Saturday, 10 March 2012

Bribing With Zucchini Brownies

Some days at clinical are long days. Then there are the days that seem to never end, especially when clinical is scheduled on a weekend. Or maybe it's really not that bad and I'm whining because I was a little discouraged because Ryley had left to work up in Calgary for a week. But on the up-side it was the last shifts on my current rotation and I had the opportunity to do some baking, which I thoroughly enjoy doing, because I had offered to bring something as a token of appreciation for the staff on the unit. 

Let me explain a little more about my passion for food...

As a nutritionist, I am always trying to find creative and deceiving ways to camouflage fruits and vegetables, and add flax and fibre into what I feed my family. Heck, even my cat eats spinach!  I'd say most of the time I'm successful, and Grayson has no clue that there's spinach and sweet potatoes in his oatmeal. But there's the odd occasion that he refuses my concoctions or picks out the green flecks in his food at supper time. I have, however, found a couple favorite dishes that I've found through my recipe surfing. One such, is Zucchini Brownies. Zucchini? You might ask? Don't be too quick to judge that it doesn't belong in brownies. Or that I don't eat brownies because I know a few things about nutrition. And this is where the brownies and clinical come together. 

Some of my fellow students like to pick my brain about some of their nutrition questions in class and at clinical. They also see the baggie of mixed vegetables that I bring in my lunch every shift. And when I try to convince them that I am a popcorn addict, I have Miss Vicki's chips stashed in my cupboard and there's a fresh pan of brownies on the stove... my peers don't believe me. And yes, left on my own, which I was since Ryley was working out of town, I would have finished the rest of the brownies, by myself. I'm not against it, but I figured it would be better to have a little company and share the goodness of Zucchini Brownies. I also had to prove that the zucchini made the brownies oh so moist and chewy. 

What a better way to spend, what would have beem a lonely, brownie binging evening by myself, than to have Malissa over to share the brownies with. Plus I had to prove that I actually had the said junk food items in my kitchen. We had a great time watching an IV pump tutorial video for the next day at clinical. Okay, maybe the video was less than exciting, but I think Malissa is a believer in the goodness of zucchini in the brownies. 

For your convenience, I've included the recipe below. Like I've mentioned previously, I actually prefer the 
Zucchini Brownie to a regular one, especially since they are slightly less bad for you. Omit the icing, 
and they are a little less bad. Reduce the sugar or replace part of it with something like Splenda, and, 
well, I'll stop before I get any deeper into my nutrition babble. 

Zucchini Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground flax
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp milk (soy milk or almond milk also works nicely)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and cocoa dust a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, ground flax, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini (If you want to get precise, I use ~ 450g of zucchini...) Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.
  4. To make the frosting, melt together the 4 tablespoons of cocoa and butter; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the icing sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares. 

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