Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gluten-Free Walnut Brownies

Butter, chocolate, walnuts, sugar, what could be better? And oh yes, healthy too. Pretty healthy.
I've stayed away form brownies for awhile because I didn't want to be disappointed by the gluten-free aspect. Now, I can enjoy again. Oh my, you have to try these. 

  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil (vegan) or butter (cut up)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 6 drops stevia extract
  • 2-3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs (to replace eggs, use 1 tbs ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbs water per egg) 
  • 2 tbs ground flax/chia seed mix mixed with 2 tbs water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or other fave nut
A note about using the flax/chia mix. If you haven't yet read up on my new discovery, it's time to try it out. Ground flax seeds mixed with ground chia seeds when combined with water create a gluten-like substance that can be a great substitute for xanthan gum. I've stopped using xanthan gum because it can often cause digestive issues and so I've traded it in for this mix. It's optional in this recipe, but it makes the brownies hold together better. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8 x 8 square cake pan with parchment paper. 
Place chocolate chips in oven until melted, but not burnt. 
While chips are melting, put almonds in a food processor and grind to a meal or just use almond meal. 
I use fresh almonds because the good fats in them are preserved better than if in meal form previously. 
Mix almond meal with rice flour and salt in a bowl. 

Take melted chips out of oven to cool off a bit. 
In a large bowl, using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers, combine butter and sugar until it looks like cornmeal. 
Now ad in melted chocolate chips and mix in. 

Next mix eggs (or fax mix if using), flax/chia mix, stevia, and vanilla in a separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well. 

Now add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix until just combined. 
Add nuts and fold in. 

Bake for about 60 minutes. I know, you're probably sick of my vague timing, but keep an eye on it and use a toothpick to tell when it's done (when it comes out clean).  I would bake a double bath next time, these went oh so fast! Enjoy your gluten-free brownies!

Try adding 1/2 cup mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in at end. Grind them in a food processor or coffee grinder until they are not yet a fine powder, but won't be too noticed by those picky fingers. Results are still very good, but a but bit denser. Great nutty taste and increases the essential fatty acids! 

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