Easy vegan gluten free brownies with buckwheat groats have three delicious layers including a fudgy middle layer, and chocolate ganache top, full of protein, magnesium and fiber. This small batch recipe makes 4 brownies, also no-bake, dairy-free and vegan.
Easy Vegan Gluten Free Brownies
These easy vegan gluten-free brownies are showcasing buckwheat groats! The layers also include a fudgy coconut butter middle layer and a chocolate ganache top. A creamy fudgy gluten free brainstorm! Just like dark chocolate, buckwheat groats are a nutritional wonder and boost brain-power. They are a seed, really, so gluten-free. A wonderful flourless direction to take with a dessert, don’t you think? Let me tell you about my vegan gluten free brownies.
My Vegan Gluten Free Brownies are:
1. easy to make
2. use easy to find ingredients
3. vegan, gluten free, dairy free
4. have three rich fudgy layers
5. are full of whole ingredients
6. are filing and nutritious
7. plant-based and allergy-friendly
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, that is sued to keep elasticity in food. While people with dietary concerns such as celiac disease need to avoid gluten, there are health benefits for all of us. Here are a few.
Benefits to Avoiding Gluten in Brownies
1. Improves digestion
2. Improves heart health
3. Boosts energy
4. Boosts immunity
These are only some benefits to avoiding gluten, and buckwheat groats is only one of many pseudo-grains that work well in gluten-free recipes to replace flour. Quinoa is also one, and more can be found in this Healthline article.
Buckwheat Groats Are Great in Gluten-Free Brownies
So let me tell you all about buckwheat groats. Buckwheat groats are a super healthy pseudo-cereal – not related to wheat and devoid of gluten. Buckwheat in fact is a seed. And when soaked and processed into a recipe, they provide the structure of flour. Perfect for a vegan gluten-free recipe.
What are the Other Benefits of Eating Buckwheat
Buckwheat is the primary nutritional force behind this healthy brownie recipe.
Buckwheat is not a grain, it is a fruit seed. And it is high in protein and fiber. In fact, they are more nutritious than most grains, contributing magnesium which is supportive of mood and sleep. As well as folate, zinc and vitamin B6.
Specifically, one cup of groats contributes about a whooping 24gms of protein, 5 gms of fiber and only 1 gm of fat. Studies show the groat is also healthy for the heart and blood sugar control, show prebiotic and anti-inflammatory potential.
Have I convinced you yet?
How Do You Cook Buckwheat?
In general, you just soak and then boil it. But not for this recipe because it is a no-cook recipe. So, you can eat buckwheat raw. It tastes kind of nutty when cooked and not cooked.
Buckwheat groats aren’t that easy to find, but very easy to purchase from Bob’s Red Mill website. And I often find buckwheat groats loose in the bulk section of your quality grocer. I found them in the Whole Foods bulk food area.
Use Buckwheat Groats in Gluten Free Brownies
In this recipe, the groats add structure to the base. I blended them raw, but also allowed many to remain unbroken down for added crunch and texture to the chew.
There is a bit of prep regarding buckwheat – at minimum you need to rinse it thoroughly because it has a coating that protects it from predators and that can taste bitter and interfere slightly with some digestions.
If you want to prep further, you can soak the raw buckwheat groats for about six hours in clear water to reduce the phytic acids found in buckwheat as well as grains. For some, this improves digestion; for others, it is inconsequential because actually phytic acids have a plus-side too, being considered an anti-inflammatory. Read more about the phytic acid controversy here!
More About This Vegan Gluten Free Brownie Recipe
Moving back to the subject of the recipe. Let’s start by talking about the brownie base, shall we?
The base of this flourless brownie also features walnuts, a nut that is high in protein and a wonderful boost to cognitive abilities as well as a strong anti-inflammatory. Walnuts, with the buckwheat groats and cacao, create a marvelous pedestal for the other two layers – a fudgy middle also made healthy with the use of cacao powder and coconut butter, and a simple frosting of chocolate, avocado oil, and nut butter.
This recipe is already gluten-free – want to make it nut-free as well? Use sunflower butter in the frosting instead of almond butter.
How to Make Homemade Coconut Butter
Do you want to make coconut butter at home? Simply buy a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut and blend it in a high speed blender for a few minutes. If you need 1 cup of coconut butter, be sure to blend up twice that of the shredded coconut. Pro tip – make sure the shredded coconut is finely shredded (not flakes) and fresh.
I made only four portions using a 4-inch by 4-inch pan, but you can double the recipe and use a loaf pan (4-inch by 8-inch) if you want more pieces. They store very nicely frozen; we kept our smaller portions refrigerated since they were gone in a day, used mostly for an energizing afternoon snack.
If you like easy chocolate desserts, you will love these recipes:
Try More Vegan Brownies Here
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Easy Vegan Gluten Free Brownies
Buckwheat Groat Base
- 1/3 cup buckwheat groats (at least rinse to remove goopiness; soak overnight if you want to reduce phytic acid - but read my post on why that might not be necessary)
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 3 tbsp water (more water if base is crumbly; you want it a bit sticky, enough to press into pan.)
- 1 medjool date (soaked at least 2 hours if it is not soft and juicy OR boil for 2 minutes)
- At least rinse the buckwheat groats to remove the slimy coating that is there to protect them in nature from predators, but which makes the taste bitter if you don't rinse it off. You might also want to soak the goats overnight; read my post on the subject of soaking to decide!
Soak a single date or more if you are doubling recipe at least two hours to make is soft and juicy.Set the jar of coconut butter into a pan of boiling water. Turn off the heat. Do not let water splash into coconut butter. You only need it to melt enough to pour out 1/4 cup (for the 4-inch square pan recipe).
Line a 4-inch by 4-inch pan (or 4-inch by 8-inch pan if you are doubling the recipe) with parchment paper. I actually only lined the bottom with a single sheet because I used a pan with a removable bottom. If your pan does NOT have a removable bottom, be sure to line the parchment so it overhangs and you are able to lift the cake straight up and out.
- In a food processor, blend up ingredients until you have a pressable texture. Add more water if it is crumbly.
- Press into the pan. And refrigerate while you make the middle layer.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup, stir together the melted coconut butter, maple syrup and cacao powder until evenly distributed. If you double the recipe, put all ingredients into a food processor.
- Pour the mixture over the chilled base and return the pan to the refrigerator while you make the frosting. If you want the middle to harden faster, you can freeze it.
- In a pyrex measuring cup, microwave the dark chocolate chips at 60-seconds and stir until melted. You can microwave another 15 seconds if needed.
- Into the melted chocolate chips, stir in the avocado oil and almond butter and keep stirring until evenly combined. Pour over the hardened middle layer and refrigerate until the top is hard enough to cut.
- Cut the bars, store in the refrigerator for about a week or longer in the freezer.
Thank you Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post. The recipe, ideas, content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.