Grain Free Brownies Made with Nut Butter

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 1, 2014

In my opinion, the brownie is hands down the most important American contribution to the world of pastries. I typically make brownies for my family using sprouted flour (recipe here), but I have gotten into the routine of making them grain free with whatever sprouted nut butter I have on hand of late.

These grain free brownies are crazy good and I am in full anticipation of a lot of email love floating into my inbox from those of you who try them!

The key to the amazing taste of these grain free brownies is the quality of the nut butter you select. Our favorite is macadamia nut butter followed by hazelnut butter although you can certainly use any nut butter you want.

For this particular grain free brownies recipe, the best nut butter to choose is one that has been made from soaked/sprouted raw nuts. The reason is because raw nuts are seeds and as such, their hulls contain many enzyme inhibitors that can prevent all that wonderful nutrition from being digested thoroughly.  These inhibitors can also cause digestive distress if many raw nuts are consumed.  For some people, even a few raw nuts cause digestive problems or a rash around the mouth.

Deactivation of these enzyme inhibitors can be accomplished through sprouting and/or soaking the raw nuts in salt water for a few hours and then drying in a warm (not hot) oven or dehydrator. According to Nourishing Traditions Cookbook, soaking and drying of raw nuts mimics the careful and wise practice of the Aztecs, who soaked seeds in salt water and then dried them in the sun before grinding into flour or eating them whole.

While I used to sprout or soak raw nuts myself before making nut butter in the past, there are now two brands of properly prepared nut butters for you to choose from so you don’t have to engage in this time consuming practice if you don’t want to.

The first brand is Wilderness Family Naturals (click here for a list of nut butters) and the other is Better Than Roasted (click here for a list of nut butters).

Both brands are featured on my resources page under nut butters, so you can bookmark it if you need to so you don’t forget the next time you want to make grain free brownies and can’t remember where to get properly prepared nut butters.

The big plus of using sprouted/soaked nut butter in this recipe is that you will find these grain free brownies surprisingly filling. The more digestible and nourishing a food, the less you eat while still feeling satisfied. This is particularly important with a treat such as brownies. You don’t want to be eating half the pan!  Eating just one or two of these small brownies will be plenty satisfying when a quality nut butter is used.

Grain Free Brownies

Makes about 2 dozen grain free brownies

Ingredients

  • Grain free brownies1 cup sprouted/soaked nut butter, macadamia or hazelnut suggested (sources)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup Grade B maple syrup (sources)
  • 1-2 T vanilla extract (sources)
  • 1 cup organic cocoa or carob powder (sources)
  • 2 tsp chocolate extract if using carob powder (sources)
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt (sources)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (sources)
  • 1 cup organic chocolate or carob chips, optional (sources)

Instructions

Blend nut butter of choice, eggs, and maple syrup by pulsing in a food processor (I like this one).

Add vanilla, cocoa or carob powder, sea salt, baking soda, and optional chocolate extract and pulse a few more times to mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into a 9×13 glass baking pan (I like this one) and stir in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350F/177 C for 20-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool, cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!   You can thank me later :)

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

*This recipe has not been reviewed or endorsed by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

 

Comments (34)

  1. Pingback: Paleo brownies | Jacquelyn Gotreau

  2. I am a health coach for women and I have a grain sensitivity so I am always looking for new recipes for myself and to share with clients. I made a slightly modified version of this– just some minor substitutions– but I am totally blown away! And so easy to make– I love that you can do this all in the food processor. Mine turned out more cake-like than brownie-like but it was still amazing. I will absolutely share this with others. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Reply
  3. I cant eat nuts either – have a reaction to them… I’ve made a flourless chocolate cake with almost the same ingredients (left out the nut butter), but in different amounts of course… really the only cake-like dessert I can have … I can have fruit and meringue cookies and pavlovas, which I seem to tolerate fine… Cake I really do miss, especially as a birthday cake – always had German Chocolate Cake :)

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  4. You said I would thank you later………”THANK YOU”!!! I think this is the first grain free item that I thought was to die for!! It was everything you promised. Thank you big time!

