Zucchini Is The Secret Ingredient Your Chocolate Desserts Are Missing

chocolate zucchini brownies
chocolate zucchini brownies - photosimysia/Shutterstock

When zucchini season comes around, it's not very hard to feel humbled. Farmers' markets, grocery stores, and home gardens quickly become stacked to the brim with zucchinis that reach sizes bigger than some people's firstborn child. Not only are they intimidating in size, but in bounty. Even the most inventive home chefs can grow overwhelmed, finding themselves with all too much zucchini than they know what to do with. You can only make so many zucchini noodles, boats, and ratatouilles before you're sick of them. All the more reason to throw them into a dessert — preferably, a chocolate one.

Outside of quick breads and muffins, zucchini rarely sees the sweet side of the menu. But, when it comes to your chocolate desserts, these summer squashes are the secret ingredient they could be missing, and they provide more than just nutritional benefits. Yes, being a vegetable, zucchinis are a great way to sneak important nutrients like fiber, potassium, and carotenoids into those chocolate chip muffins your kids eat up, but they have advantages for your baking too. Being 94% water, zucchinis are an easy way to add moisture to your baked goods — but in a way that simultaneously brings both texture and lightness.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Zucchini In Desserts

chocolate zucchini brownies
chocolate zucchini brownies

When paired with your chocolate desserts, zucchini makes it easy to achieve the ideal moist yet crumby mouthfeel — it's no wonder why that chocolate zucchini cake always turns out so good. But it doesn't have to end there. Zucchini can be used to elevate any and all of your go-to chocolate desserts. The aforementioned muffins and quick bread are some of the more obvious options, which can easily be elevated by a handful of dark chocolate chips or a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder. Chocolate cake is another one, in which zucchini is a godsend for the baker's pursuit for texture. Then there are the more unexpected desserts, like chocolate scones — which benefit from the density these veggies provide — and fudge brownies.

From the tender crumb of a perfectly baked cake to the fudge in your fudge brownies, zucchinis have a mild, subtly earthy flavor and binding abilities that make them the perfect building block to your chocolate desserts — just don't you dare try to drain the moisture from them first. There's a common misconception that, after grating your zucchini, you should squeeze the water out from within them. Not only will that leave you with an even bigger mess to clean up — which, when baking, is the last thing anyone wants — it also rids them of the moisture they so generously offer. Unless you want something to come out lighter or fluffier, consider it optional, but largely unnecessary in the case of anything chocolate.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.