It's high zucchini season around here, which means that it's the perfect time of year to tuck it into as many baked goods as possible. These Produce-Packed Brownies feature yellow summer squash, banana, and apple, making them a really yummy way to serve up fruits and veggies.
Yellow summer squash has virtually the same consistency as zucchini when used in baked goods, but the color can blend in a little bit better than the green skin of zucchini. We've been getting a bunch of summer squash each week in our CSA boxes, so I used it here, though you can use regular zucchini if that's what you have. The cocoa does a pretty good job of making these look like brownies either way you go!
Like many of my baked goods, this recipe comes together in the food processor. That helps to ensure that the ingredients are all blended together to make a smooth final texture. Which means that you could probably even make this with one hand should your toddler need to be held. (Or, if you want to make these during nap-time, simply mash the banana by hand and stir everything together well and skip the chance of waking up the little one with the sound of a kitchen appliance!)
You can slice up the brownies and wrap them individually before storing them in the fridge so you can pack them as snacks, or tuck a few into a zip top freezer bag if you want to save a few for another day. They will freeze well for about 3 months, though we usually have no trouble eating a whole batch in our house!
And while the original recipe has both wheat and nut butter in it, I made these two ways. The image at the top is made with wheat flour and the one below is made with ground rolled oats should a gluten-free option work better for your family. You can also sub in melted butter for the nut butter to make them nut-free.
Anyway you make them, these brownies are moist, low in added sugars, and filled with chocolatey flavor from cocoa powder. You could stir in 1/4 cup chocolate chips if you are feeling extra indulgent, but they are really quite good as they are. Enjoy!
Zucchini Banana Brownies
We like these brownies best served cold alongside a cup (or sippy cup) of milk. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips to make them extra indulgent!
Makes 16 (though you can cut them as large or small as you like!)
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 very-ripe-with-brown-spots banana)
- 1/2 cup grated and packed zucchini or yellow summer squash, squeezed dry
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour or rolled oats
- 1/3 cup cacao* or cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons almond butter (or melted and cooled butter)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick spray. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process just until combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days and serve chilled.
To make these nut-free, use the melted butter option.
To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free rolled oats.
*This cacoa powder has really amazing flavor and one bag lasts for months, so you can get a lot of use out of it.