So, we all know that it's good to eat healthy, right? Well, during Ramadan, it's especially important to eat healthy because you're only eating twice a day, so your metabolism is slow, and you're sleeping shortly after both meals (especially this year cause sunset is at 8pm). So, you're not really expending any energy. What goes in, is staying in. Unless of course you're working out, which props to you, that's great. But for the majority of us, we're eating, resting, and eating some more. And we're not necessarily eating the healthiest foods.
Especially when those late-night cravings come around. All we want is sugar, sugar, and more sugar. And I'm not here to tell you that you can't have it. I'm here to tell you that you can, you definitely can, just in a way that's better for your body. Like, with these double chocolate zucchini brownies.
These bites of bliss are sweetened naturally with honey. They're also made with olive oil, and are chock full of grated zucchini, which A) is a hydrating vegetable and B) has a high fiber content. And when you're not drinking water all day, getting a good amount of fiber in your system is very important, if you know what I mean! ;)
But hold on, I'm not done yet. These brownies are also made with whole-wheat flour, which I admittedly didn't have on hand so I used all-purpose, but using whole-wheat will give you a whole lot more nutrients. And then there's the cinnamon in these, which not only brings out the deep chocolate flavor but also has it's own dose of health benefits, one of which being it's ability to regulate blood sugar. Again, very important for Ramadan, particularly for diabetics.
I guess you could technically call these 'Ramadan brownies'. But they're really great for you even if you're not celebrating the holiday. They've got all the qualities of an amazing brownie - moist, gooey, fudgy - but without the extra fat and calories. And you won't even notice the zucchini, which means they're also great for sneaking some veggies into your kids' diets.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go count the minutes till I can have one again. Try these folks, you'll be glad you did!
Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies
2 cups finely grated zucchini
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, preferably)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sites, then spray again.
Pat grated zucchini dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Add zucchini and mix to combine. Gradually stir in dry ingredients with a spoon until thoroughly incorporated. Batter will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan, using an offset spatula to evenly spread it out. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Remove from pan using parchment paper handles. Cut into squares and serve.
Adapted from A Dash of Sass