Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies!

Current food trends aside, vegan and gluten-free fare has long been associated with food intolerances and therefore neglected on the flavor front. The phrase ‘Health Trends’ tends to make one think of kale, not chocolate! These vegan, gluten-free brownies taste so much like their traditional counterparts, chances are that none of your friends or family will even know the difference. All you need to do is whip these up, and watch as everyone enjoys your special recipe.

Ground walnuts add an amazing nuttiness; but if you don’t have walnuts or a food processor handy, you can definitely substitute almond meal and skip Step 4. I think the walnut flour is what makes these brownies truly delectable though, and ground nuts provide nourishing, healthy fats.

Simple, classic, and packed with chocolate flavor — a great menu idea for your next family holiday party, your daughter’s birthday, your neighbor’s pool party, or just to have around the house!

● 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flax seeds + 6 tbsp. water)
● ¼ cup melted vegan butter or coconut oil
● ¼ cup melted almond butter
● 2/3 cup sugar
● 1/4 cup maple syrup
● 2 tsp vanilla extract
● 3/4 tsp baking powder
● 1/4 tsp sea salt
● 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
● 3/4 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
● 3/4 cup walnuts
● ½ cup mini chocolate chips + some for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a brownie pan with parchment paper (the oil helps the parchment paper stick to the sides).
3. Prepare flax eggs in a small mixing bowl. Set aside in the fridge until thick.
4. In a food processor, add ½ cup of walnuts and process until a fine flour. Be careful not to process into a butter!
5. Melt the vegan butter and almond butter.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan butter, almond butter, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until combined.
7. Add flax eggs and whisk until combined.
8. Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt. Whisk until combined.
9. Sift in gluten-free flour and the ground walnuts and stir just until combined — but don’t over stir!
10. Fold in the chocolate chips and extra walnuts.
11. Add the batter to the brownie pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if desired.
12. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
13. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 45 – 60 minutes before cutting them. Makes 9 – 12, or 16 mini brownies!

If you’re feeling fancy, feel free to sift unsweetened cocoa powder on top for an interesting visual effect. After cutting, wait until they have cooled completely and store in an air-tight container. Feel free to leave them at room temperature for 1-3 days. Otherwise you can store them in the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for 1 month. If you do freeze them, I highly recommend popping them in the microwave for a melty, chocolate-y treat. Perfect for an afternoon snack!

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