Guest Post from Needs Salt: Seriously Fudgy Zucchini Brownies with Pink Salt (Gluten-free + Vegan)

August 22, 2014

Hey everyone! I had to last minute take a little trip (ohh nooo, surprise vacation? the worst ;-)) and I’m super happy to have Abbie here filling in for me!  If you haven’t met Abbie, she’s the teenage delicious food genius over at Needs Salt.  Abbie is a total sweetheart and I’m completely jealous that she has all of these healthy eating/baking/photography/blogging skills that I don’t even really have under control in my mid-20s.  And we can especially agree on this sweet ‘n salty combo she has in her guest post today!  

Seriously fudgy zucchini brownies

Hey all you awesome readers of Hidden Fruits and Veggies! I’m Abbie. I make things and write about them over at my own blog, Needs Salt. First off, I want to thank Kelly so much for having me guest post for her! It is a total pleasure and an honor to be able to share my own creation in her beautiful space. Because seriously — this blog she has going here is the bomb. I love it.

Now, onto the brownies!

Seriously fudgy zucchini brownies

Ultimately, my goal with making food is to create simple, healthy and (incredibly) delicious recipes that nourish your body and soul. It sounds cliche, but it is 100% true. When I make food (especially sweet food) I want people to eat it and not even know that it is actually good for them. And a perfect poster child example of this goal? are these brownies.

So fudgy. So rich. So decadent. So… healthy? You know it. Vegan. Gluten-free. Refined-sugar free (or even sugar-free). Low in sugar. High in vitamins. Loaded with chocolate. And full of zucchini.

Uh-huh. So yeah, chocolate zucchini bread has been a thing for a while (and kind of one of the most amazing things on planet earth have you TRIED IT?) but zucchini brownies? Now we’re taking it to the next level. And we’re sprinkling on a little bit of pink Himalayan salt. Just because we can. (And because chocolate + salt is the best combo ever – arguable right above chocolate + peanut butter – in case you missed it)

“I was expecting to not like them because they’re… y’know, healthy. But they’re actually amazing.” said my cousin about these brownies. They have been called “incredible”, “soooo fudgy”, “unbelievable” and “perfect”. I know you’ve got one of those overgrown, seedy zucchinis somewhere… so what’s the hold up? Make these brownies and amaze yourself.

Seriously fudgy zucchini brownies


Seriously Fudgy Zucchini Brownies with Pink Salt. (Gluten-free + Vegan)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12

  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) or coconut oil
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • dash of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup (heaping) evaporated cane juice (organic sugar) or granulated xylitol + extra for sprinkling
  • ½ cup mini vegan chocolate chips + more for sprinkling
  • Pink Himalayan salt, for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with parchment paper; set aside. Alternatively, you can use a 9 × 13 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper, albeit the brownies will be slightly less thick.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together shredded zucchini, applesauce, water, vanilla and almond extract, ground flaxseed, coconut oil and vegan butter (if using). Allow the mixture to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients and stir very well to fully combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until evenly mixed – be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl while mixing. At this point, the brownie batter should be very thick and almost fluffy – this is perfectly normal, the effect of coconut flour.
  4. Pour the batter into the parchment lined baking dish. Lightly coat your hands with cooking spray or water and press the brownie mixture down to spread out evenly in the pan. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar evenly on top of the brownies.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. The center should still be soft and very moist – this is normal and key for fudgy brownies. Remove pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with extra mini chocolate chips and pink Himalayan salt. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack before attempting to slice into squares.
  6. Devour.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 brownie


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    Hassan Yate Aug 31, 2014

    Can tapioca flour fall in place of coconut flour in this recipe?

      Kelly Aug 31, 2014

      I have absolutely no experience with tapioca flour so I’m not sure, but a quick Google search advised against it. Coconut flour is high in fiber, while tapioca is not… at the very least you may encounter texture issues. If you’ve successfully made this swap in other recipes, it might be worth a try

    PassTheKnife Aug 24, 2014

    These sound amazing, what a great recipe! You’re motto for baking couldn’t be better, eliminating that guilt and actually feeling great after eating something is the way to go.

    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables Aug 22, 2014

    My goodness, these look amazing!!! Fudgy brownies that include a vegetable? Yes PLEASE!