Zucchini Banana Brownies

Can you guess what makes these better-for-you brownies? Zucchini, banana, and yes, leftover quinoa, make deep dark chocolate fudgy brownies that will entice even the pickiest eaters.

Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Zucchini, banana and quinoa make these brownies better for you!

It took us three (3!) hours to drive to Sonoma. In the time it nearly takes to drive to Tahoe, we found ourselves crawling through the clogged highways snaking across the bay. Everyone, it seemed, was headed to wine country for the long holiday weekend.

I had packed a little cooler for the drive, just in case. You never know how traffic will go, and we’ve learned to never leave the house empty handed, and ‘just in case’ came sooner than we expected. Hungry kids leads to whiny kids, and we did our best to assure them that we would get there soon enough.

“There” was a housewarming, and as soon as they stretched their legs and took big bites of some killer grilled cheese and gooey chocolate chip cookies, they were in the pool, splashing around. “Can we come to all their parties?” they asked. They were in heaven.

I chuckled inside. “Wasn’t it worth the ride?” I asked them.

Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Can you guess what makes these better-for-you brownies?

If there is one thing I have learned about kids, it’s that you’re going to hear a little whining before you hear the cheers. Especially when it requires a little effort…or the unknown.

“Brownies! You made brownies!?” They crowded around the pan as I set it to cool.

“Yup, and you’ll never guess the secret ingredients!”

Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | You'll never guess the secret ingredients in this fudgy brownie!

I told them how these super fudgy brownies were actually full of zucchini, banana, and….quinoa.

Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | You'll never guess the secret ingredient in these fudgie brownies!

And I could see them debating in their head: to eat or not to eat? That is the question.

They ate.
Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Deep, dark, and not sinful at all!

Their eyes lit up.

“Can I have another?”

It was worth it.

Zucchini Banana Brownies | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Go ahead and have two. These brownies are better-for-you fudgie goodness.

Eat Seasonal

Eat Seasonal September 2015

This is one of my favorite times of the year – the abundance of the produce is just wonderful, and it shows in this month’s delicious Eat Seasonal roundup that is organized by Becky of Vintage Mixer. Join us and our friends as we share dishes that embrace eating seasonal! Check out the September seasonal food guide and these recipes for more #EatSeasonal inspiration.


Shredded Hoisin-Blackberry Chicken Tacos with Crunchy Slaw by Floating Kitchen

Raspberry Peach Hand Pies by Foodie Crush

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup by Cafe Johnsonia

Pumpkin Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce by Climbing Grier Mountain

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash by Cookin’ Canuck

Classic Carrot Cake by Vintage Mixer

Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti by Simple Bites

Peach and Arugula Pizza by Letty’s Kitchen

Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing by Flavor the Moments

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry by Well Plated

Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing by Mountain Mama Cooks

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Zucchini Banana Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Zucchini, banana, and yes, leftover quinoa, make deep dark chocolate fudgy brownies that will entice even the pickiest eaters. Zucchini Banana Brownies are a treat everyone can feel good about.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso coffee (optional but highly recommended)

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)

1 cup mashed bananas (about 1 large banana)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare an 8x8" baking pan by lightly spraying with baking spray or greasing with butter (I used coconut oil spray). Line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, brown and granulated sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder (if using). Stir in quinoa and chocolate chips. 

In a separate mixing bowl, mix the grated zucchini, mashed banana, egg and vanilla until well blended. Mix the zucchini-banana and egg mixture into the flour and quinoa mixture until blended.

Pour into prepared brownie pan and spread evenly.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until it begins to pull from the edges of the pan. Remove from oven, cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer the brownies with the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool completely (or at least until it is just lukewarm). Slice into 16 squares and serve.

Zucchini Banana Brownies Nutrition Facts

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by Liren Baker on September 8, 2015

22 Responses to “Zucchini Banana Brownies”

  1. Pingback: Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup | Cafe Johnsonia

  2. Pingback: Raspberry Peach Hand Pies | foodiecrush.com

  3. Pingback: Eat Seasonal: Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti | Simple Bites

  4. Liz+@+Floating+Kitchen September 8, 2015 @ 5:06 am (#

    These look so dark and luxurious! I would never have guessed they were full of so many good-for-you ingredients. Send me a dozen!

  5. Pingback: Thai Carrot Cucumber Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing - Flavor the Moments

  6. Lauren+@+Climbing+Grier+Mountain September 8, 2015 @ 6:30 am (#

    GAH!! These are the prettiest brownies. And I am jazz hands excited because I have zucchini in the fridge! #winning

  7. Pingback: Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing - Mountain Mama Cooks

  8. Pingback: Classic Carrot Cake Recipe | Vintage Mixer

  9. Pingback: Peach and Arugula Pizza - Letty's Kitchen

  10. marcie September 8, 2015 @ 10:16 am (#

    You’re so right — you can never tell how traffic will go.  I always have a stash of food in the car for emergencies, because yes…whining kids make for a long drive. :)  These brownies are so packed with goodness and they look so fudgy!  I’m pinning these to try!

  11. Wendy September 8, 2015 @ 11:15 am (#

    Could you please let me know the nutritional value of these brownies? They look incredible.

    • Liren Baker replied: — September 8th, 2015 @ 4:46 pm

      Hi Wendy! Thanks for asking! I’ve run the nutritional facts and posted it (you’ll find it right below the recipe). I hope that helps!

  12. Aimee @ Simple Bites September 8, 2015 @ 12:36 pm (#

    Just delicious! They look irresistible. 

  13. Becky September 8, 2015 @ 12:37 pm (#

    There’s really no bad brownie in my book!!  And I’m all over throwing in veggies in just about everything :)  I’m sure these were amazing and the perfect travel treat!  Hope you guys had a wonderful trip.

  14. Letty/Letty's Kitchen September 8, 2015 @ 1:07 pm (#

    I’m with Becky on the there is no bad (homemade) brownie–and when they’re hiding quinoa and zucchini–perfect!

  15. Maria September 9, 2015 @ 8:29 am (#

    Those look SO good!

  16. Chris September 13, 2015 @ 6:23 am (#

    I came across your recipe on Pinterest last night. Since I had everything on hand, I decided to give it a go, and I must say they are truly amazing! My husband and I are trying to eat healthier, so thanks for a great recipe. Eating healthy can be delicious!! 

    • Liren Baker replied: — September 13th, 2015 @ 7:45 am

      Chris, I’m so glad! Thank you for coming back to let me know – that means so much. Yes, healthy can definitely be delicious – I’m so happy you loved them!

  17. Brian+@+A+Thought+For+Food September 13, 2015 @ 2:21 pm (#

    BANANA! Yeah… I wouldn’t have guessed that! They look so rich and moist and gooey. Basically, exactly how a brownie should be. 

  18. Karyn September 13, 2015 @ 7:07 pm (#

    These brownies look so fudgy! I’ll take half the pan, please!

  19. Kankana September 13, 2015 @ 10:41 pm (#

    You made me grab a bite from the chocolate bar! The brownies look so good, I was seriously drooling. I got to make that. 

  20. Pingback: Pesto Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe | Cookin' Canuck

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