To be honest, baking with zucchini never made sense to me.
The first time I heard about zucchini bread as a child, I thought it was a joke. I thought it was some sort of weird, cruel adult prank, or maybe a clever tactic to keep me from eating it.
When I was finally convinced that there was, in fact, zucchini in the bread, I felt no less betrayed. What is this, I thought, some kind of weird trick to get me to eat vegetables? Well guess what, it doesn’t work if you tell me there are vegetables in it. Joke’s on you, adults!
Anyway, I eventually put aside my skepticism and just learned to enjoy the zucchini bread for what it is: a regular baked good that just so happens to have zucchini in it. The question is, why?
I’m still not a huge zucchini lover. But I’ve never had a problem with zucchini in baked goods because, as everyone is always quick to reassure me, you can’t even taste the zucchini!
So then why even bother putting it in?
Well, in some ways, it is sort of a weird trick to get you to eat more vegetables. Except now it’s a weird trick you play on yourself. Are you getting a full day’s worth of veggies from some chocolate zucchini cookies? No. But you are eating more zucchini than you probably would be otherwise, and definitely more than you would from any other cookies. So if you’re gonna satisfy a sweet tooth, might as well do yourself a favor and toss in some veggies.
Mostly, however, the zucchini adds moisture. This is especially helpful in recipes (like this one!) that use substitutions for traditional baking ingredients.
Adding moisture is zucchini’s main job in this recipe, and boy does it do that job well. These cookies are so moist and fudgy, you’d never guess how light they are.
These secretly skinny chocolate zucchini cookies cut out butter, replacing it with clean ingredients like coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, and, of course, zucchini. Just make sure you finely grate the zucchini before tossing it in the batter. Even the biggest zucchini lover isn’t really looking to chow down on any sizable pieces of summer squash when biting into a cookie.
Coconut sugar is also a light baking go-to that helps keep these cookies light and sweet. Meanwhile, semisweet chocolate chips dotted throughout add some double chocolatey goodness.
All too often, baking with clean substitutes leaves you with hard, crumby, or otherwise unappetizing cookies. Thanks to these moisture rich ingredients (including zucchini), these cookies come out just as moist and fudgy as full fat sweets. So even if you hate zucchini, it may have a place in your diet after all.
If you like these chocolate zucchini cookies, check out this classic zucchini bread recipe, great for breakfast, snacks, or dessert!
Yields: 12 servings | Serving Size: 2 cookies | Calories: 169 | Total Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 104mg | Carbohydrates: 25g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Protein: 3g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
- 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup zucchini, finely grated
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Mix well to combine and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, applesauce, vanilla, egg, and zucchini. Blend well, then gradually add the flour mixture in small amount just until combined. Gold in the chocolate chips.
- Drop by the spoonful (about 1 tablespoon) on to the parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten mounds slightly with a fork and bake for 12 minutes, or just until firm. Let cool and enjoy!
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