Summer, Autumn, Sweet, Snacks

Courgette & Pecan Chocolate Fudge Brownies

There are several brownie recipes on this site, but these are by far the fudgiest, and possibly the most nutritious, too. Without a nut butter in sight, these tasty delights are gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and (of course) 100% plant-based. Not to mention that they also contain 400g of courgette (or zucchini, depending on which side of the Atlantic you're based!)

The ones pictured here are cooked for just 25 minutes, because I have a fear of over-baking brownies and love a fudgy texture, but if you prefer a firmer bake, cook them for 30-35 minutes instead.

I should point out that this batter will look a little bit odd before you add the courgette – dry and crumbly, and not at all like the brownie batters you're used to. But when you add the courgette, and allow time for its liquid to release, you'll achieve a soft, pourable batter.

Unlike many other courgette brownie recipes, this one doesn't require you to squeeze out the liquid from the courgette, so please don't be tempted to do so. It's this very liquid that will give your batter all the moisture it needs, with zero waste – just be sure to use a fine grater.

Feel free to add in the nuts of your choice, and leave out the chocolate chips for an even healthier version that's equally fudgy. And if you want to make protein brownies, simply substitute 2-3 tbsp of the oat flour for protein powder. The only brand I recommend and use myself is Form.

This recipe was inspired by Amanda Rettke.

approx 16


280g coconut or soft brown sugar, or granulated sweetener of choice

110g light oil – I used groundnut

1 tbsp vanilla extract

250g oat flour (or make your own by blitzing rolled oats in a blender)

1 tbsp cornflour

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

65g cocoa powder

400g courgette, finely grated

60g roughly chopped pecans or nuts of choice, plus extra to top (optional)

200g chocolate chips, plus extra to top (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6, and line a 9x13-inch baking tray (or rough equivalent) with greaseproof paper.
  2. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla to a large bowl and mix well to combine. In a separate bowl, do the same with the flours, bicarb, salt and cocoa powder.
  3. Add the flour mix into the sugar mix, and combine until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the courgette and mix well. Once fully incorporated, cover the mixture and allow it to rest for a few minutes, before mixing again. It should develop into a soft, gloopy, pourable batter.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using, pour the batter into the prepared tin, and top with an extra flurry of chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Bake the batter for 30-40 mins – 30 mins for the fudgiest texture, and 40 mins for a firmer, spongier brownie.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the pan, if you have the patience. I like to chill these in the fridge for a few hours to really firm up, before cutting them into squares.

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