Saturday, September 22, 2012
Paleo Zucchini Brownies
A peek in the fridge revealed a lonely zucchini without a purpose, so I decided to try to combine the two. I took out my food processor and the rest was history.
I can't take credit for the idea of using nut butter as the base for grain-free brownies, but most recipes I've bumped into online use almond butter. Macadamia nuts have such a lovely, creamy texture that they can easily transform into homemade nut butter. By flavoring my nut butter with a little honey, I was able to reduce the amount of sweetener used in the brownie batter.
Also, since I already had my food processor out and busy working, it was easy and logical to use it to puree the zucchini to oblivion. While I'm not a sneaky chef, sometimes I want my healthier desserts to simply taste decadent, without green flecks of vegetable giving them away.
For fun, I didn't tell the kids that their brownies contained zucchini, just to see if they could taste it. While I could definitely discern the flavor, neither batted an eyelash or accused me of culinary sabotage.
If you don't feel inclined to make nut butter from scratch, you can obviously sub in jarred. Just taste for sweetness in case you need a smidge more due to the lack of honey in your butter.
To make my macadamia butter, I mixed up the following in my food processor until smooth:
1 cup raw macadamia nuts (I toasted them in a skillet first)
1 tsp. melted coconut oil
1 tbs. raw honey
pinch of salt
1 cup nut butter of choice
1 medium zucchini, grated
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbs. natural sweetener of choice (I used palm sugar)
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Scatter chips around batter and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.