Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Oil-Free Walnut Chip Brownies

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 19, 2011


My gluten-free and vegan baking adventures continue! [See post 1 here]

This time, I’m using a gluten-free flour called Teff Flour.

Have you heard of Teff flour before?



I hadn’t until I looked through the Clean Start and Clean Food Cookbooks. Teff flour is not only gluten-free, but it’s high in protein, iron, calcium, and zinc. Teff contains 2x the Thiamin, 3x the Folate, 7x the Calcium, 3x the Iron, and 3x the Zinc as compared to wheat.

The Teff grain is incredibly small too, measuring about 1/32 of an inch in diameter! It takes 150 grains to weigh as much as one grain of wheat.

Check out how tiny the Teff grain is!



Because the grain is so small it is virtually impossible to hull the grain before grinding it into a flour. This means that teff flour is identical in nutritional value to the whole grain. Dark or brown teff is higher in iron and ivory teff is higher in protein. There is also a red teff, but I don’t think it’s common.

When I was at Bulk Barn the other day picking up some Goji berries, I was surprised to see that they carried Teff Flour. You can also purchase teff flour at many health food stores and Bob’s Red Mill also makes Teff flour.

I rushed home to make these brownies, not knowing what to expect, and they knocked our socks off!



Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Oil-Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Lightly Adapted from Clean Start cookbook. Recipe printed with permission from Terry Walters. Copyright 2010, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
  • 8 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown teff flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (I ground almonds in my food processor)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (my addition)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (my addition)



1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.

2. In a food processor, process the almonds into a flour like consistency. Remove ground almonds and set aside. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.

3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.

6. Bake for about 25-27 mins (I baked for 27 mins). at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. I suggest cooling and then freezing the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.



To amp up the brownies, I added walnuts and chocolate chips because we love a nice crunch to our brownies!

The Teff Flour has a very light taste and I couldn’t even tell that I was using a new flour. The brownies are incredibly fudgy, but still a bit cake-like in texture.

The only small issue I had was that the brownies tended to fall apart when I cut them after cooling. If this is an issue for you, I would suggest cooling them in the pan, then freezing until firm (but not solid completely), and finally, cutting them for a less crumbly slice.

Either way, when I tasted the brownies I really didn’t care what they looked like because they were just that good! Big thanks to Terry for allowing me to share this incredible recipe with you today.


Have you ever tried Teff flour before? What are your favourite flours to bake with?

My favourite flours to bake with are whole grain spelt flour (for heartier baked goods like muffins), light spelt flour (for lighter baked goods), whole wheat pastry flour, and Kamut flour (bakes very similar to white flour). Teff flour will be moving onto this list too. :)

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 3 of 3«123
Meredith July 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I just picked up teff flour at Bulk Barn today, can’t wait to make these!


Barb C July 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I just got a pound of teff flour in the mail from, and these brownies will be the first thing I make with it! If you have other ideas for teff flour, let me know!


Rachael August 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Hi there,
This sounds like a yummy (less guilty way) to enjoy brownies…..Do you think it would be possible to substitute the dates with prunes instead?
I’m not overly fussed on dates after overdosing on my aunty’s sticky date pudding about 15 years ago!
Thanks for your amazing blog too. I’ve only just stumbled across it and it has amazing recipes and heaps of other great stuff too!


Hazel December 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi, I made this tonight. They’re very yummy, even though I had some problems converting the measurements to ones I understood (I’m a UK based non-baker hahaha). Looking forward to trying more lovely things :)


Glenda January 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I really love making these brownies but i was just wondering if i could add Xanthan gum to this recipe in order for the brownies to hold since there is no gluten, egg or butter.
If i can what would be the correct amount
I get compliments on this all the time


Meaghan January 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Hi, I have came across your website not to long ago and absolutely fell in love. Thank you for being so brave. You are a beautiful person. I look forward to reading your thoughts and recipes. I just finished baking these FANTASTIC brownies… they were divine. Thank you for sharing. I cannot wait to tell my friends about your website! Keep on being you.

Sincerely, Meaghan Philbrook


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

Thank you Meaghan! I appreciate your kind words so much. Thanks for reading!


Aleks January 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I made these but subbed dates for prunes (because I realized after I committed that someone ate all my dates!!) and it made a cake-like super moist brownie. Delicious flavour for the prune-lovers out there. :)


Vegan Radhika Sarohia February 14, 2013 at 2:56 am

Those brownies look so gorgeous and delicious!!
And next time I’m at the Whole Foods in town, I’m gonna check for teff flour, I’d heard of it once or twice but I’m not very familiar with it, good to learn:)


Vegan Radhika Sarohia February 14, 2013 at 2:58 am

The ingredients list for these brownies looks so healthy by the way!
I’ve made healthy (very digusting) vegan brownies before, I still ate the whole pan but they tasted totally weird and I just tried to ignore that haha
These look cooler than the ones I’ve tried


Lauren March 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm

these look delicious! I don’t always have ripe bananas on hand – do you know of any good substitute if I don’t have a banana? can’t wait to try!!


