Paleo Plantain Brownies


Yes. I’m on a bit of a plantain kick. I’ve been working on not using almond or coconut flour to achieve gluten free baking. I’m fully aware paleo deserts are sometimes frowned upon but, with a sweet tooth family, I’ve got to have something to offer other than just meat and veggies and fruit. Otherwise the boys are going to sneak off to the nearest bakery. Gluten free, probably, but sneak off they will.

Not to mention there are a number of community gatherings coming up where we are expected to bring a dish to pass. The requirements I must adhere to for several of these are: no meat – fish, eggs and dairy only as a protein source (urgh!) – and no nuts. Most of these gatherings turn into a giant gluten-filled carb fest littered with dessert items. I’m fine working around this; I have no expectations or desires of being accommodated. But this  leaves  poor 8-year-old Spy seeing red. So I must produce a comparable offering*, or Spy would have every right to scream in frustration.

I love using my food processor to make batter. Toss it all in, give it a whirl, pour and bake. I think this recipe took me all of 10 minutes from start to finish. The brownie batter looked and poured like regular batter (unlike gluten-free box mixes which you almost have to spread like pizza dough). It baked up cakey and with a tendency to a dark-chocolate flavor. They cut into bite size pieces easily, lifted from the pan without really sticking and didn’t crumble much. The boys gave them thumbs up. Spy was quick to nab an extra one from the plate at first offer.

*Not to mention pack in Spy’s main meal just in case his only protein options are along the lines of much-detested deviled eggs.


Paleo Plantain Brownies

2 ripe (yellow) plantains, peeled and sliced into quarters

2 eggs

¼ cup butter (or coconut oil, melted to make it dairy free)

¼ cup honey

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

Pulse in at end:

1  cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel the plantains and cut each into four sections. Toss plantains and everything but the chocolate chips into a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth batter. Now pulse in the chocolate chips. Pour into a 9×12 baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

45 Comments  to  Paleo Plantain Brownies

  1. Diana Moll says:

    These look great! I’m going to make them for my son’s birthday. I am particularly interested in coconut free recipes. I just don’t like the stuff.

    • admin says:

      I find coconut flour only works in certain circumstances. I’ve made things with it I just didn’t like, but other times, it seems to work great. When I have to go with a flour, I pick coconut flour over almond flour if I can due to nut allergies at my boys’ school.

  2. Darlene says:

    Because of you I have purchased plaintains the last 2 grocery store trips and am having so much fun! My daughter does not like bananas so I figured out when you say use green plaintains you mean it! The other night I was making salmon cakes and decided to blend a plaintain in the food processor to add to the salmon as a filler. I thought they ROCKED! The plaintain I used was yellow so my son(the most critical guy) just scarfed it down-he thought I put apples in the batter. My daughter says-“Why does this taste like banana?” and everyone looks at me. It was just so funny. No one trusts me in my house! LOL

    • admin says:

      That’s a great idea! I’ll have to try that soon. Plantains to replace breadcrumbs!
      The green ones seem to have the least ‘plantain’ taste. But the yellow ones are a bit sweeter. I’m thinking yellow is better for treat baking and green for more of a flour/starch effect.
      My eldest resists the taste of plantains some, but when it’s mixed in, he doesn’t seem to notice. He is, however, starting to eyeball my recipes with great suspicion to see what I’m up to.

  3. Janine says:

    These look soooooo good! I don’t have a food processor, but do have a Vita-mix. Do you think I could make them in it? Thanks!

    • admin says:

      I don’t know. Plantains seem pretty tough. I have to run the food processor a good 3-5 minutes to get the green ones chopped up really small. You could try blending the plantain and see if it makes it to a smoothie consistency. If that works, I’d move the rest of the recipe into bowls. Mix wet in one, dry in another and then combine. (Once the baking soda gets wet, the rising action begins.)

      • Janine says:

        I tried them! And I did them totally in the Vita-Mix and, Oh Boy!, they were FANTASTIC!!!! I served them last weekend at my family gathering and everyone loved them. I’m making them again this week!!! Thank you so much! I didn’t have any reaction to them, no pain. Wonderful!!

