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Vegan Nut Free Gluten Free Brownies

vegan nut free gluten free brownies recipe

Gluten free, grain free, egg free, nut free, refined sugar free (everything) free brownies.

I really enjoy using almond flouralmonds are a superfood and highly nutritious. However, every now and then, someone requests a nut free dessert recipe for some type of gluten free baked good. At other times, folks are looking for an egg free recipe.

There are as many allergies out there as there are colors in the rainbow. This brownie recipe is for all the nut free, egg free, refined sugar free, gluten free, primal vegans in my life. You keep me on my toes! And I love it.

This recipe uses sunflower seed butter, which is actually similar to a nut butter (though nut free). Sunflower seed butter is gluten free, high protein and made from highly nutritious sunflower seeds –you didn’t think I was going to use rice flour, did you?! I’m still as grain free as I’ve ever been since I gave up grains 11 years ago. All of the recipes on this website are gluten and grain free recipes.

These brownies are based on a gluten free brownie recipe that Amy Jelley posted on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago. Thanks Amy! Her recipe used a ½ cup of honey which is a little much for where my blood sugar is at these days; so I decreased the amount of honey and added in some xylitol and stevia. I also increased the fat and made a couple of other minor changes to the recipe along the way.

This is a very fudgey brownie –it won’t seem totally cooked through when you pull it from the oven. I took mine out when the edges were just about to burn, that was how I determined it was done.

Vegan Nut Free Gluten Free Brownies


  1. In a food processor, combine bananas, sunflower butter and chia seed mixture
  2. Pulse in coconut oil, honey, xylitol, stevia and vanilla until smooth
  3. Pulse in cacao, salt and baking soda
  4. Transfer batter into a well greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  5. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes
  6. Serve

Makes 16 brownies

Now, a word of caution. Do not feed this dessert to your pets. Chocolate and xylitol are highly toxic to animals. Have any of you been feeding my other desserts to your pets? If so, why are you doing this? Please leave a comment and let us know!

posted on December 28, 2011, 53 comments

  1. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) @ j3nn.net

    They sound delicious! I love sunflower seed butter.

  2. Louisa

    Wow. A dessert everyone in my family can actually eat! I have GOT to try this!

  3. Sarah

    THANK YOU for the nut-free recipe! I’m so excited to try it!

  4. Tea

    Lovely! (tho, hardly can be called vegan if it has honey used in it…)

  5. Amy

    Elana, have you ever had them turn green on you?? I had made something similar but with pumpkin purée and the combo of sunflower seed butter and baking soda makes a “green” brownie!

    • Durga Fuller @ thecookawakening.com

      Sunflower seeds will turn green sometimes when they react with baking soda. It’s harmless. I bill it as a benefit with my kids – “look! Weird green food!”

    • Valerie

      Oh my gosh, this is hilarious, I had that happen in cookies and thought it meant the Sunbutter was moldy- the green parts were only on the interior of the cookies and I thought perhaps the temp wasn’t high enough. So I chucked them all and the Sunbutter in the trash! Hee hee- Thank you for commenting about this, now I won’t hesitate to try the sunflower butter again.

    • Maria

      Well, no wonder the inside of my sunflower seed butter bars were green! Actually, a little bluish-green. I thought it was something else entirely. Thanks for the info.

  6. Anastasia @Healthy Mama Info @ healthymamainfo.com

    YUM! Do these brownies taste kind of creamy or are they more on a lighter side?

  7. Eeva

    I’ve been eating this way for a while so I’m excited to try it out! Sounds delish!

  8. Sarah

    Is that whole or ground chia?

  9. sheryl mcfarlane @ scrummyfood.weebly.com

    Hi Elana, what can I subsitute for the Xylitol please?

  10. Christine

    Thank you so much for all you do Elana and for spending the time to share it all! I have recently gone grain free (I went gluten free 2.5 years ago due to Celiac diagnosis, and just learned of the danger in the rest of the grains) and I’m so thankful for your blog, recipes and cookbooks! What a blessing you are to so many of us! A million thanks! x

  11. Cynthia

    My dog loves anything with almond flour, but gets nothing with things he shouldn’t have–chocolate, xylitol, macadamia, raisins. However too much almond and we increase our time outside. :)

  12. PS

    I suspect you’re going to make a lot of people happy with this recipe :-) I don’t have nut allergies but it still sounds SO good. I’m bookmarking it to give it a try down the road.

  13. Marquelle

    Hi Elana, I can’t wait to try this! It looks delicious :)
    I just have a question about the chia seeds and water. I assume those are being used as egg substitutes, and I’m wondering how much chia seeds and water you use per egg.

  14. Kim

    But what about chocolate-free for those of us sensitive to chocolate. KIDDING!! :D

  15. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live @ bakerunlive.com

    I have everything in my pantry except the stevia and Xylitol. I wonder if they would be sweet enough without?

  16. This sounds great Elana. I’m not nut or egg free, but I have friends who are.

    I’ve actually made your scrumptious sandwich bread (from your almond flour cookbook) with sunflower seed butter and it worked great!

    And thanks again for recommending The Paleo Solution. I’ve cut out grains almost entirely and I think this is finally something that works for me, after being gluten free for 25 years.


  17. Bria @ West of Persia @ westofpersia.com

    These look fabulous, Elana. And I actually have almost everything on hand, including the sunbutter.

