Whenever I manage to create a recipe that I am really happy with I find it fun to create different versions of it. I like to play with different flavours for example, or add different kinds of vegetables to the mix (that is another speciality of mine: adding vegetables to baked goods that you won’t taste, but that will make them more nutritious).
These brownies are a variation of the carrot cake oatmeal bars that I posted a few weeks ago. You can find the original post and all about why I like to use oats here.
I am a huge fan of chocolate but when I speak of chocolate I usually mean the dark kind, as unprocessed as possible, with a high cocoa content and no added dairy or sugar. I have added raw cacao in powdered form, as well as cacao nibs to this recipe.
Raw cacao comes with an array of health benefits. It is full of antioxidants and can help to prevent cardiac disease. In addition it contains quite a few mood-enhancing compounds like anandamide and phenethylamine, plus it boosts brain levels of serotonin (Just in case you are currently fighting the blues – yes, chocolate DOES make you happy). It is also a good source of magnesium and thus helps to fight fatigue!
As you can see – more than enough reason to dig in, so you better get in your kitchen and make a batch of these tasty, guilt-free treats right away ;)!
Chocolate-Courgette Brownies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free)
Makes 10-15 brownies
- 1 medium courgette (250g)
- 1 cup gluten-free oats (100g)
- ½ cup oat flour (50g)
- ½ cup ground tiger nuts (50g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons raw, unsweetened cocoa powder (40g)
- 1 cup rice-coconut milk, or any other milk alternative
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce (100g)
- ¼ cup raw cacao nibs (35g)
- 1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seed butter, or any other nut/seed butter (30g)
- coconut oil
- optional: 20-30g melted dark chocolate to drizzle on top
- Preheat oven to 175°C. Lightly coat a 15×30 cm baking dish with some coconut oil, set aside.
- Using your food processor finely grate the courgette. Place between a few layers of kitchen paper and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can over the sink.
- In a large bowl whisk together egg, rice-coconut milk, maple syrup, sunflower seed butter and applesauce until smooth. Then stir in the courgette.
- In a second bowl combine oats, oat flour, tiger nut flour, baking powder, cacao nibs and cocoa powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir, just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, make sure you distribute it evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until dry on top and a tooth pick inserted to the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the baking dish, then cut into bars. Drizzle with some melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some more cacao nibs on top if you like. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days!
If you do not have oat flour you can make your own by finely grinding regular oats in a coffee grinder. For ½ cup of oat flour use ½ heaping cup of oats!