Fudgy Beet Gluten Free Brownies (vegan)
These Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies are not only chocolatey, easy, and delicious, but are loaded with a secret healthy ingredient: beets! Simple to make and a perfect healthy treat to feed your sweet tooth. And they are vegan to boot!
My daughter and I were playing a game the other day. It was called “I’m the Queen and call all the shots.” I’m sure any of you who have spent 5 minutes with an elementary school kid can guess who was the queen and who was the loyal servant. Needless to say, we were having fun and she was on a bit of a power trip.
“Servant Mommy!” my daughter bellowed in her best queen voice (that has a bit of a British twist and mixed with a bit of southern) and getting comfy on her couch throne, “I command you to get me one of those brownies!”
These beet brownies are a serious healthy treat! Delicious, fudgy, naturally sweetened, and made with blended oats, cooked beets, flax, and applesauce. They are naturally gluten free, vegan and done baking in 35 minutes!
I had just made a batch of these in preparing for shooting them and let her try a bite…you know, for quality control.
“Sorry sweetie. Those brownies are off limits until I get the pictures I need,” I responded, breaking character.
The queen was not impressed….with my answer or me stepping out of my role. She shot me her best queen glare and then said “if you don’t let me have another brownie, it is to the dungeon for you!”
So, while I was dazzled that my daughter was loving on these beet-loaded brownies (8 year-olds are the toughest food critics in my experience), I was even more dazzled that she was telling me I was going to be locked in my room. Alone. For not giving her one.
Alone. Yes, I love being a mom. But I also love quiet time alone in my room…with a book. I’ll take that punishment, kid.
Why these Beet Gluten Free Brownies are so good
This is one recipe that I tested. And tested. And tested again. I’ve eaten so many beet brownies in the past week that I don’t want to even talk about it. But it was one recipe that I was determined to get just right and that got my family’s ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ approval.
These gluten free brownies are trickier than most because beets have a very earthy taste that many people balance out with a considerable amount of sugar. Most of the beet brownie recipes I stumbled upon added 1 cup of sugar along with oodles of chocolate chips to mask the earthiness (aka dirt taste) of beets.
But, I found a way to not only make these brownies fudgy (I’m so team fudgy when it comes to gluten free brownies), but egg-free, gluten free and with as little added sugar as I could while still balancing out the beet taste.
Why beets are good for you
Don’t get me wrong. These Beet Gluten Free Brownies are 100% a treat in my book. But a healthy treat that has a lot less sugar than traditional brownie recipes, and has the added bonus of beets in the mix.
Beets are plant rockstars that add so much to your food. By adding beetroot, you also add: (source)
- Folate (vitamin B9) (this is helpful for cell and tissue growth)
- Manganese (an essential trace element)
- Potassium (good for heart health)
- Iron (an essential mineral that is necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells)
- Vitamin C (something all us parents need oodles of in our diets)
Different methods for cooking your beet
Yep, you need to cook your beet. Please don’t skip this step, as it really could impact the yum factor of these brownies and nobody wants that. Cooking your beet brings out the natural sugars in it and cuts the earthy flavor that makes so many people run far and fast from this root veggies.
But if you already have a raw beet in hand, there are lots of different ways to cook a beet. Some methods I have used are…
- Cook and peel your beet first. I mentioned it above but I am going to say it again. Don’t try to shortcut this part. Cooking beets helps to bring out their natural sweetness, which is kinds of important in a dessert.
- Let those suckers cool completely. I almost pitched this batch of brownies because I thought they hadn’t firmed up. But once I let them cool completely, they were perfection. So, don’t rush them. Be patient. Let them cool. You will be rewarded with yumminess.
- Make sure your oat flour is certified gluten free. If you have a gluten allergy or are making these for someone with an allergy, this is important. Not all oats are gluten free! The legit ones will boast a label on the outside of their packaging for all to see.
- Don’t over bake. Cooking for too long can make the beautiful beet color in these go away. If they still seem soft when you take them out of the oven, remember they are still cooking while they sit on your counter. They will firm up as they cool.
Suggested Adaptations for Fudgy Beet Gluten Free Brownies
- Make them with eggs. If egg-free isn’t important, replace the flax meal and water in this recipe with 2 eggs. Heads up though, that the eggs make these brownies more cakey than fudgy. But if that is your thing, egg away!
- Make them with whole wheat flour. If you are gluten free due to an allergy or intolerance, don’t do this. But if gluten isn’t an issue for you, feel free to switch out the flours.
- Skip the beet and sub with 1/2 cup extra applesauce, butternut squash puree, sweet potato puree or mashed banana.
- Make them as muffins. Bake at the same temperature for 20 minutes and let cool before enjoying.
Other beet recipes that are going to make you love this veggie…
- The BEST Beet Hummus
- Pink Beet Pancakes
- Vegan Beet Waffles
- Homemade Strawberry Beet Fruit Leather
- Super Vitamin C Smoothie
- Strawberry Beet Instant Pot Applesauce
- How To Roast Beets
- 10+ Delicious Beet Recipes
Did you try this veggie-loaded recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Fudgy Beet Gluten Free Brownies
- 2 tbsps flax meal
- 5 tbsps water
- 4 ounces beets (about 1/2 cup pureed), cooked and peeled. I suggest roasted beet, as it holds color best in my experience. If the color is not important to you, than use whatever cooking method you like.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, or you can sup mashed ripe banana
- 1/4 cup maple syrup , or honey
- 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar, or granulated sweetener of choice
- 1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour, See below for how to make your own, if needed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch processed or cacao
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, plus extra for sprinkling on top. Optional. Also, make sure they are dairy-free if that is important
- Food processor or blender
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Or grease it well with additional oil. Set aside.
- Mix the flax meal and water together in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to "gel".
- In a food processor or high-speed blend, combine cooked beets, vanilla, maple syrup, milk, applesauce and oil. Blend until the beets are completely pureed and the mixture has an even and smooth consistency.
- Add flax/water mixture and remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into the blender/food processor and blend until mixture is smooth. Scrape down side of bowl and reblend if needed.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top if desired.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the brownies are set and dry to the touch.
- Let cool completely before slicing. I like to let mine chill in the fridge for a bit.
- Slice and enjoy. Store leftovers in fridge for 4 days.
- start by pouring rolled oats in a blender. If you have a smaller blender, do less and work in batches.
- Pulse until a coarse flour texture forms. This will happen pretty quickly, though you may need to take a spoon a stir the flour up between blending to make sure the oat flour has a consistent texture.
- Use in a recipe right away or store in an air-tight container for future recipes!