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Beyond Zucchini Bread! 18 Unique Recipes Featuring Veggies and Legumes!

Baking with veggies is nothing new, I know.

Carrot cake.

Zucchini bread.

Pumpkin  muffins.

But I’ve discovered some new baking techniques since my daughter turned vegan, one of the more interesting being the use of vegetables and legumes in baked goods and desserts. Not being able to rely on butter, eggs and cream, ingredients like chickpeas, butternut squash and even black beans are called on to provide moistness and texture.

Not to mention vitamins and nutrients.

Now let me be clear here — these are still, above all, desserts, and are not to be confused with health food. And they’re not all vegan. But they all contain a hefty serving of vegetables or legumes, and can be a handy way to get a little more “good eating” into your family.

So while I’m sure you have a killer carrot muffin or zucchini bread in your repertoire, I think you might find some new — and quite inventive — recipes to try right here!

  • Baking with Veggies and Legumes! 1 of 19
    baking with veggies and legumes

    Think beyond carrot muffins and zucchini bread! Vegetables and legumes provide texture, moistness and flavor to almost any baked good you can think of, not to mention a nutritional boost, too!

  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake 2 of 19
    babble chocolate chocolate chip zucchini cake

    You'd never guess that this rich, moist, double chocolate cake gets its tender texture from zucchini — and neither will your family!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies 3 of 19
    babble gluten free pumpkin cookies

    Canned pumpkin is full of nutrients and so convenient to use! Gluten-free and naturally sweetened with honey, you can feel really good about serving up these cookies.

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Brown Butter Squash Waffles 4 of 19
    babble brown butter squash waffles

    Cooked and pureed butternut squash lends texture, flavor and airiness to these gorgeous waffles. Browned butter makes them just a little decadent too.

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies 5 of 19
    babble gluten free black bean brownies

    Black beans replace the flour in these almost-good-for-you brownies, which use about half the amount of sugar called for in most other recipes. 

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Avocado Banana Bread 6 of 19
    babble avocado banana bread

    I thought I'd seen every possible variation on banana bread. So I'm doubly impressed with this vegan version, which uses avocado to replace the fat — and add a nice helping of fiber and nutrients! A great way to use those about to "turn" bananas and avocados that I always seem to have lying around!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • "Cookie Dough" Bites 7 of 19
    babble vegan cookie dough bites

    So much to love about these "bites!" If you're averse to serving (or eating) raw cookie dough, this egg-free version should do the trick. And instead of flour, eggs and butter, these little treats are made with chickpeas - but you'll never know it, trust me. And, oh — they are absolutely delicious!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Streusel Topped Squash Muffins 8 of 19
    babble streusel topped spiced squash muffins

    Feel free to use whatever kind of squash you have on-hand for these airy, streusel-topped muffins — butternut squash or pumpkin, canned or fresh — they all work beautifully!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes 9 of 19
    babble chocolate avocado cupcakes

    Avocados are a "natural" for baking up moist, tender cupcakes. And guess what? They're in the frosting too!

    Get the recipe at Babble

  • Chickpea Apricot Cake 10 of 19
    donuts, dresses and dirt chickpea apricot cake

    Yes, you can bake a cake with chickpeas! Moist, dense and not too sweet, this cake would be perfect for a mid-morning snack or afternoon cup of tea. It's full of flavor too, thanks to chopped apricots and shredded coconut.

    Get the recipe at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies 11 of 19
    donuts, dresses and dirt double chocolate zucchini brownies

    Filled with unsweetened applesauce and a whopping two cups of shredded zucchini, I'm going to call these brownies "virtuous!"

    Get the recipe at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Pumpkin Bread 12 of 19
    donuts, dresses and dirt pumpkin bread

    The subtle orange color of these lovely loaves hints at the flavor within. A cross between a cake and a tea loaf, these pumpkin loaves are easy to make and yield two large (or six small) breads!

    Get the recipe at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Pumpkin Apple Fruit Roll Ups 13 of 19
    donuts, dresses and dirt apple pumpkin fruit roll ups

    Yes, even fruit roll-ups get the veggie treatment! A quick cook and puree, followed by a long, slow stretch in the oven, and you have a healthy, all-natural treat that you will be happy to put in your kids' lunch boxes (and enjoy yourself too)!

    Get the recipe at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

  • Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes 14 of 19
    yummy healthy easy red velvet beet cupcakes

    Roasted beets are not only nutritious, they drastically reduce the amount of red food coloring typically found in red velvet desserts. And you'll never taste the difference!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy

  • Sweet Potato Blondies 15 of 19
    healthy seasonal recipes sweet potato blondies

    Pureed sweet potatoes boost the fiber and lower the fat and calories of your beloved blondies. This recipe converts beautifully to make delicious muffins too!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Healthy Seasonal Recipes

  • Black Bean Lava Cakes 16 of 19
    the healthy maven black bean lava cakes

    Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Vegan. Not terms you'd typically associate with one of the more decadent desserts around — lava cake. So I think it's safe to say that you are going to LOVE this recipe!

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Healthy Maven

  • Sweet Potato Cookies 17 of 19
    the law student's wife sweet potato cookies

    Roasting sweet potatoes turns them naturally sweet and caramelized — so basically perfect for adding to baked goods. They take a turn here in a batch of moist, delicious chocolate chip cookies!

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Law Student's Wife

  • Cranberry Lentil White Chocolate Cookies 18 of 19
    hungry janey cranberry white chocolate cookies with lentils

    Lentils in cookies? Yep! They add texture and chewiness to one of my favorite recipes — white chocolate cranberry oatmeal!

    Image and recipe courtesy of Hungry Janey

  • Black Bean Chocolate Pistachio Energy Bars 19 of 19
    pig and quill black bean chocolate and pistachio energy bars

    These mouthwatering vegan bars are begging to be tucked away in your lunch box or purse for a decadent treat you can feel good about!

    Image and recipe courtesy of The Pig and Quill

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