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Beet Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tree nut-free, vegan)

Beet Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tree nut-free, vegan)

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!

Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  2. Combine warm water, melted coconut oil, beet purée, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    The beets give the batter a really pretty purple color.
    The beets give the batter a really pretty purple color.
  4. 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.
  5. Finally, fold in your chocolate chips. Alternatively, you can wait and add the chocolate chips to the top of the brownies later.
  6. Pour the batter into an 8 X 8 glass baking dish and smooth out with a spatula so the top is even
  7. 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.
  8. Place the pan in the oven on the middle or lowest rack.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

    IMG_1699
    Enjoy!

* 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.



2 thoughts on “Beet Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tree nut-free, vegan)”

    • Thanks!! He hasn’t tried them yet. I think the beets throw him off, especially when I cook them the same day as I bake the brownies and the house smells a little dirt-like. Understandable I think, but I love the really subtle beet flavor! And the color 🙂

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