her little face, her little cheesy Dorito smell she gives off when she’s all curled up and sleeping like a log. Her big begging eyes that say “I’m not begging, but if you loved me you’d share.” Not chocolate, of course, though…


Hence the brownies. It’s becoming a mourning thing. What can I say? I eat chocolate when I’m sad. Please don’t judge.

So next time you’re sad, PMSing, or just need a treat, please bookmark these to try. They really are delicious in all the right ways a brownie should be. I’ve also included some variations for those of you who like to change things up.

This brownie recipe, like the last, are relatively healthy, but not so healthy they don’t taste good. This one is unique in that it only requires ½ cup of sweetener. The best part? You’d never know it.

Even better than that?

The glue that holds this recipe together is zucchini and almond butter. No flour or flour substitutes. You’d never know that this recipe is almost made up entirely of vegetables. How awesome is that? This recipe will even hold up if you choose to not use egg and use an egg replacement instead. So essentially, this recipe can be vegan, is gluten free, dairy free and uses only natural sweeteners. I love that!!!

If you really want to hide the zucchini, peel it before grating. If a little fleck of green  (like any other zucchini cake) doesn’t bother you than leave it as is.

Chocolate Flourless Zucchini Brownies

Maple Pecan Brownies

Inspired by Karielyn at The Healthy Family and Home

  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao or cocoa
  • 1 egg (vegans use 1 egg replacement)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract (or use 2 tsp of vanilla)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pecans (toasted pecans will give a better flavor profile)
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies


The recipe will work with an egg replacement. You can also use honey or agave and forsake the maple flavor and these will still be delicious.

Nut allergy? Switch out the almond butter for sunflower seed butter and use carob or chocolate chips instead of pecans.

Peanut Butter Brownies: Substitute natural peanut butter for almond butter. Omit maple extract and use 2 tsp vanilla. Switch the nuts to peanuts or chocolate chips.

Orange Espresso Brownies: Substitute 2 tsp orange zest for maple extract, use honey instead of maple syrup and add 1 Tbsp of espresso powder (or instant coffee). Try it with Espresso Icing! Yum.

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17 Responses to Maple Pecan Zucchini Brownies (Flourless!) GrF, DF

  1. Phyllis July 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    So sad you’ve lost your Shasta ~ and so grateful you’re sharing this awesome recipe in her honour. Thank you for your sweetness :0)

  2. Donna Tartaglia Puizina July 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    What do you think about trying these with yellow squash instead of zucchini? So sorry about your little dog … it made me think of my little Nina who I had to put down in Sept (kidney failure) … she followed me around all day and I still miss her so much.

    • beyondthepeel July 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      I do miss our little munchkin. The place where she used to sleep seems so empty.

      You can use yellow squash here. It will work just as well.

  3. Ashley Smyth Srokosz July 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    What a tough month you’ve had! Like Phyllis, so grateful that you’re sharing this with all of us even though we’d understand if you just feel like going into a corner and curling up into a ball.

    But chocolate is way more helpful than that. Hugs from Ontario!

  4. Carol G July 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    So sorry for the pain of your loss of your sweet Shasta. :'( I hope all of the wonderful memories eases the pain. Thanks for a yummy looking recipe.

  5. Kathy July 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    so very sorry to hear of your deep loss, thank you for giving Shasta such a loving home, I hope your pain will be less when you remember the love you shared. Hang in there and thank you for sharing the sweetest photo’s ever.Big thanks for sharing your outstanding recipe. I am sending prayers of comfort and strength to you along with a virtual hug.

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Thanks Kathy. Hugs are good. It’s amazing what a whole it leaves.

  6. Erin July 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    I’m sure Shasta approves of your sharing the recipe with us. She will always be with you.

  7. Brenda July 11, 2013 at 3:36 am #

    Sad news. They are a member of the family. :-( Sorry to hear it.
    Are these brownies fudgy or cakelike?

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      Like a super moist fudgy cake. More cake like right out of the oven and they become fudgier everyday after that.

  8. Carmen July 11, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Aww, I’m so sorry about your doggy.

  9. Joanne (eats well with others) July 11, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Aww I’m so so so sorry about your loss! :( I know brownies don’t really help, but they also somehow do.

    • beyondthepeel July 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks Joanne. It’s a big whole, one brownies couldn’t possibly fill, but it does take they edge off.

  10. Sofia Clara July 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear the sad news :(
    chocolate is always a good way to take your mind off things and these look awesome. x

  11. mjskit July 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Oh I am so sorry to read about your sweet Shasta. :( She looks like a real sweetheart. Your brownies are definitely a wonderful comfort I’m sure. Aside from being chocolate (YUM!), I’m sure they taste delicious and they’re not heavy because they don’t have flour!! What a clever idea to use zucchini! Lots of hugs Sweetie!

    • beyondthepeel July 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you MJ for your sweet words. She was a lovely girl.

  12. Amber H July 20, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    Hi France,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. That’s so hard!! Sending you a big internet hug my friend. What a lucky dog to have you as a mommy. I can only imagine her amazing life!!!

    And your brownies look amazing. Great job!

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