Healthy Zucchini Brownies
Craving something sweet but want to keep it on the healthier side? These vegan and gluten-free healthy zucchini brownies are a must-try!
About this Recipe
Made with healthy ingredients like zucchini, almond flour, banana and almond butter, these zucchini brownies are healthier than traditional brownies but still irresistibly rich and fudgy.
Whether you have dietary restrictions or are simply looking for a healthier dessert, these brownies are sure to hit the spot.
Read on for what ingredients you’ll need, possible substitutions and how to make them with step-by-step photos.
When you’re ready to make them, you’ll find the complete and printable recipe card at the end of the post and after that, how about these carrot zucchini muffins, avocado brownies or sweet potato brownies?
What You’ll Need
Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the full ingredient list with measurements.
- Zucchini: You’ll need one medium-sized zucchini or about 1 heaping cup grated. After you squeeze the liquid out, you should have about 1 cup. The amount doesn’t have to be exact.
- Banana: Ripe or slightly over-ripe banana works. You can substitute applesauce but you may want to increase the coconut sugar to 2/3 cup in that case.
- Flax: Use ground flaxseed (flax meal). Do not use whole flaxseeds.
- Coconut Sugar: This can be substituted with light or dark brown sugar.
- Almond Butter: You can use any almond butter as long as it’s not too dry. It should be “drippy”. You can substitute any other nut or seed butter.
- Coconut Oil: Use melted and cooled coconut oil or substitute melted and cooled plant-based butter.
- Coconut Powder: Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, this is the regular, most common variety. You could also use dark cocoa powder.
- Almond Flour: Use super fine almond flour. You can use store-bought or make your own by finely blending blanched almonds. If you purchase a fresh bag of almond flour, you can also use it in these almond flour peanut butter cookies and almond flour oatmeal cookies.
- Chocolate: You can use chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
How to Make Zucchini Brownies
Before you start making the brownie batter, line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 F.
Quick Note: While it’s not required to use parchment paper, it makes it easy to lift out the brownies and slice them after baking. If you’re not using parchment paper, lightly grease the pan with cooking spray.
Step 1: Mix Flax Egg
First, mix the ground flax and water in a small and set aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
What if my flax egg doesn’t thicken? This can sometimes happen if your flax is too old or a bad batch.
I prefer to buy whole flaxseeds and blend them up as needed so they’re fresher. I store whole flaxseeds in the freezer and smaller amounts of freshly ground flax in the fridge to help keep them fresh.
Step 2: Prepare Zucchini
Finely grate the zucchini then squeeze with your hands in a strainer over a bowl or in the sink to squeeze out the excess liquid.
While you’re at it, why not grate some extra zucchini and make zucchini bread or chocolate chip zucchini cookies too!
Step 3: Mix Wet Ingredients
If you haven’t mashed the banana, add it to the mixing bowl and mash well with a fork until it resembles a smooth paste.
Add the flax egg, coconut sugar, almond butter, vanilla and coconut oil mix well until fully combined. Stir in the drained and grated zucchini.
Step 4: Add Dry Ingredients
Add the cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips and mix until all the flour is incorporated and you have a uniform batter.
Quick Tip: I suggest sifting the cocoa powder into the batter through a mesh sieve or sifter to make sure any clumps are broken up.
Step 5: Bake Brownies
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 33-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
The edges should look firm and the middle nearly firm if not slightly underdone.
Step 6: Cool and Slice
Once baked, allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing. After they cool down a bit you can transfer the pan to the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
Do not skip cooling, it’s needed for them to firm up.
My best suggestion would be oat flour though this has not been tested so I can’t guarantee results.
You can use light or brown sugar instead of coconut sugar.
You can use applesauce instead of banana but you may want to increase the sugar to 2/3 cup, unless you use sweetened applesauce.
You can use sunflower seed butter, cashew butter or peanut butter instead of almond butter.
Notes and Tips
- Measuring Accurately: It’s important to measure the ingredients accurately for success. I recommend using a digital scale and following the listed measurements.
- Additions: Add up to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for a variation.
- Serving: The brownies are delicious chilled but can also be lightly warmed and served with ice cream or whipped cream for a delicious dessert.
- Cooling: Do not skip cooling before slicing or they may fall apart.
- Let brownies cool completely before slicing, covering and storing.
- The brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
- If frozen, thaw at room temperature or in the fridge before enjoying.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Healthy Zucchini Brownies
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 33 mins
- Total Time: 48 minutes
- Yield: 16
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These but healthy zucchini brownies are so fudgy and decadent no one will guess they’re vegan, gluten-free and made with just 10 wholesome ingredients.
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed of excess moisture (about 1 cup or 90 g after squeezing)
- 1 medium mashed ripe banana (~⅓ cup, 90 g)
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water
- ½ cup coconut sugar (64 g)
- ½ cup almond butter (128 g)
- 2 tbsp melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder (40 g)
- ½ cup packed almond flour (64 g)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips or chunks + extra for sprinkling on top (55 g)
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C) and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix Flax Egg: In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and water to make a flax egg. Let sit for at least 5 minutes while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Prep Zucchini: Finely grate the zucchini then squeeze it over a strainer or bowl to squeeze out excess liquid.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: If you haven’t mashed the banana, add that to a large mixing bowl and mash well with fork until it resembles a smooth paste. Add the rest of the “wet” ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl except the chocolate chunks and stir until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chunks.
- Bake Brownies: Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and top with extra chocolate chunks if desired. Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool: Remove the pan from oven and let the brownies cool completely before cutting. This helps ensure the brownies stay together. You may want to put the pan in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. Once fully cooled, slice and enjoy.
Serve brownies heated up, at room temperature, or straight from the fridge. Store brownies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 brownie
- Calories: 140
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 120 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 13 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: healthy zucchini brownies, vegan zucchini brownies
These were amazing. Fudgy, chocolaty, divine. Easy to make too. Will def be making them again. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks Josie! So glad you liked them.
Tried this recipe this week. Loved it. Perfect match with coffee with milk/oatmilk!
Thank you, Serra!
These brownies were incredible!!! I made them last night and they’re already half gone! Super easy to make, rich, moist and fudgey – Absolutely delicious! My banana wasn’t as ripe as it could have been, so next time I’ll make sure it is so it will add a tiny bit of sweetness.
Thanks for another great recipe!!
Thanks, Patty! Glad they were enjoyed.