Grain-Free Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Brownies


I don’t know why it has taken me so long to create these Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Bars. I mean Brownies. And by that I mean the idea of these bars had never entered my mind before yesterday. But they are super easy to make, unbelievably good, and another way to use up my never-ending supply of bananas! What’s not to love, right?

This recipe was actually inspired by my Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars.  Well, eventually. You see I started out wanting my Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies (with dairy or without dairy) to share with mom and dad. Then I decided that I didn’t really want to make cookies because several baking sheets of cookies would take longer than my “allotted” time and would also heat up the house too much. Plus I wanted grain-free cookies and I haven’t yet made a grain-free version of either of those cookie recipes.

Because of the desired grain-free factor, I thought of my Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Bars. The key to that recipe is my homemade Pumpkin Butter.  I knew I could substitute mashed banana for the pumpkin butter, but mashed banana doesn’t have the thickness of pumpkin butter, so I decided to add a little coconut flour to help with the thickening. See how my mind works! In this case, that whole sequence was a good thing as the results were just as good as I’d hoped!


Like many great desserts—and really good recipes in general—these bars are even better the next day. The flavors meld, the chocolate chips stay amazingly soft—and well, they chocolate chips in this recipe after baking are just luscious frankly—and these bars stay moist and delicious. And despite only two-thirds of a cup of chocolate chips in this recipe, the bars seem to be practically overflowing with chocolate chips. Because the chocolate chips literally melt in your mouth, these bars offer a pretty significant chocolate effect. The banana flavoring is actually very light in comparison. In fact, Mom and Dad and even Mr. GFE kept calling these treats “brownies.” So that’s why I ended up calling these goodies Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Brownies. Bake them and let me know if you think that label is merited!

Grain-Free Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Brownies Gluten Free Easily

Grain-Free Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Bars so good that they earn the "brownie" label!
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • ½ cup butter, melted (or slightly less coconut oil, liquefied)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup very ripe banana, mashed (average size banana)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (measurement amount is not a typo)
  • 2 cups almond flour (I don’t recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt (or sea salt)
  • ⅔ cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans for the version shown); optional
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Add eggs to large bowl. Beat gently with wooden spoon.
  3. Add almond flour, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, mixing well until ingredients are fully incorporated.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. Let batter rest a few minutes. Batter should thicken so that it's thicker than cake batter and be more like what you would expect bar/brownie batter to be. If it doesn't thicken enough, you can add up to 1 tablespoon more of coconut flour. Be careful. Just add a little at a time as coconut flour is so absorbent. You don't want your batter to be too thick and end up with super dense, dry treats.
  5. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Using spatula, add batter to baking pan spreading until the batter is even.
  7. Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown. Check for doneness with a toothpick, if needed.
  8. Cool in pan at least 15 minutes before cutting, preferably longer. Store loosely covered.

This recipe is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free & DIY Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, and Gluten-Free Fridays.

Not just gf, but gfe!

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17 Responses to “Grain-Free Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Brownies”

  1. Anna on July 1st, 2014 9:12 am

    I love your website!
    I’m going to the store right now…I have bananas on the counter just waiting for me to be inspired.
    Just for clarification, what have you found to be the issue with Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour?

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 9:43 am

      Anna–Welcome to gfe! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It MAKES my day! :-) BRM “almond meal/flour”—as they label it—is really not almond flour; it’s almond meal. Most recipes where I call for almond flour, one really has to have finely ground almond flour. I also have issues with BRM products in general; just not a fan and have always reacted to them despite the fact that most testing shows them to be gf per current standards. I react to very small amounts of gluten, but that’s a discussion for another post. ;-)


  2. B. R. on July 1st, 2014 12:12 pm

    I feel dumb, but what is “BRM”???

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 8:50 pm

      Hi B.R.–Welcome to gfe! Please don’t feel dumb at all! I was responding to a reader’s query on Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour and I used my acronym for the company. ;-)


  3. Dar on July 1st, 2014 12:17 pm

    Can I substitute other flour my granddaughter is celiac also like me…
    But allergic to almonds too!!
    I like this recipe low in sugar
    Please let me know what substitute I can use…
    Thanks !

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 9:48 pm

      Welcome, Dar! :-) It’s possible that gluten-free all-purpose flour could be substituted for the almond flour, but I just don’t know as I haven’t tried that with this combination of ingredients yet. So I don’t know if any other changes would need to be made to work gf ap flour work. Can your granddaughter eat any other nuts? Other nut flours like hazelnut flour would work. Sunflower seed flour would work, too. (You can make your own.) I’m not sure about the taste in this recipe, but I think it would work.

      Please let us know what you try and your results!

  4. Nancy Stabile on July 1st, 2014 12:27 pm

    What can you use if you are allergic to almonds? I enjoy your website so much!

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 10:01 pm

      Hi Nancy–It looks like this is the first time you’ve commented. Thanks so much for the sweet comment! If you can eat other nuts, you could try another nut flour. Hazelnut flour should work well and I think cashew flour or pecan flour would be good in this recipe, too. And if you want to go nut free (you can also omit the nuts in the recipe), sunflower seed flour would work, too. You can make your own by grinding sunflower seeds. It would have a different flavor, but I think it would still be tasty. Let us know if you try any of these options!


