The Unexpected Ingredient You Need To Add To Your Brownies

You may have thought you'd read it all on how to master a brownie recipe. Those little chocolaty squares of happiness with a fudgy texture are known to bring joy to sweets lovers, no matter their age. Their versatility is applauded, as they can incorporate all manner of ingredients, from instant coffee to Guinness beer and peanuts. But if you've never tried a veggie take on this classic dessert, you might be missing out. Don´t look at carrots, though — they are reserved for cake. Instead, say hello to zucchini brownies.

A dark green or golden yellow squash with a very firm texture, zucchini carries a classic earthy vegetable flavor but can also be a little bit sweet. Botanically, it is classified as a fruit, contains loads of vitamins and minerals, and is considered an immune system booster (via Healthline). We mostly see zucchini in savory recipes like vegetarian lasagna, but it can be great for muffins or in zucchini bread because its taste isn't particularly intense.

According to The New York Times, some acclaimed chefs are diving into the trend of using the natural sweetness of vegetables for desserts, which is a healthy technique to replicate at home. However, zucchini brownies are not only worth a try because of their flavor and nutritional value, but also how the popular veggie can transform the texture of brownies in a significant way.

Zucchini adds extra moisture to baked goods, including brownies

According to Serious Eats, because of the amount of water that zucchini contains (around 95%), it can bring extra moisture and tenderness to your brownies and help keep them from drying out while baking — though it's recommended to squeeze out the excess water from your zucchini before adding it to your batter.

To grate or shred the zucchini, you can use a food processor. But, if you don't want to chomp down on any zucchini bits, there are recipes that call for puréeing the vegetable before mixing it in prebake (via King Arthur Baking Company). Be sure to pick a good zucchini while shopping: It should look shiny, firm, and preferably not be the largest one. And please, use your hands to clean the zucchini before using it, not a sponge or brush.

Many recipes for zucchini brownies include standard ingredients for the dessert (eggs, your choice of flour and sweetener, cocoa and baking powders, and chocolate chunks or chips). Because of zucchini's mild flavor, it won't outshine chocolate as the star, making this squash-packed treat perfect for fussy eaters and vegetable avoiders of all ages. Still, the resulting moister texture might have you considering zucchini for more of your baking adventures.