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Naturally Gluten Free Flour less Brownies and a Visit to Whole Foods in Redmond

Posted Jan 15 2010 12:00am

These are surprisingly good and naturally gluten free (because they are flour less) brownies.  The secret is NOT to reveal the main ingredient, black beans, until after everyone loves them.

I picked up this recipe on a recent visit to Whole Foods in Redmond.  I was honestly really disappointed in the gluten free selection when this Whole Foods first opened. They just did not have much to offer. 

But have you visited lately? 

They have turned the entire front corner of the store into what is like a mini-gluten free mart.  They have put some series effort into offering a great variety of gluten free products such as Pamela's, Namaste, Arrowhead Mills, Glutino . . ..  They are also carrying several kinds of gluten free beer including Red Bridge, New Grist and Bard's.  If you are in the neighborhood, it is definitely worth a visit.

Now to the brownies - I was pretty skeptical about these.  Come on, brownies made with beans?  But it was pouring down rain yesterday and the kids and I were searching for comfort food, so I whipped these up.  They get two thumbs up for being super easy to make with ingredients you most likely have on hand, and two thumbs up for being surprisingly tasty.

I am not a deceptive person, but I knew if the kids were aware of the main ingredient they would be reluctant to try these.  Thankfully they did not notice me pouring the beans into the food processor and they actually liked these brownies.  The gluten free teen said she liked them better than other brownies we have made.  They make a thin bite-sized brownie that is super moist and not over the top rich. I have cooked with garbanzo bean flour and the kids picked up on the taste immediately. Upon sampling these no one even mentioned a bean-like flavor.  The Weekend Chef is reluctant about them, but then again he knows they contain beans. All I can say is try them, you may be surprised too.

Flour less Chocolate Brownies



1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed (we used Eden's Organic Black Beans that I rinsed really well)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter, more for the baking dish (we used Earth Balance to make them Casein Free)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (this is the only ingredient we added - to give them a little more rise)

1/2 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used Sunspire chips which are also Casein Free)
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional - we did not use these)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter an 8-inch baking pan.

Place the drained and rinsed black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract,sugar and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.

Gently stir in the chocolate chips and optional walnuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the center. Cool before cutting into squares.

Just for fun, here are the nutrition facts for a leading gluten free brownie mix versus the flour less brownie.  I am in no way saying that the flour less brownies are comparable in taste and texture to the cake-like GF brownies.  I am merely providing the following for you to make your own comparisons:

Nutrition Label from Leading GF Brownie Mix:


As compared to the flour less brownie:

Per serving (1 brownie/about 2oz/60g-wt.): 160 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 17g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 12g sugar), 4g protein.

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