Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)

The most gooey chocolate zucchini brownies ever! You’d never guess these are healthy and made with whole grains (but can also be made with all-purpose or gluten-free flour), zucchini and that applesauce takes the place of oil! With a video.

Some other bloggers and I are posting healthier dishes today and taking a minute to help spread awareness on childhood obesity. Now brownies don’t exactly help with the issue but if you’re going to have dessert, why not make it healthier if you really can’t taste a difference? :)

These chocolate zucchini brownies have no added fat (except what’s in the chocolate chips) and are full of zucchini and whole grains (but really do not taste like it!) so you can feel good about giving these to your children.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - 100% whole grain (can also be made with all-purpose flour), dairy-free, and have no added fat other than what is in the chocolate chips! So gooey and chocolatey, nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier

Really, unless your kids watch you make these, there’s no way that they’ll be able to tell that these chocolate brownies have zucchini in them. Or that they’re whole wheat or whole spelt. The gluten-free version also doesn’t taste gluten-free!

And if you have portion control issues, these halve beautifully! Use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and bake for only 14 minutes.

I highly recommend not decreasing the amount of chocolate chips in the batter. You can definitely skip the ones on top but these zucchini brownies rely on the sweetness and flavor from the chocolate chips!

Be sure to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in these zucchini brownies. If you use the regular natural kind (like Hershey’s) these zucchini brownies will likely come out cakey instead of nice and fudgy like you see!

I’m not one to be afraid of a little coconut oil, olive oil or any of the “healthier” fats, but these do add calories to the final product. Calories which help contribute to weight gain.

100% Whole Grain (can also be made with all-purpose flour) + Dairy-free Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier

The obesity rate in elementary school children (ages 6-11) has quadrupled over the past four decades and a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. And these kids are more likely to be obese as adults.

That’s why it’s important to instill healthy eating habits in our kids from the very beginning. Why set them up for failure?

So what healthy change are you going to make this school year? I don’t have kids yet but I’m going to do my best to keep bringing you healthier recipes! Less sugar, no processed junk, and whole grain or gluten / grain-free.

Here are some of my other favorite vegan + whole grain treats!

  • Once you try these 100% whole wheat vegan graham crackers, you’ll never go back to store-bought! (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options)
  • Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options)
  • These no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip cookies only take a few minutes to put together and are naturally gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and 100% whole grain! (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options)
  • A layer of raspberries and chocolate is sandwiched between a streusel-like crust and topping in these vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free chocolate raspberry oat bars! Can also be made with all-purpose flour and butter (please click through to the recipe to see the dietary-friendly options)

Be sure to check out the video!

Zucchini Chocolate Brownies (100% whole grain, gluten-free, dairy-free options)

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Rated 4.9 by 60 readers
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or unrefined sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour or all-purpose flour or Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for the gluten-free version
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder (using regular cocoa powder may result in cakey brownies)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about 300 – 320 grams) peeled and grated zucchini
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (for dairy-free, use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar, and apple sauce and let this sit for 5 minutes to let the coconut sugar dissolve.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy!), baking soda and salt. Make sure there are no clumps before going on to the next step.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet, gently stir until combined. Be sure not to over mix!
  5. Then fold in the zucchini and 1 cup chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and even the surface with a spatula.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips on top.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes (14 minutes for the half batch) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle doesn't come out gooey. It might still be sticky - just not have raw batter on it.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to one week in the refrigerator. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator right from the beginning due to their high moisture content.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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424 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)” — Add one!

  • Gaynell says
    August 20, 2013 @ 12:05 am

    We love zucchini and especially when paired with chocolate. We eat low fat and as much fruits and veggies as possible. We even made zucchini banana bread in the crock pot the other night, and it was excellent. Great blog!

    Reply
  • endwillnev says
    August 20, 2013 @ 12:02 am

    We will eat out less frequently.

