Monday, September 5, 2011

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini is a tricky vegetable in my house. Aaron doesn't like squash so I'm always thinking of ways that he will eat and enjoy it. I usually cook it as a side dish for myself, but this time I wanted to experiment. Ava won't try summer squash since I started offering it to her in the whole form. So I pulled out one of my favorite cook books last night for some inspiration. Simply in Season is based on cooking with seasonal produce. The summer section is the largest because that's when most of the produce is plentiful from your neighbor's gardens and local farmers. The authors created Simply in Season honoring their Mennonite heritage of being mindful of earth's resources and sharing with others. I like the Mennonite traditions of multicultural flavors in the cooking and this cook book is a perfect companion to my weekly seasonal produce box.

And last week, I received two local yellow zucchini in my produce box. I made Zucchini Brownies, which is a popular summer treat here in the Midwest because zucchini is plentiful. I was hoping that Ava and Aaron would enjoy the brownies. When Ava woke up from her nap, we mixed the brownies and she enjoyed sprinkling the chocolate chips on the batter before it went into the oven. And after dinner, we offered her a small piece and she loved it! This dessert is sure to please the whole family, even though it's not too sweet. The nature moisture from the zucchini gives the brownies a soft and springy texture. So if you're finding yourself overrun with zucchini, you may want to give this a try!

Zucchini Brownies - Serves 18-24

1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in a large bowl

2-3 cups shredded zucchini
Stir in

1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
Combine in a separate bowl and beat with a whisk. Stir into zucchini mixture. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

1/2 to 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (35-40) minutes. NOTE: Convection 25 minutes.

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