Nothing says Christmas more than peppermint. Am I right? Add some dark chocolate and white chocolate chips into the mix and WOW… too good for words. If you, like me, love the chocolate-peppermint combo this time of year, then my Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Loaf is for you!
Gluten Free Brownies With Hidden Veggies
This festive, chocolatey loaf is made with simple ingredients like almond flour, cocoa powder, egg, maple syrup, peppermint extract, candy canes, 2 kinds of chocolate chips, and… zucchini? Yep, that’s right – zucchini! And you’d never know it.
Though gluten free and oil free, these loaves are full of flavor and have a wonderful moistness and texture similar to brownies (hence the name). Like my 1-Bowl Coconut Zucchini Brownie Muffins, this recipe requires just one bowl. And no need to worry about overmixing the batter – it’s not possible.
Before I get to the recipe for my Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Loaf, let’s talk about my all-time favorite festive ingredient: peppermint!
PepperMINT to Be
I seriously love anything with peppermint this time of the year. With the drop in temperature here in Nashville and winter just around the corner, I’ve found myself drinking hot peppermint tea nearly every night. It’s so cozy and may even have some health benefits.
Peppermint is a culinary herb that has been used in traditional medicine for years. It can be found in a variety of forms – dried and used in teas, concentrated as an oil, made into an extract (alcohol, water, and peppermint oil) for culinary uses, or made into a capsule.
Before you start applying peppermint oil to your skin or drinking peppermint tea 24/7, please note that this herb may interact with certain medications. Be sure to speak with you healthcare provider on whether or not peppermint oil is safe for you.
Possible Health Benefits of Peppermint
Peppermint has antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, may have a calming effect, and is believed to help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, and the common cold. This aromatic herb contains a variety of compounds including flavanoids, rosmarinic acids, menthol, and menthone. Menthol, one of the primary active components in peppermint, is a decongestant that can help minimize coughs.
Additionally, peppermint oil has been shown to be a safe, low cost, and effective treatment option for cancer patients struggling with nausea and vomiting, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
Now… if you feel like chocolate and peppermint is a combination that was MINT to be, gather the ingredients for my Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Loaf, and let’s get baking!
What’s in This Recipe?
Egg – contains protein, choline, antioxidants, and fat soluble vitamins
Zucchini – contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carotenoids
Maple syrup – natural sweetener, rich in manganese
Peppermint extract – contains peppermint oil, may have stomach calming, anti-cough, and anti-nausea effects
Almond flour – contains vitamin E, protein, fiber, and healthy fats
Cocoa powder – contains magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, and iron
Baking powder – leavening agent
Candy canes – adds flavor and Christmas spirit!
Dark chocolate chips – contains magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, and iron
White chocolate chips – adds flavor and happiness
Notes: These loaves are made with almond flour and are naturally gluten free. To make them dairy free, leave out the white chocolate chips and use 1/4 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips. *To ensure that these loaves come out correctly, be sure to squeeze out the water from the shredded zucchini.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Loaf
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 mini loaves
1 large egg
1/2 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermints, plus more for topping
2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp. white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Spray 2 mini loaf tin cups with nonstick spray.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, then add the zucchini, maple syrup, and peppermint extract. Stir until combined.
Next, stir in the almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Mix in the 2 tbsp. crushed candy canes and both types of chocolate chips.
Divide the batter among the 2 greased mini loaf tin cups. Top with additional crushed peppermint as desired, then bake for 35 minutes.
Allow loaves to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes., then loosen with a plastic knife to remove. Store extras in the fridge.