    Reply
  • Sondra Jay says
    August 19, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

    Veggies, veggies, and more veggies!

    Reply
  • Erika says
    August 19, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

    I’m working to include more vegetables in lunch!

    Reply
  • Amelia says
    August 19, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    What a wonderful cause to be participating in.

    Two ways I promote healthy eating with my daughter is to limit snacks so she’s hungry at mealtimes, and to serve vegetables first. These two tactics ensure she enjoys eating her veggies!

    Such an exciting giveaway – I could use new pans!!

    Reply
  • Genesis D
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    August 19, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    I definitely going to have to try to make these!! <3 Awesome job :)

    Reply
  • Ashley says
    August 19, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

    These look delicious! ;)

    Reply
  • Susan says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    These brownies sound good. I would probably make them with some chocolate chips, just because… :-)

    Wonderful that you are having an All-Clad giveaway. I had a whole set of their cookware and gave it away because my husband didn’t like having to wash them by hand.

    Reply
  • Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

    I officially have a preschooler this year, he’ll be going half days and I plan on limiting snacks for the kids – or at least giving them HEALTHY snacks.

    Reply
  • Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

    Great recipe, you are so creative!! I love the healthy twist on these :)

    Reply
  • Laura says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    No kids yet, but I am going to work on making more “clean” meals for my husband and I!

    Reply
  • Sarah G-F
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    says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    Even more whole foods and more organic!

    Reply
  • Darla says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    Hoping to use a lot less sugar and also more of the good grains and fats.

    Reply
  • Leslie P says
    August 19, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    I’m working on adding more veggies to their diet, and this recipe is exactly what I needed! I never thought of incorporating them through desserts. Thank you

    Reply
  • Tracey says
    August 19, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    These look fudgy and decadent – I cannot believe there’s no added fat!

    We don’t have kids but I’m constantly trying to incorporate more veggies in our diet. Not always an easy task with my veggie-hating husband :)

    Reply
  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
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    says
    August 19, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

    These brownies look decadent! And so healthy! Sneaking in veggies into my kiddos food is something I plan on doing a lot this year. :)

    Reply
  • Jeannette says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

    i am well on my way to having a healthy routine (chocolate is a bit tough to give up ;)) but breakfast is a MUST!! usually eggs and some form of protein. lunch is protein and veggies. dinner is usually the same! i am trying to get the hubby on the same page, that is my goal!

    Reply
  • Julie
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    says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

    These look amazing and my kids will be excitd about the zucchini! They love zucchini bread and zucchini bites so this recipe, I’ll add to my zucchini collection :).

    Reply
  • April says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    They shall eat more veggies- whether they like or know it or not! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  • Deb Hollimon says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Oh…these look sooo good!

    Reply
  • Amallia says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

    Hallo Erin, your chocolate zucchini brownie looks so good, normally I don’t like zucchini, it’s great way to prepare it chocolate. :-)

    Reply
  • Chatelaine says
    August 19, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    More veggies as snacks and less sugar as snacks.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
    August 19, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

    Love that you snuck some zucchini into these brownies! I don’t have kids but I’m always trying to encourage my family to eat more veggies (we like to grill or roast them) and eliminate as many processed foods from our diets as we can.

    Reply
  • Julie @ Table for Two says
    August 19, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    yum!! these look SO good! i love that you lightened these up!! unbelievable!

    Reply
  • Shawna o says
    August 19, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

    yum! these look so good.

    Reply
  • Annette says
    August 19, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

    I will be preparing more vegetable dishes.

    Reply
  • Jessica says
    August 19, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

    Wow, these look divine! I’m gonna have to make them. :-)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      August 20, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them, Jessica! Let me know how they come out. :)

      Reply
  • Jackie Hammond
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    August 19, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Your brownies sound so delicious wish I had some zucchini to make some plus all the other ingredients. Thanks for sharing. am definitely saving this recipe.

