For the first several months after I began the autoimmune protocol, I completely avoided baking. Not because I dislike it. I actually really really enjoy baking. But it’s really discouraging to repeatedly try a recipe only to have it come out inedible every single time. Not to mention expensive. So I took a break.
Then about a month ago I grabbed a bunch of beets at the market. I had heard of using beets as a brownie ingredient. Armed with new motivation, I decided to jump back into baking experimentation. One of the things I struggled with in the past was finding a replacement for the usual gluten-free flours. I don’t eat nuts, so almond flour was out. As was rice flour – relatively innocuous, but a grain nonetheless.
The secret for me was plantain flour. I had been eating dehydrated green plantains for quite a while, and it made sense to grind them up and use them as a flour substitute. Plantain flour turned out to be the perfect replacement for rice flour. I should mention that I use weight measurements instead of volume for the flours. I find that when doing any sort of gluten-free baking, this provides much more reliable and consistent results. A kitchen scale is an inexpensive and extremely useful investment. This is the one I use. I do offer volume approximations, but I very strongly recommend using a scale if at all possible.
It took quite a bit of experimentation, but I am really happy with these brownies. Preparation might turn my hands and kitchen a little pink for a while, but it’s totally worth it and the beets give the brownies a really pretty color. Enjoy!
1/2 cup puréed beets
3 tabelspoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar (can easily be reduced by a couple of tablespoons)
60g (1/2 cup) plantain flour *
22g (1/4 cup minus 1 Tablespoon) coconut flour
30g (1/4 cup) tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Combine warm water, melted coconut oil, beet purée, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, mixing in a little bit at a time until you can’t see any streaks of flour.
- Finally, fold in your chocolate chips. Alternatively, you can wait and add the chocolate chips to the top of the brownies later.
- Pour the batter into an 8 X 8 glass baking dish and smooth out with a spatula so the top is even
- If you reserved your chocolate chips, sprinkle them over the top of the brownie batter and lightly press them in with your hands or a spatula.
- Place the pan in the oven on the middle or lowest rack.
- Bake until a toothpick (or wooden chopstick if you’re like me and always forget to buy toothpicks) comes out mostly clean. In my oven, this takes about 40 minutes, but I would start checking after 30 or 35 minutes just to be safe.
- Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing. You’re welcome to try eating them before then, but be warned, as they will be goopy and mochi-like.
* To make plantain flour, I slice and dehydrate green plantains, then run them in my Vitamix until I have a fine powder. You can also buy plantain or green banana flour online. I haven’t seen it in stores, but it might be worth checking out.