Although I thought I’d never stray from my Flourless Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies that I make at least once a week (sometimes twice), these Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies are pretty hard to pass up.
It’s another chocolate, gluten-free and vegan treat I can enjoy without any guilt and will easily satisfy a brownie craving…especially when they are covered with the raw cacao topping.
Even though the rest of my family doesn’t necessarily need to eat gluten-free, I don’t like making desserts for them using white flour, even though I buy organic, unbleached white flour.
I like that I can make them brownies that are healthy and that doesn’t use any flour at all.
Here are the typical ingredients found in a traditional homemade Walnut Brownie recipe (the boxed versions are even worse):
Walnut Brownie Ingredients: 1/2 CUP BUTTER, 1 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR, 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT, 2 EGGS, 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE (WHITE) FLOUR, 1/3 CUP UNSWEETENED COCOA, 1/4 TSP BAKING POWDER, 1/4 TSP SALT, 1/2 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS.
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients: 1 1/3 CUP CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR, 3 TBS MARGARINE, 2 TBS COCOA, 2 TBS MILK, 1/4 TSP VANILLA, 1/4 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS
In summary, that’s 2 1/3 cups of refined sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and it contains white flour, milk and eggs.
5 Fast Facts About Oats:
- provides significant fiber
- helps control blood sugar levels
- can reduce hypertension and high blood pressure
- increases appetite control hormones
- lowers bad cholesterol
5 Fast Facts About Walnuts:
- high quality vegan protein
- high in anti-oxidants
- rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- high in vitamin C
- improves blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors
5 Fast Facts About Raw Cacao:
- contains over 300 compounds including protein, calcium, copper, zinc and iron
- super high in anti-oxidants
- promotes cardiovascular health
- contains essential fats
- can help to decrease blood pressure
5 Fast Facts About Coconut Oil:
- super high in lauric acid
- rich in antioxidants
- contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents
- helps to improve metabolism
- improves cholesterol levels
5 Fast Facts About Pink Himalayan Salt:
- contains 84 minerals
- unrefined, unprocessed, raw
- promotes stable pH balance in cells
- controls water levels in the body
- aids digestion and facilitates better nutrient absorption
5 Fast Facts About Raw Coconut Crystals:
- low glycemic (GI of 35)
- raw, vegan and gluten-free
- unrefined and unbleached
- contains 17 amino acids
- is an abundant source of minerals and broad spectrum B vitamins
5 Fast Facts About Raw Honey:
- contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
- contains immune boosting anti-viral properties
- super high in B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6
- contains natural anti-oxidants that block free radicals
- high in minerals magnesium and potassium
Where to Buy: If you have trouble finding any of the ingredients to make this recipe, you can order online from Amazon and have them delivered straight to your door, and you’ll be supporting The Healthy Family and Home website at the same time!
Tip #1: The second step in the recipe isn’t necessary, but one that I prefer. Instead of using the large, whole pieces of oats (which makes the brownies extra crunchy, almost like having coconut flakes in them), I put them in the food processor and lightly pulse them to break them down into smaller pieces (approximately 20 – 25 long pulses). I also add the dates (pitted) when I do this because it helps break them into smaller pieces too, as opposed to dicing them by hand.
You have to be careful though, to not over process the oats because they will turn into oat flour. So in trying to prevent this from happening, the dates may not get processed into tiny enough pieces. Just take them out and cut the larger pieces of dates into smaller pieces. It also helps to process them with the oats because they get a little powdering coating on them (from the oats) and they aren’t as sticky to handle when trying to cut them.
Tip #2: When making the chocolate frosting, you need to find a medium with the coconut oil. You don’t want it to be completely liquid/melted (it will be too thin and not like a frosting) and you don’t want it to be completely solid (it will be too thick and not spread) but somewhere in the middle, like soft and semi-melted. You will know when it’s right because it will either be too thick or too thin otherwise. But it should have a similar consistency of traditional frosting and spread easily on the brownies with a knife.
Tip #3: Try to keep an eye on them in the oven. If you want them to be more of a chewy texture, don’t leave them in as long. If you want more of a harder, crunchy, cookie-like texture leave them in a little longer, just taking care they don’t burn.
Tip #4: Make sure the brownies have cooled ~completely~ before adding the icing. The heat from the brownies will melt the coconut oil in the frosting and it will become runny. And keep them in the refrigerator too or the same thing will happen if they are left out at room temperature and the icing gets too warm.