I cannot tell you what a joy this cake is to make. To say it’s beyond easy, would be a complete understatement. But, I think what really makes me smile – is all the zucchini that goes in it!
I do like my veggies – but it trips me out how something that looks and tastes like a brownie – can be packing so much wholesomeness!
Zucchini: I think this vegetable is completely under-appreciated. Here’s why it deserves more love:
- It’s so versatile – you can veg up any meal with zucchini. It’s mild in flavour and if you shred it – it melts into soups, stews, rice, beans, muffins, cakes. Parents: when I make my kids chicken nuggets, I use a mixture of 1/2 minced chicken and 1/2 shredded zucchini!
- Going low carb? You can replace pasta with zucchini noodles. Either cut spaghetti shaped slices (discard the centre core with seeds) or invest in a spiralizer. Eat your “zoodles” raw or cook them in water until soft. They will hold their shape, and absorb the flavour of your favorite pasta sauce!
- It’s super low calorie. Not that we’re counting! But there’s only 21 calories per cup. Using zucchini will bulk up your recipes, without bulking up the calories.
- It’s rich in minerals, especially potassium which helps the heart by countering the negative effects of sodium.
- It’s rich in vitamins, especially Vit C – an important antioxidant that helps maintain supple, youthful skin from within!
- It lasts ages in the fridge. It will never, ever go off. Even when you think you have nothing to eat, that zucchini in the back of the fridge is still good!
So that’s pretty awesome, but let’s not forget… the chocolate! We’re using a combination of cacao powder and chocolate chips.
Cacao Powder: Go for a raw cacao, because it’s been processed in a way that retains all the nutrition it offers. (Find it: Worldwide, Singapore)
Chocolate Chips: I decided to play with my new cacao paste – which is pure cacao beans ground into a paste. That’s right, 100% cacao. This is a dark chocolate cake – but that’s how I roll. If you like it bitter-sweet, go ahead and use a good quality chocolate chip.
Cacao is a real superfood – packed with antioxidants – it helps the body resist damage. Dark chocolate has a stronger flavour – and raw cacao paste is pretty bitter – but that’s the flavanols you’re tasting, which may help in protecting your heart from disease. So, in a way – it’s a different kind of bitter-sweet :)
You’ll be surprised when you first make this. The batter is really thick and you’ll think it can’t possibly work. But when you add the water-rich zucchini – it all comes together like magic.
TIP: I’ve tried this recipe a few ways – and I think it comes out more moist, when you chop up the zucchini into teeny tiny pieces. Go ahead and shred it first (do peel it), and then chop it smaller with a knife. What happens, I think, is that it melts into the cake – making it much more moist than if you just add in large shredded pieces…
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
adapted from: LunchLady
ingredients (makes a decent, small size cake):
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar (3/4 cup if you like it sweet)
- 1/4 cup coconut or grape seed oil (grape seed oil is very neutral in flavour – but I think the coconut oil makes it richer and compliments the chocolate)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract. I scraped 1 vanilla bean.
- 1 cup peeled and shredded zucchini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a handful chocolate chips (or cut up cacao paste if you like it dark! Use less cacao paste, or it can be too bitter.)
- preheat your oven to 180 C
- in a bowl, combine your oil, sugar, vanilla. It will be crumbly
- In another bowl, mix your flour, cacao powder, and baking soda
- Shred the zucchini then chop it up into tiny pieces. Sprinkle some sugar over it ( or don’t, but it makes sense to me)
- Combine the wet and dry mixtures. Don’t over mix – it will be dry
- Add in the zucchini. Like magic it will all come together
- Add in your chocolate chips
- Drop the batter into into a baking dish, lined with parchment paper
- Bake for 25 minutes
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