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  5. Sarah, thanks very much! Uhhh, I only had a Nutribullet available (was I crazy to try that?), so I did a half recipe. I’m right now enjoying my first bites.

    It does appear that above you typed “cocoa” twice, but when I click on “sources” it goes to cacao.

    Reply
  6. Hi Sarah,
    I was wondering about cocoa powder and carob. I thought cocoa powder contained caffeine, while carob doesn’t. Can you please tell me why you used cocoa if it has caffeine in it?
    Thanks

    Reply
  7. Baked these today with homemade walnut butter. These are delicious. I agree with Sarah…better than all other brownies!

    Reply
  8. OMG! These brownies are amazing!!! Finally a GAPS friendly brownie :) I’ve been on GAPS for 6 months and have really missed my chocolate treats and these are so satisfying! Since I made the nut butter from scratch, my batch actually came out more like chocolate cake! so fluffy!! Love them!

    Reply
  9. Could somebody tell me the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder? I have raw cacao powder on hand and was going to try using that.

    Reply
  10. Good nutrient dense food IS expensive. Not worth it to buy cheap stuff because it doesn’t nourish you, just makes you feel filled up for a bit.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      It’s expensive because we are conditioned by the cheap, GMO treats at the store and supermarket bakeries. I have always bought the best of whatever was available and it always pays dividends by our family eating less as they are more satisfied and well nourished. The food budget always works out to be reasonable and shockingly, less than those I know who cook meals using boxes, packages and cans and less quality food in general.

      Reply
  11. Can’t wait to try this one. We have been eating no flour Black Bean brownies for quite some time and this look yummy as well. We raise our own black beans. Wish I could nuts!

    Reply
  12. Noorie Waheed via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

    They look delicious. I was actually going to give the dates one a go this weekend! Can’t wait!

    Reply
  13. Noreen Khan via Facebook April 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Noorie Waheed, saw this and though of you- no dates in this recipe! I’ve not tried it myself but when I do I’ll be using almond butter :) yummy!!

    Reply
  14. Oops! To see if anyone else thinks the same or just what they might think on this subject. I do try to incorporate many healthy choices in my life but as far as making these oh so yummy looking treats that look so tempting I have to opt out. Problem is that they all make me crave the unhealthy cheaper versions. Oh well such as life. Gotta be thankful for the quick access I have to my family farms around my part of the country which others don’t from what I read. Thanks for letting me share this bit of frustration over this matter. Love your site HHE.

    Reply
    • I think that when you make a commitment to a certain way of eating, you realize that there are going to be some sacrifices…when you give up grains, you realize that your baked goods aren’t going to maintain that wonderful consistency that gluten gives them. You also realized that the alternatives are pricey (we are Paleo, so nothing is cheap). These brownies would be a treat in my house…something we would make, maybe once every couple of weeks…and we would eat small portions as well, maybe with some homemade coconut ice cream…mmmm…anywho…we make our own nut butters from nuts bought in bulk to try to keep costs down, and don’t indulge too often either. ;-) Making your own ingredients from high quality products bought in bulk generally ends up being cheaper than something more convenient in the long run.
      Tara Pantera\’s last post: So many recipes and announcements, and so little time!!

      Reply
  15. Have you tried them with carob (plus some chocolate extract, maybe)? Even with the nuts and eggs, I think my kids would go through the roof with all that cocoa and maple syrup. Sounds yummy, though.

    Reply
  16. I am finally going to comment about all the fabulous recipes such as this that are floating around these days. As much as I think so many are probably wonderful, I have to wonder if there are very many out there that find them to be just too expensive. The ingredients of many of them make them a very expensive treat. I have tried a few. Some are good and some I don’t care for. What’s really disappointing is to use such expensive ing., and than not care much for it.
    Ok, I just wanted to share this to see if anyone

    Reply
  17. These brownies look to-die-for! Do you have any suggestions for making them egg-free? We have an egg allergy in our family. Thanks!

    Reply

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