Chocolate Zucchini Bars

chocolatepie

Zucchini, a summer squash (also goes by the name courgette), has its origins in America although countries like Japan, China, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Argentina are the largest producers of Zucchini today.

Although there are a few varieties from yellow (golden) to light green and dark green, the dark green is the one most often found and that most people are familiar with.

This healthy summer squash is actually considered a fruit but most often used as a veggie. It looks similar to a cucumber (and also has numerous seeds like cucumbers) and offers much in the way of health benefits:

Boasting high levels of vitamin C, protein, fiber and carbohydrates. It also offers healthy doses of potassium, folate and Vitamin A, and helps promote eye health and other diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency such as scurvy and sclerosis and it even helps those who bruise easily.

Zucchini is grown year round and enjoyed raw, sliced or cooked. It is often shredded and used in breads as well as cold and hot salads. Full grown zucchini are a bit tough and too fibrous to enjoy but young zucchini offer a soft covering with a subtle taste and buttery white flesh.

The whole squash, the flesh, seeds and skin of a zucchini can be eaten and enjoyed. It has even been known to help reduce weight (how’s that for an added benefit?) while boosting nutrition because it is very low in calories providing only 17 per g.

The peel of zucchini is good source of dietary fiber, helping reduce constipation and offering some protection against colon cancers. It also contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.

Here’s a great Zucchini recipe to get you started. This is just one of many you’ll find in “Blended Bites” a collection of some of my favorite dessert recipes that use veggies/fruits as a main ingredient.

Creating desserts like this take that awful “guilt” out of the equation. 

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bars

Base

1 cup almonds

½ cup sunflower seeds

1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained

¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Place almonds and sunflower seeds into a food processor and process until mixture is broken down and crumbly. Add other ingredients and process until well combined. Spoon out into a small dish or pan and spread out evenly.

 

Filling

2 cups desiccated coconut

1 cup zucchini, peeled and diced (about 1 medium zucchini)

¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

2 tablespoons honey

Blend all ingredients together until are well combined. Spread over base mixture.

 

Topping

½ cup cocoa or cacao powder

¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix all together in a small bowl and swirl on top of filling. Place into fridge to firm up then cut into bars.