  5. Sandi on July 1st, 2014 1:15 pm

    Bananas and brownies?? Sold. This sounds divine Shirley. I may take this one step further and use coconut sugar to make these Paleo.

    As for the reader asking about almond flour, there is a fabulous certified gluten free almond flour at our Costco store by Honeyville. It is super fine and works really well in baking. Plus, it is a LOT cheaper at Costco :-)

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 10:07 pm

      Hi Sandi–Yes, I offered that option. :-) Coconut sugar would work just fine in this recipe. I was reluctant to use the “paleo” term given the inclusion of chocolate chips. ;-) I get mean comments sometimes when I do that. :-(

      Honeyville is always my top choice as I noted in my reply on that question. I’m not a Costco gal, but I love that they offer Honeyville, especially a lot cheaper! Thanks for sharing that info!

      Hope you enjoy these. :-)

  6. Bobbi Scott on July 1st, 2014 1:48 pm

    Wow, Shirley! I just got through making your flour-free chocolate almond mound cookies last night. Mr.S has already gone through a half dozen and is eyeing the rest@@!! Now you have a yummy looking brownie recipe I have to try. Those look like they’re going to disappear even quicker than the cookies!
    I must admit, I LOVE your flour free recipes, as I am a (mild) diabetic with a sweet tooth–and these are just the ticket for a small after-dinner treat with a cup of tea. yum-yum-yum!!!

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2014 10:14 pm

      Hi Bobbi–It’s good to see you here again! It seems that I have never officially welcomed you to gfe as you started commenting during March Muffin Madness. It was super busy then, but please know that I’m so happy to have you here. :-) Many thanks for your super positive feedback on my Paleo Disappearing Mounds Cookies (approval by hubbies is always needed!) and my other flourless recipes. I’m crazy about flourless recipes! I think they can really be a game changer for folks when they go gluten free and, as you mention, they’re a better option for those who want to keep things lower glycemic. Now I want a flourless treat and a cup of tea! ;-)


      • Bobbi Scott on July 2nd, 2014 2:28 pm

        Hi again, Shirley!
        Thanks so much for your reply. I’ll be making those brownies for Mr.S tonight–he plowed right through the cookies! I managed to get 3 out of 16!! It seems that now that he’s retired, he has taken up a new hobby- eating. We are both gluten free, so there is no hassle about different diets, thank goodness.
        I became GF a year and a half ago, after having “numerous” (the surgeon’s word) pre-cancerous polyps removed from my small intestine. However, this alone did not calm my digestive troubles. I began to notice that no amount of lactaid would stave off the cramping and diarrhea after I consumed dairy. So I promptly became DF too! I have been GF/DF for several months now, and I’m just beginning to feel better–hey, we take whatever the defense’ll give us, right?
        Perhaps you can help me with something. I’m looking for a GF/DF ice cream recipe. I mean, one that’s made in an ice cream maker and tastes more like ice cream than frozen coconut water!!! I have tried several different recipes and been disappointed every time. I know you are the absolute Queen of the recipe link-up, so if you can think of anyone who has THE perfect (or even close) recipe, please let me know!
        Hoping for your reply,

        • Shirley on July 3rd, 2014 12:21 pm

          Hehe, Bobbi. I’m glad you got a couple at least! Yes removing dairy can be a wonderful step for many. It’s not always about the lactose when folks have issues with dairy, of course. I’m really glad you’re feeling better!

          The best source of multiple dairy-free ice cream recipes is my friend Kelly’s Dairy-Free Ice Cream book (affiliate link). That really does have some amazing recipes! I also have a number of dairy-free ice cream recipes on All Gluten-Free Desserts and am adding more all the time. Based on your preferences, you’re most likely going to want a recipe where an alternative ingredient—like nuts, bananas, etc.—provides the creaminess. Recipes that use eggs, which you cook, can also result in rich and creamy. Here are a couple more recipes that might work: Maggie’s Strawberry Ice Cream, Alyssa’s Cherry Ice Cream, and my Snickerdoodle Ice Cream (no special ingredients, but we think it’s delicious). This Olive Oil Ice Cream from The Paleo Mom sounds weird, but it’s so creamy, rich, and addictive.

          Hope that all helps!

        • Shirley on July 3rd, 2014 5:13 pm

          Bobbi–Here’s one more dairy-free ice cream recipe for you, “Butter” Pecan Ice Cream. This one comes from Megan of Allergy Free Alaska. It will letp you see another way that folks add creaminess and “realness” to dairy-free ice cream. :-)

  7. Megan | Allergy Free Alaska on July 2nd, 2014 2:10 am

    These sound SO good, Shirley! What a great recipe!

    • Shirley on July 3rd, 2014 12:21 pm

      Thanks, Megan! I wish they weren’t all gone! ;-)


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