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.
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.
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.