Tag Archives: banana

Chocolatey Zucchini Banana Brownies

brownies

The amount of zucchini growing in my garden right now is ridiculous.  Just about every day I go outside to find a new one the size of my arm.  This is awesome except for one problem – I’m the only one in the family who actually likes zucchini on its own and truth be told, it’s far from my favourite vegetable.  Which leaves me asking myself, ‘what the hell am I going to do with all this zucchini?!’

I’ve come up with some very tasty recipes such as zucchini fritters and a great corn, zucchini and feta salad and I’ve started shredding it and adding it into everything from rice, to quinoa to pasta sauces.

Yesterday I had a few very ripe bananas sitting around that were starting to attract fruit flies so I decided to give a zucchini and banana bread a go.  I knew my eldest (who is 7) wouldn’t eat it unless I added chocolate, so that’s what I did.  I was hoping it would turn out good enough that the kids wouldn’t turn their noses up at it.  To my surprise this recipe turned out better than I could have hoped for!

It’s less of a bread texture and more of a dense, rich, chocolatey, satisfying brownie texture!  I made a whole pan yesterday and the kids had eaten the entire thing by today.  My 5-year-old says it’s the best ‘cake’ he’s ever had, which I’m still in shock over.

This brownie/cake is so moist because of the zucchini and the banana chocolate flavour is wonderful.  There’s so many things you could top this with – whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate or vanilla frosting, peanut butter, caramel, melted chocolate…..  you get the idea.  I wanted to keep it healthy so I just topped mine with fresh strawberries.  The kids enjoyed theirs with left-over chocolate frosting.

I made this in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.  It can easily be cut across one or two times and layered with any of the above mentioned ingredients to make a layered brownie/cake.  I’m thinking for my next one (which I’ll probably make again in a few days!)  I’ll cut this ‘brownie cake’ into 3 and put in a layer of whipped cream, a layer of camel sauce and a topping of chocolate peanut butter frosting.

I love that this is a pretty guilt free recipe because it’s loaded with bananas and zucchini.  A perfect summer dessert!  It’s also great in the morning with a cup of coffee (:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark cocoa powder if you want a dark chocolate taste)
  • OPTIONAL:  1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups packed shredded zucchini (no need to drain liquid)
  • 2 medium or 3 small very ripe bananas

METHOD

  • Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and powder and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Cream together oil, sugars, vanilla and banana.
  • Add eggs one at a time and mix.
  • STIR in shredded zucchini and pour wet mixture into dry mixture.
  • Fold together until everything is mixed.
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan.
  • If adding chocolate chips, sprinkle them evenly on top of mixture (or you could stir them right in!)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.
  • Let cool and enjoy on its own or with your favourite topping!

Cherry Mango Smoothie (with coconut water & banana)

smoothie

I don’t normally write down a smoothie recipe because you can find them anywhere and usually I literally just throw in whatever I have on hand, but this one is so good I wanted to share it.  (The kids drank theirs in record time and asked for more so right there I know it’s a good recipe)   (:

We just got back from the park and were all feeling for something refreshing and a little sweet!  It’s 2:30pm so no one is starving yet and I don’t want to make anything that’s going to spoil dinner or be too heavy so my go-to afternoon treat is smoothies during the summer.  They pack tonnes of vitamins and nutrients, they’re filling, they’re SUPER quick and easy to make, and the kids love them as much as I do.

I’ve been eyeing a bag of frozen cherries from Costco for a while now and today I finally decided to pick them up.  I LOVE cherries.  If you don’t, or you don’t have any on hand, just substitute the cherries for strawberries (:

MEP smoothie

INGREDIENTS  (makes 4 cups)

  • 2 cups (one 250ml can) of pure coconut water with no sugar added (I buy these by the case at Costco)
  • 1 cup (two small) frozen bananas (I always have bananas in the freezer for smoothies.  Either take them out 15 minutes before you want to use them, or defrost them in the microwave until the skin can be removed but they’re still mostly frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 3/4 cup frozen cherries
  • BOOZY (ADULT) OPTION:  4oz of your favourite liquor (tequila or vodka come to mind!)
  • DESSERT OPTION:  Add 1 cup of frozen vanilla yogurt or ice cream!

METHOD:  Blend and serve!