  18. The Healthy Apple @ thehealthyapple.com

    You are a genius; enough said. I love your recipes and you are incredible. Keep up the amazing work in 2012, Elana…

  19. debi

    ha ha that was good! Looks so yummy, cant wait to try! I dont ever feed my dog yummy treats as such, but to be honest, he is a big thief,a yellow lab thief!
    Thank you so much for all the time you put into this blog i love it! and all your wonderful recipes. Happy new year to you and yours!! debi

  20. Mia

    Thank you Elana! This sounds great. It’s good to have new recipes using xylitol, since that is my primary baking sugar substitute.

  21. Elana, I have been looking for a nut free brownie recipe. This looks yummy!

  22. Elana, THANK YOU x100 for this very vegan-friendly and brilliantly innovative recipe!

  23. samara

    Elana, I have been wanting this recipe for my egg, almond, and gluten allergic daughter! What a gift! Maybe we can actually *bake* together again now!

    And BTW, there is never enough of your other recipes left to give to the dog!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much!

  24. The Pontificator

    “1/4 cup xylitol”

    How about using sucralose (Splenda) instead. My digestive tract’s tolerance for xylitol/sorbitol/mannitol/isomalt is very low.

    I don’t want the “Ex-Lax Brownie Prank” effect if you get my drift.


    • Mary Ann G.

      Erythritol is suspose to be easier on the digetive tract/intestinal tract and not have the laxative effect of the others. It does have the hint of cooling effect in the mouth, but does not seem to linger as long as xylitol. You could also try the Stevia in the Raw, which does contain maltodextrin if that is not an issue. I don’t use sugar alcohols much, instead I stick with coconut (palm) sugar and nectar.

  25. samara

    this batter is so good, who wants to bake it?

  26. Quick Question: Where can you purchase chia seeds? I have tried the normal food store as well as Whole Foods, and I have not seen them! I have made this recipe without the chia seeds, but I am intrigued to try it with them. I saw form online that lots of times they are substituted for flax seeds, but I did not know if that would mess up the taste of the brownies. Anyone have any thoughts or wisdom? :)

  27. nikasha

    Val, if you’re still checking in, I got Bob’s Red Mill chia seeds in a bag near the other Bob’s Red Mill products at my local co-op. Costco also sells a large bag of chia seeds.

  28. Mary Ann G.

    I have been making these brownies since I found the recipe and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. Due to candida issues I have made a few changes, but the basic recipe is the same. I use coconut nectar or yacon syrup in place of the honey/agave. I substitute coconut sugar or yacon powder for the xylitol. I also use a blend of cacoa and carob powder (1/4 cup of each). Coconut nectar and sugar are available at most natural grocery stores and yacon syrup and powder can be found on line. I have used the stevia if my bananas are small and left it out if the bananas were bigger.
    This summer I made these with a TWIST for a BBQ. I made them in a square cookie bar pan, and added, a mini muffin size, homemade nut butter cup to the center of each brownie before baking @ 350F for 15-17 minutes. Look for Alissa Silverstone’s nut butter cup recipe:
    http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-cups-recipe (I used cashew butter and changed the maple sugar for coconut sugar).
    “These are the best brownies I have ever had” was what I heard all day. And this is from refinded sugar, gluten eating people. I even had a friend ask for a dozen for his Halloween birthday present. Give these changes a try, you won’t be disappointed. These are addictive so remember… MODERATION!! PS. They freeze well.
    Thank you Elana for all your fantastic recipes, this wonderful forum and your encouragement to play around and expand on an already good thing. Always wishing you good health and happiness.

  29. andrea

    Where did u get lucuma?

  30. Leah

    I just made these! They are incredible!!! The batter was so yummy I was almost hesitant to bake it! I am glad I did….So Good!!! I used mini muffin trays and they worked perfectly. Thank you for an amazing recipe!!!

  31. Mandy

    I made this and it was wayyyyyyy too oily and moist. Delicious.. Never thought I’d complain about a dessert being too moist.. But it is. I’d decrease the amount of butter and coconut oil. Good recipe though!

  32. ha ha ha, now what about sunflower seed free? Yep, I’m allergic to that as well as the nuts and sugar. :(

  33. Jeanette

    Wow, just made these, AMAZING! Thank you!!!

  34. Carol Schlenger

    I just made your vegan “nut-free” gluten free brownies and they were simply the best brownies I have ever made. However, I did make some substitutions: instead of chia seeds, I used ground, sprouted flax seeds. Instead of sunflower seed butter, I used homemade almond butter (alas, my brownies were not nut-free) and instead of vanilla extract I used 1 tsp ground vanilla bean.
    For a delicious “creamy” topping, I soaked chia seeds in coconut milk overnight, with some added stevia and vanilla extract.
    These were simply the best brownies with the richest, fudgiest texture I have ever made. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Hard to believe these are sugar free, dairy free, and gluten free.
    Best wishes,

  35. lori

    can i mix these in my Vitamix vs. a food processor????

  36. Jackie

    If I use ground flax seed instead of chia, would it work? I’ve made this with chia and my son dislikes the chia : p

  37. Petra

    I was so looking forward to a nut free brownie recipe but I react to bananas like celiacs react to gluten.

  38. keira

    is there anything you can sub for the banana?

  39. Rachael R.

    Thank you, I have been searching high and low for a recipe that is top 8 allergy free so we could have something to stick a candle in for a birthday. I made these last night and they were good, I loved the texture. Thank you. (I also enjoy your disclaimer at the bottom about not answering substitution questions).

Leave a Reply

Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top