It’s always nice to have something chocolatey to indulge in when you need a bit of a treat. And Brownies tick so many boxes – fudgey, gooey and a big chocolate hit! But lots of Brownie recipes are full of butter, cream, masses of sugar and very little nutritional content. Well, have I got news for you! THIS recipe that I’ve come up with is packed with THREE kinds of veggies, FOUR sources of natural fibre, and over HALF A KILO (almost 1 ½ pounds!) of vegetable goodness in every pan. As an added bonus, it’s egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and really allergy friendly so perfect for playgroup or the school lunchbox.
And they actually taste GREAT. I kid you not.
They are very simple to make, and a great one for getting kids into the kitchen and handling vegetables. They can help peel, chop and blitz the vegetables, and then get to enjoy the spoils of their hard work with a well deserved treat! This is particularly important for picky and fussy eaters. Picky kids often won't even interact with vegetables - and if we can't get a fussy eater to touch a vegetable, how can we ever expect them to eat it? So this is a fun way to start the journey of learning about (and learning to love) vegetables.
This recipe came about because I wasn’t 100% happy with the standard zucchini brownie recipe that I’d been making. It was too cakey & not fudgey enough, and certainly not chocolatey enough for me! So this recipe is one that I’ve been tweaking and the result is VEGGIE PACKED BROWNIES. Because if we are going to have a treat, let's make it packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre!
Prep Time: 5min
Cook Time: 30-35min
Makes: x1 full Brownie tray, approx 24 little squares
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Kid-safe knife (and a knife for yourself to use)
Good quality food processor or Thermomix
Brownie / slice tray (~28x18cm / ~11x7in), baking paper
1 large zucchini (~400g / 14oz)
1 carrot (~100g / 3.5oz)
½ sweet potato (~150g / 5oz)
4 medjool dates
½ cup neutral flavoured oil (of choice)
2 tspn vanilla essence
½ - ¾ cup raw sugar (to taste)
2 cups GF self raising flour (or wheat flour if not needing to be gluten free)*
½ cup cocoa powder
Handful dairy free choc chips (optional)
*If you don’t have self raising flour, you can make your own; add 2 cups all purpose flour, along with 3 tspn baking powder & 1 tspn fine salt.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius, fan forced (320F) & line a brownie pan with baking paper.
Help your kid to peel the sweet potato and wash the carrot and zucchini (no need to peel carrot or zucchini). Help your child to roughly chop the zucchini, carrot, sweet potato & dates.
Put the vegetables & dates into a food processor & blitz for about 30 seconds or until smooth/ no lumps.
Add the oil, sugar & vanilla and blitz again until combined.
Add flour & cocoa and blitz again for about 30 - 60 seconds until smooth and well combined into a thick batter.
Pour into your lined tray & stir through choc chips (if using).
Bake for 30-35min (a toothpick in the middle should come out sticky / not entirely clean).
If you can - allow to cool & then serve. But you know the rule with brownies! Eat straight from the pan, while still gooey and hot!!
Makes about 24 little squares. Once cooled, keep in an airtight container and room temperature for about 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!). Suitable for freezing.
I ask you to put your skepticism aside and give this recipe a go! It’s brilliantly gooey, fudgy, has a great hit of chocolate and is actually quite sweet. Let me know what you and your little ones think of it!