Thursday, 12 January 2012

Quinoa Brownies

Gluten Free Quinoa Brownies
A friend of mine gave me this very interesting looking recipe (thanks Steph). She got it from a friend of hers so I'm not exactly sure where it originated. It's genius really. No flour, starch or meal of any kind. Just cooked quinoa! It seems too easy, I know, but it tastes soooo good and it gets health points for using whole grains with plenty of fibre and protein (we can ignore the 6 Tbsp of butter for now). I am wondering how the same recipe would work if I used brown rice in place of quinoa. It would definitely be cheaper. I'll give it a try and report back.
(Reporting Back: not as great as I had hoped. The brown rice didn't blend as well so there were obvious chunks of rice in it. still tasted great, but the texture was off)
quinoa in blender
I did so much baking before Christmas that I was kind of getting sick of it. Now that most of the residual Christmas treats have been gobbled up, I'm starting to get back into experimental baking. I have decided that working (part time as an educational assistant) is just not worth the chest pain and exhaustion for now, so I am going to look for something I can do from home. So far, no luck.
When I do have some energy, I will use it too cook, clean and bake! (my husband doesn't complain)

I'm also trying to make my food a bit healthier (it is January, after all)... stuff like sneaking quinoa into a brownie, tossing ground flax in my muffins, making oatmeal cookies, and adding a little less sugar (I really can't afford the fancy agave syrup that healthier individuals might substitute). It's kind of a relief after the butter laced shortbread and fudgy, sweet indulgences of the holidays. You can only keep that up for so long!

So for us, it's lots of veggies, whole grains, and quinoa brownies!

(makes one square 8x8 baking pan)

1 cup Cooked Quinoa
3-5 Tbsp Milk (start with 3 but add more if the mixture is too thick for the blender. I used 5)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
6 Tbsp Melted Butter or Margarine (or canola oil)
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt


Line an 8x8 square baking dish with wax paper (or just grease the dish).
Blend cooked quinoa, milk, eggs, vanilla and butter in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
In a bowl, mix sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry mixture to the blender and blend until well mixed. (add the extra milk here if needed)
Scrape batter into prepared dish.
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool. Cut into 9 pieces.
Top with icing, melted chocolate or whipped cream. Or just eat as is!

put wet ingredients in a blender

blend until smooth and creamy

mix dry ingredients separately and add to blender

blend well (add more milk if too thick)

pour into prepared pan

bake at 350 for 35-45 mins

cool, cut and serve

I think these could make some pretty sweet cupcakes too. They have a cake-like texture. I'll put that on my mental "to try" list along with these delicious looking oreo cookies from Gluten Free Gobsmacked!


  1. I am actually obsessed with Quinoa, I could eat it at every meal....and now apparently for dessert!
    I thought of you when I first heard of it. Cool blog chicka!

    1. haha I never know what to do with the stuff so I don't make it that often. I will be making it more now though cuz these brownies are so good. do you have any other amazing quinoa recipes you would like to pass on?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am very excited to use this recipe! My mom just found out she was celiac last summer and I was so happy when I found your website the other day. I plan on going through lots of your recipes. I just made your pumpkin cream cheese muffins today! Thank you so much for making these recipes. You've made my mom very happy.

    1. I'm so glad you like the recipes! I've been doing the gluten free thing for a long time now and I am happy to share everything I've learned along the way. It only gets easier :)

  4. The taste is great! BUt the quinoa kernels were very hard. Almost like they toasted in the oven. Is it possible I overcooked? Or did I not blend enough? I am going to keep at this one because they taste awesome!

    1. I have not had a problem with hard quinoa kernels, but when I tried the recipe with cooked brown rice I found them to be very hard.
      I would suggest making sure the quinoa is cooked properly (should be very soft) before blending and blend thoroughly. Add a little extra milk (1-2 T at a time)if you find the mixture is not blending properly.
      Sometimes the edges can get a bit crunchy, so it's possible that if it was cooked a bit too long, the entire thing could be crunchy. Try starting with a shorter time and bake only until it is set in the middle.
      I hope this helps. Thanks for checking out my blog:)

  5. Im a little confused, is it 1 cup of cooked quinoa or 1 cup quinoa cooked?!

    1. cook quinoa, then measure out 1 cup and use that. it's hard to make just one cup of quinoa in a pot... it's usually just too small of an amount. I usually make 1 cup raw quinoa to 2 cups water (makes around 3 cups cooked) and use the leftovers for something else. Glad you liked the recipe!

  6. I used almond milk instead, sucanat sugar and when i made the icing sugar i added walnuts! btw, never use margarine! it's so horrible that farmers wont even give it to their cattle! Incredible recipe! Thank u sooo much!

  7. These are an amazing idea! I used carob powder and rice milk instead, and made them in a muffin tray and they were delicious! Thanks for sharing :) Lucia

  8. Thanks for posting your successful substitutions! Keep em comin!

  9. Will egg substitutions work? We can't have eggs at our house :(

    1. I would definitely give it a try. Maybe flax or egg replacer. Let me know if it turns out!

  10. Theresa Nelson4 June 2015 at 11:20

    I just made these in a mini muffin tin...amazing. I made a few substitutions: I used egg whites instead of eggs, xylitol in place of sugar, and I did 3 TB coconut oil and 3 TB applesauce instead of the butter. They turned out awesome! :)

    1. That's great! I'll have to try the coconut oil and applesauce substitution.

  11. thank you for the recipe. I am trying to eat healthier and this is one way to do it.