Lisa Lillien shares her recipe for zucchini brownies.

By Lisa Lillien
January 22, 2018 05:24 PM

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of twelve books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

January can be tough. We’re trying to clean up our acts after the holidays, but sticking to a healthy eating plan can be a drag. Enter better-for-you brownies with cream cheese frosting. These treats are made with zucchini, but all you’ll taste is chocolatey goodness. That resolution diet just got a lot easier!

Cream Cheese Brownies

1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
½ cup Truvia spoonable no calorie sweetener (or another natural brand about twice as sweet as sugar)
1½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup canned pure pumpkin
½ cup (about 4 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. (about 2 medium) zucchini
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup light/ reduced-fat cream cheese
¼ cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Dash salt
⅓ cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” X 13” baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, sweetener, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

3. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, egg whites/substitute, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until uniform.

4. Add contents of the medium bowl to the large bowl, and stir until smooth and uniform. (Batter will be thick.)

5. Peel and shred zucchini. Fold into the batter, along with ¼ cup chocolate chips.

6. Spread batter into the baking pan, and smooth out the top.

7. Bake until a toothpick (or knife) inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except powdered sugar. With an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to beat while gradually adding powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, another 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

9. Let brownies cool completely, about 1 hour.

10. Top brownies with frosting, and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

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Nutritional Information:(1 brownie) 134 calories, 5.5g total fat (3g sat fat), 263mg sodium, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 4g protein

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!