Monday, March 2, 2015

Triple chocolate (vegan) zucchini brownies

If I am going to bake something, I automatically gravitate towards using chocolate. I have a bit of an addiction. I must have chocolate on hand. That and peanut butter. It is by far my biggest vice. I blame it on my Aunt Deanie. Or praise her for it? Either way, I think it's in my genes to always need chocolate. In bar form, dissolved in milk, as a cake, and especially in cookies, it is my all time favorite sweet.

While Ethan lived on Whidbey Island last year for his clinical rotations I would drive over from Seattle to visit him on the weekends. It was his first time living on his own, and the first time I had experienced him outside of city life. It was a new adventure for us a couple. A whole island to discover and completely new things to discover about each other. The highly concentrated time we spent together revealed interesting quirks. One night, after a long day at work and a long drive, I just needed some chocolate. I wanted to unwind and indulge a little. But in Ethan's small, studio apartment, he barely had groceries for himself let alone for my crazy sweet habits. But I couldn't let it go! I needed that chocolate. In brownie form. Stat.

We went down to the front desk of his hotel and asked if there were any good places for dessert nearby. Needless to say, the Island didn't pride itself on five-star restaurants nor grand sweeteries. But the gal at the desk did say there was a Baskin n' Robbins near by. We had to hurry though, she was sure it was closing soon. 

I ran to the car. Which was pointless because Ethan went at his normal pace to get there. We drove a few blocks and landed in the ice cream parlor 10 minutes before it closed. I got a brownie ice-cream sundae and ate it all within five minutes. I was sick, but I was happy and fulfilled.

As exhibit A, I submit to you this story as evidence that there is a chocolate monster inside of me that must be fed at any given moment. This weekend, she struck again. But I was determined to trick the little monster into having to some veggies too. 

These triple chocolate brownies zucchini add a surprise punch -- pureed spinach! And let me tell you something, you may never want to have a brownie any other way. They are fluffy, dense, choc full of chocolate, and completely satisfying. And vegan too!

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 1&1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can just do 2 cups white flour, if that's all you have)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1&1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional, but highly recommended)  
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini 
  • 3/4 cup pureed spinach 
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8x8 baking pan

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vanilla, baking chocolate. Sprinkle in the flour, cocoa, soda, salt and spices. It'll be dry, but don't worry!

3. Fold in spinach and zucchini and then add the chocolate chips

4. Put in the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes

Enjoy and indulge. Eat well! Be well! And subscribe below to never miss a beat :)

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