    Reply
  • Sarah
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    says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    Yum, those brownies look good! I’d like to cook more of our dinners at home and include more veggies in our meals!

    Reply
  • Erin says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

    Those look delicious! But I thought it said “grain-free” instead of “whole grain” :P Guess I can’t eat them after all!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Erin
      August 19, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

      Aww, sorry, Erin! I promise to post some grain-free chocolate brownies soon, okay? :)

      Reply
  • Connie FitzPatrick
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    says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

    We are using less dairy ( I’m now dairy free:-)) gluten free, and are switching over to organic produce….woot-woot!!!!

    Cheers!

    Connie

    PS~I’m looking forward to the challenge of making this recipe gluten and dairy free, lol…

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Connie FitzPatrick
      August 19, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

      Well, at least they’re already dairy-free! :) And I just told someone else that I’d post some grain-free chocolate brownies soon. But they won’t be zucchini because I’m all zucchini-ed out!

      Reply
  • Hannah says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    These look so good!

    Reply
  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    The best zucchini brownies I’ve ever laid eyes on, hands down. Erin, you’re the chocolate/zucchini queen!

    Reply
  • Margie says
    August 19, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    If these taste as good as they look, I am very excited to eat them! Love a yummy but healthy treat. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Jeannie says
    August 19, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

    Adding more raw fruits and veggies!

    Reply
  • Carla @ Carlas Confections says
    August 19, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    I REAAAAAALLY want these brownies! They look sooooo gooey and delicious! I sure wish we lived closer to each other!

    Reply
  • Elizabeth G. says
    August 19, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    I want to cook more.

    Reply
  • Charlotte Moore says
    August 19, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    I really need to stop drinking diet drinks. I just love diet sunkist. )-:

    Reply
  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
    August 19, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    Gorgeous brownies!! I have a zucchini brownie recipe coming too – but mine has oil in it. Love this version! Thanks for putting this great project together!

    Reply
  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
    August 19, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

    I love how ooey gooey and delicious your photos are!!!! I can’t wait to try this – i love zucchini and chocolate together.

    Reply
  • Susan Christy says
    August 19, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    Less sugar, more fruit & veggies.

    Reply
  • Jillian says
    August 19, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    These look delicious. I love new brownie recipes because they are the quickest thing to bake and bring to summer potlucks.

    Reply
  • Katie says
    August 19, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    I want to eat less processed snacks. More whole foods, not so many store bought granola bars or chips!

    Reply
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies says
    August 19, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

    I don’t have kids and I’m not in school, but I still see the end of summer as a time when I should really get my eating act together (because I know Thanksgiving and Christmas splurges are headed towards me fast). I like to improve my eating by sneaking fruits and veggies into pretty much everything I eat — so this brownie recipe will help me with that! :)

    Reply
  • Talia says
    August 19, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

    This set is incredible! Also, I cannot wait to pull some zucchini out of the garden to try this recipe – yum!

    Our family has really been trying to get on a healthier track in terms of our daily meals. I think next we’re going to focus on cutting back on processed foods, as well as paying more attention to amount of refined sugar vs. natural sugar in our foods!

    Reply
  • Maya says
    August 19, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    Yum!! Making these next weekend for some bridesmaids plannjng!

    Reply
  • Carolyn says
    August 19, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    My kids would love me forever if I sent these in their lunch boxes! Great healthy snacks, Erin.

    Reply
  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    August 19, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    I seriously need to bake with zucchini more, because these brownies are awesome!!

    Reply
  • Jen @JuanitasCocina says
    August 19, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    We’ve been incorporating less “white foods” and more whole grains into our diet! It feel great!

    Reply
  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says
    August 19, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    Look at those beautiful brownies! I can’t believe you ‘lightened’ them up so much and still allowed for such gooeyness. Since you came to visit and educated me on coconut oil, I’ve been using it all the time and love it! Such a great recipe. A must try!

    Reply

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