Chocolate brownie trees – gluten free and vegan

I really like switching ingredients in my recipes, substituting traditional ingredients to make the recipe lighter, healthier and super kid friendly. This recipe is dedicated to all Luca and Alex’s friends with food allergies. A decadent and rich chocolate dessert for the holidays, allergy free! It’s vegan AND gluten free…without mentioning that is sooo good!

blackbean brownies trees long

I also used a dye free green frosting using spinach. I can assure you that you will not taste the spinach at all, and the color came out really really beautiful! The recipe is a keeper for any future cookie decoration.

If you want to impress your kids and friends let them try and enjoy the chocolate brownies trees and only after their happy satisfied comments, tell them about the beans and the spinach! It will be fun looking at their surprised faces 😉

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Chocolate brownie trees – gluten free and vegan
Ingredients
  • BROWNIES:
  • 15 oz. black beans 250gr.
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup quick oats 40gr.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup coconut sugar 100gr.
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil 40gr.
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup chocolate chips 120gr.
  • GREEN FROSTING
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar 250gr.
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp spinach puree' 2 cups water + 2 handfuls fresh spinach
Instructions
FOR THE BROWNIES
  1. Preheat the oven at 350F/170C. Rinse the black beans very well under running water
  2. In a food processor add the black beans, the cocoa powder, the quick oats, the cocoa sugar and cocoa oil, the vanilla extract and the baking soda.
  3. Close and mix for few minutes. It is very important that you use a food processor, you need to blend the ingredients very well until completely smooth.
  4. Move the chocolate mix in a medium bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix gently.
  5. Fill with the batter two 6x6 baking pans or a long rectangular one. You can choose the baking pan shape that you like, just keep in mind that you will need to cut out tiny triangles.
  6. Bake at 350F/170C for 25 minutes
  7. Let the brownies cool down for 10 minutes
  8. Remove the brownies from the pan and cut them in small triangles. I made 12 small triangles.
  9. Cut a festive colored paper straw in half
  10. Gently insert the paper straw in the center of the triangle forming a nice cute tree
  11. Decorate the tree with the green frosting and some sugar decorations.
  12. Enjoy!
GREEN DYE FREE FROSTING
  1. Boil two handfuls of fresh spinach for 20 minutes
  2. Drain and transform the spinach in a smooth puree using either an immersion blender or a food processor. You will need only 2 Tablespoons of spinach puree for the frosting. You can either freeze the leftover quantity for future recipes or mix it with some ricotta cheese and create a nice green dressing for your pasta (that's what I did!!).
  3. In a medium bowl add the butter (soft, at room temperature) and using a whisk create a smooth cream
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of spinach puree. You can add more if you want a deeper green.
  5. Slowly add the powdered sugar and whisk until completely smooth.
  6. Fill a pastry chef bag or a plastic bag with a tiny hole in one corner with the frosting and have fun with the decoration!!

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