Easy, Healthy Gluten-Free Brownies…With A Kick!

I’m a big fan of one of Michael Pollan’s food rules – eat as much junk food as you want, as long as you cook it yourself. I had a bit of a sweet tooth yesterday afternoon, so instead of diving for the Ben and Jerry’s at the bodega, I decided to make myself some brownies – gluten-free, healthy style. Enter this recipe that I found on Elana’s Pantry. It’s flourless, sugarless and made with two of my favorite things – almond butter and agave.

I was very curious how these would turn out since the base was almond butter. To my surprise, they tasted just as good as a flour-packed, un-nutritional brownie, and yet, they are packed with good-for-you ingredients. To mix it up a little, I decided to try adding tea to these since they seemed to add a nice flavor to the cookies i made in an earlier entry. I chose lapsang tea and jasmine green tea. I couldn’t decide between the two, so I just went with both. This was either going to ruin the brownies or make them a standout dessert. It did neither. Lapsang is such an overpowering, smokey flavor, that it took over and made the jasmine undetectable. I think I’ve mentioned before that baking is not me forte. This all starts with a messy cooking station….

messy cooking

Everything seemed to be going smoothly. I greased the pyrex and poured in the batter…

brownie batter

Apparently I didn’t grease the bottom enough…

brownie bits

Luckily, someone who I live with happens to love brownie scraps :) more so than whole brownies in fact. Since I hate waste, I scraped up the bottom and tossed them into a recycled jar for her to enjoy at her leisure…

brownie scraps

My taste-testers did seem to enjoy the smokey aftertaste. I think as an afternoon snack on a warm day, it’s a slightly strange combination. However, with the right glass of red wine, in a warm, cozy restaurant with an experimental menu, I think these lapsang brownies could be superstars.

Here is Elana’s easy as pie recipe (I added 2 tea bags of lapsang tea and 5 tea bags of jasmine green tea. I recommend one or the other):

1 (16) ounce jar salted almond butter, smooth roasted
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips 73% cacao

  1. In a large bowl, blend almond butter until smooth with a hand blender
  2. Blend in eggs, then blend in agave and vanilla
  3. Blend in cocoa, salt and baking soda, then fold in chocolate chips
  4. Grease a 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish
  5. Pour batter into dish
  6. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes

Makes about 24 brownies


  1. Mardi says:

    Thanks, Jennifer! They turned out delicious, definitely try them out. Your blog is great, I’ll keep an eye on it for recipes!

  2. Lisa Barnes says:

    These were delicious! I used maple syrup instead of the agave and made them in mini muffin pans, and came out with 72! Maybe a half-batch will do it next time :)

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