I bought a spiralizer and now I am putting curly-cues of zucchini in just about everything. Or spaghetti-like carrots. Or sweet potato shoe-strings. Think back, if you can, to the Play-Dough Factory you may have had as a kid. I remember there was this distinct thrill in pushing that soft, fresh primary-colored dough into the plastic extruder and then compressing it with the plunger to create star-shaped, or triangle shaped tubes that flowed out of the other end. This is where the spiralizer gleefully takes me.
Can’t you just smell that sweet Play Dough aroma. I love how smells never leave you and take you back in an instant.
Back to the future. Because the nice people at the William Sonoma store in my hometown of Montclair, NJ invited me to do a little demo with the Paderno Spiralizer, I’ve been playing around with some recipes I think might please a mixed crowd of adults and kids. William-Sonoma also happens to sell my favorite gluten-free flour blend, Cup 4 Cup, so this Zuchinni Chocolate Brownie recipe was looking like a great candidate for the demo. Even though the original recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, with Cup 4 Cup, I was able to substitute the blend, well, cup for cup, for the wheat flour and still get a great result with a nice texture. I love this GF blend because it’s light, not grainy and the results are consistent, but also because it’s GMO free.
Because it was on the fly at the demo, I didn’t get the best pics, but let me just say that the brownies were Hoover’d up in no time by the Saturday afternoon crowd at the shop and over 40 people signed up to receive the recipe. The final result was moist, chocolaty and even kids gobbled it without a hint of zucchini “EWWW!” Try it either GF or with regular flour or whole wheat. And even if you don’t have a spiralizer, just grate the zooks on a regular old box grater.
- yield: 12-14 pieces
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
2 cups zucchini, grated
½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (sub unbleached flour, or Cup4Cup GF flour)
¾ cup whole spelt flour (or an additional ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour, or Cup4Cup GF Flour)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used a bag of Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Grate zucchini. Dump into a mesh colander and squeeze it with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. Fluff it back up with a fork.
In a large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, honey and vanilla). Stir in the zucchini.
In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry and spelt flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon).
Pour the dry mixture into the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir just until combined, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine was done baking at 30 minutes). Let cool completely.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE VEGAN: Use your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips! Substitute 1/2 cup apple sauce for 1 egg or any other egg substitute you like.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: You can eat these warm and fresh from the oven, but I preferred them at room temperature or chilled, so the chocolate is not gooey but a rich, dense contrast to the super moist crumb. Either way, you’ll love them!
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