Vegan & Gluten-Free Healthy Zucchini Brownies
These gluten-free and vegan healthy zucchini brownies have the most delicious fudgy texture and rich chocolate taste.
Made with healthy ingredients like zucchini, almond flour, banana and almond butter, this zucchini brownie recipe is healthier than traditional brownies but still irresistibly rich and fudgy.
The recipe uses coconut sugar and banana for a natural sweetener and almond flour instead of white flour or other wheat based-flours for a gluten-free brownie.
Whether you have dietary restrictions or are simply looking for a healthier dessert, these brownies are sure to hit the spot.
- 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 flax seed (flax meal). Do not use whole flaxseeds.
- Coconut Sugar (Coconut Palm Sugar): This can be substituted with light brown sugar 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 such as peanut butter or tahini.
- Coconut Oil: Use melted and cooled coconut oil or substitute melted and cooled plant-based butter.
- Cocoa Powder: Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, this is the regular, most common variety. You could also use dark cocoa powder or cacao 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, sesame cookies, and almond flour oatmeal cookies.
- Chocolate: You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the full ingredient list with measurements.
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 bowl 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 with a box grater, then squeeze the shredded zucchini with your hands in a strainer over a bowl or in the sink to squeeze out the excess liquid.
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. I do no recommend using coconut flour in this recipe
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.
Let brownies cool completely before slicing, covering and storing.
The brownies can be stored at room temperature for 2 days in the pan, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or in an airtight container, or 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.
- 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.
More Zucchini Recipe
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
These decadent but healthy zucchini brownies are so fudgy and delicious 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 the zucchini shreds 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 grated zucchini, flax egg, coconut sugar, almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla and mix well to combine.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add the cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and stir until fully combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- 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.
Use a digital scale to measure ingredients for best results.
- 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