Rose May 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hi angela. this is my first ever comment on a site and its to you because youmare the best! I have made this brownie recipe many times. I have not tried the teff flour, but use gluten free flour, one chia egg and big handful of rolled oats instead of the walnuts. It is fantastic thanks and it always holds together. We love it sooooo much. We also love your site and make many of your recipes including variations of them as well. Having a wonderful australian sunny cooking Sunday today. Thanks Angela


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hi Rose, Thanks for your lovely note! I appreciate it so much. :) So glad the brownies worked out for you even with the changes! Thanks for letting me know :)


Glenda May 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hi Angela,

I really love this recipe- I have tried your method by putting in the frrezer so it would be easier to cut without crumbling but I was just wondering would adding xanthaum gum with help the binding of the brownies.
I was thinking of doing so but I’m not sure what the amount would be needed for this recipe or if this is the correct additive as a binder.

Thanks in advance


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

Hi Glenda, Hmm…I’m not sure! I haven’t had much experience using X-gum, but please let me know if you try it. I do find that following the recipe as written results in non-crumbly brownies though. Enjoy!


Lindsay hetzel October 2, 2013 at 12:13 am

After making many of your recipes, this is my first comment. I searched everywhere for a brownie recipe, with no oil or added fats. I made this one, but I couldn’t find teff flour so I used the almond meal, and 1/2 c coconut flour minus 2 tablespoons, add 2 table spoons oat flour. Add 1 teaspoon chia to a tablespoon of water. I added 1/4 of water because of the high fiber of coconut flour. Came out great! Next time I go to whole foods I will look for teff flour!


Robyn August 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

I made these yesterday and they are amazing. My mom and sister have celiac disease and are picky about their gluten free treats. These totally passed their test and were not at all crumbly after being in the freezer for an hour after they cooled.


Lucy November 11, 2014 at 6:21 am

These brownies are THE BEST I’ve ever had in my entire vegan life. This is my second batch in a week. I can never wait for them to cool down so as soon as i get them out of the oven i grab a spoon and start digging at the edges. Ah they are AMAZING thank you <3


Emma December 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I love teff flour and have been really succesful in cupcakes and breads with it, but haven’t tried brownies. Do you think I could sub avocado for the banana? I have a thing about bananas. Also love that these don’t have refined sugars. Can’t wait to try these out!


Cristina March 2, 2016 at 7:52 am

Made these yesterday. They were delicious. Didn’t have Teff flour so I just ground up oats. We loved it! Thanks for the recipe!


Angela Liddon March 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Hi Cristina, glad to hear you enjoyed the brownies!


Alisha March 20, 2016 at 1:50 am

Hey! I made these brownies tonight and they are awesome!!!!! I used slightly under a 1/4 cup raisins because I didn’t have dates, and spelt flour in place of the teff flour. It’s so hard to find yummy healthy chocolate recipes. Especially without oil or full fat coconut milk. This was an amazing find for me! Thanks so much !!!

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to measure the almond meal before or after I ground the almonds, so I measured out the almonds first and then ground them and it came out fine.


Devra O'Gara June 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Hi, I just made these, and they’re great! I had teff flour and needed something to make with it. I didn’t have medjool dates, so a made date paste from harder dates first. They are delightfully fluffy and tall for a GF baked good.

To reduce crumbling I added a 1/4 cup flax meal and 1 scant tsp xanthan gum, which Terry Walters would probably have a fit over. But they didn’t crumble and taste lovely. :-) Thanks for the recipe


Angela Liddon July 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Hi Devra, thanks so much for sharing your modifications!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the end results. :)


Tatiana February 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I had teff flour seating in my pantry for over a year now. And I was wondering if I’ll throw it away eventually…. But then I stumble upon your recipe! Oh my, words cannot describe how awesome those brownies are!
I saw your warning that brownies come out crumbly. Well, I thought, that could be fixed. So I added two flax eggs to the mix and a pinch of psyllium husk powder…. That did it! Super super tender, not crumbly at all and resemble very moist cake – so I bet it could be used as the cake base/layers… All guests I had over (not plant based eaters at all) – loved those brownies! Thank you again ???


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: