ooey-gooey zucchini brownies

I’m late to the zuccini-in-baked-goods bandwagon (mostly because zucchini isn’t easily found around these parts), but having made this recipe three times I’m on the bandwagon all the way! These brownies are incredibly moist, rich and gooey.

The best part about this recipe, from my lazy person’s perspective? There’s no squeezing or draining or twisting or mesh bags involved. No muss, no fuss.

And yes, I make brownies in a muffin pan because I make everything in a muffin pan.

P.S. As every person who has ever made zucchini brownies/cake/bread has said, you can’t taste the zucchini!

Ooey-Gooey Zucchini Brownies
By: Mia Cee || Resting Hungry Face
Makes 9 muffin-sized brownies

1 small zucchini (around 200 grams), ends trimmed
1 cup sunflower seeds (best if toasted but ok if not) or 1/2 cup sunflower butter
2 teaspoons avocado or liquid coconut oil
splash vanilla extract
6 pitted dried dates

1 egg or 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste

Optional: compliant chocolate chips, e.g. Enjoy Life brand

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 on convection setting
2a. If you’re using sunflower seeds, process them in a food processor until you have a grainy paste. Add the oil and continue processing until smooth.
2b. If you’re using sunflower butter, put in food processor and process with the oil until smooth.
3. Cut the zucchini into bite-sized chunks and add to the sunflower butter along with the vanilla, dates and egg if using. Continue processing until smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl.
4. Mix the dry ingredients, including the flaxseed if using, in another bowl and fold into the wet ingredients. Mix just until the batter is a uniform color throughout. Don’t overmix.
5. Stir in chocolate chips if using.
6. Transfer batter to baking pan or muffin pan(s).
7. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Turn the pan(s) halfway through.

Notes:
** Since I started eating paleo, my idea of what a palatable level of “sweet” is has changed, so these are minimally sweet. Adjust to your taste. Since the batter will already be out of the food processor by the time the dry ingredients are mixed in, you can taste and sweeten with honey, applesauce or coconut sugar at the end if needed.
** Tossing the chocolate chips in tapioca flour or coconut flour before adding them to the batter will keep them from sinking.
** If you’re going the flaxseed route,consider underbaking by 5-10 minutes for an extra dose of gooeyness.
** Give the brownies a flavor boost by sprinkling a bit of sea salt or cayenne pepper on top!

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