By Dianne Bunis

Who can resist a brownie -- under a scoop of vanilla ice cream or simply by themselves! My ultimate brownies are not dense or gooey, they're moist, cake-like and rich with flavor.

I've come up with a lighter calorie recipe by adding apple sauce and just-picked, tender zucchini from local farmer Chad Spiczka. For information on Chad's farm stand and farmers market locations, check out spiczkafarm1999.wix.com/spiczka-farm.

Ultimate zucchini brownies

16 (2-inch) brownies

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup Canola oil (refined, expeller pressed)

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 large organic egg, plus 1 egg white

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups fresh zucchini, finely shredded, approximately 2 (6-inch) zucchini will yield this

1/4 cup walnuts, crushed fine

Confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, prepare an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking pan using Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, Non-hydrogenated (recommended). Place walnuts between wax paper and crush with a rolling pin or hammer.


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2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Then add the egg and egg white, blend.

3. In a small bowl, place the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, whisk dry ingredients until combined. Add the dry ingredients to wet mixture, stir to combine. Next, fold in the zucchini.

4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, sprinkle top with the walnuts. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool before cutting into 16 squares.

5. Just before serving, sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar. If there are any brownies left, store in an airtight container.