      • Becky says:

        Vitamix and Blendtec are faster and better with things like plantains and nuts than food processors. Just made these for the first time. In the oven now. Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Kristine says:

    Cannot wait to try these! We are of the same mind … I set out to craft plantain brownies and ended up with this instead: – a Chocolate Plantain Snack Cake.

  5. […] I abandoned the brownie effort.  Good thing, too, because it would have been wasted time.  Preparing It Paleo’s Plantain Brownies are just the ticket!  We made them for the kids for an event this weekend, and the kids loved […]

  6. Erin F. says:

    Please say this might work with ripe bananas?? Plantains are hard-ish to come by up in Maine. :)

    • admin says:

      I’m afraid not. The consistency would likely be very sloppy and wet. Not to mention you’d taste banana rather than brownie. Of course, you can always give it a try and report back if it works.

  7. Amy C says:

    Yes, this works with firm bananas! I had no plantains, so I subbed in 3 bananas. I used the blender to mix the eggs and bananas to batter consistency. This went into a bowl. Next I melted the butter and added my cocoa powder to make a chocolate syrup. I let that cool while I mixed the honey, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the batter. I stirred in the chocolate syrup next and poured the batter into a 8 X 11 greased (with coconut oil)baking pan. I sprinkled the top with 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chips. 35 minutes at 350.

    This was great. Not as dense as traditional brownies, but I actually liked these better. My husband could not detect banana until I told him it was in there. This recipe is a winner and it’s going into my holiday rotation! Thanks.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Can you make the plantain brownies without a food processor?

  9. Rachel says:

    Has anyone tried to freeze these? I’m thinking of pre-prepping a few things for the holidays. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      I haven’t yet. But plantains themselves do freeze. I often peel and quarter them and then store them in the fridge until it’s time to use them (about 1/2 hour to thaw). You can also do this with bananas. Just smoosh them inside the bag, no breaking up with a fork later. Hopefully, this will lighten the baking load.

      • Rachel says:

        Success! They are yummy frozen or thawed. Thanks for this post…I feel so good about feeding my family these brownies. We are recently grain-, dairy-, and legume-free so it’s easy to feel deprived. Just because we are following a strict diet/lifestyle doesn’t mean we can’t indulge :)

  10. Rachel says:

    p.s. I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand…so I threw in some raw cacao nibs which I had purchased to try. No one in our household really cared for them on their own, but they added great texture to the brownies. Perhaps a little banana aftertaste, but no one minded in the least.

  11. […] that most recipes using plantains as a base will specify either ripe plantains, as in my favorite brownies from Preparing It Paleo or green like in these plantain pancakes from The Paleo Mom.  But, even with those […]

  12. […] While the act of carefully putting ingredients together was a rewarding reprieve, the fantasy ended there.  You know what they say about British food, right?  What I had made here was basically bland guacamole on a dusty, sugarless tootsie roll.  I had even doubled the honey/maple syrup combo that I subbed for the agave after tasting the stuff in the “batter” stage, and the end result was still not sweet.  Don’t get me wrong, the bottom layer was chock full of fresh dates and beautiful raw organic hazelnuts (I used a cup of hazelnuts, ½ cup pecans instead of all pecans), but c’mon, it was not a brownie!  The top layer turned out to be a lovely custard-like texture, but it tasted overwhelmingly avocadoey.  And why wouldn’t it?  There were FIVE avocadoes in it!!!  Pure and wholesome?  Ok.  Brownie?  Absolutely not.  Cheesecake?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  If I make Paleo brownies again, I will stick with the recipe by Preparing Paleo.  I can attest that it is scrumptious.  Paleo or not, it looks like a brownie, tastes like a brownie, and has the texture of a brownie. […]

  13. Awesome recipe! Your brownies are the real deal!

  14. Andrea says:

    After making this for “chocolate snobs” and hearing rave reviews, it is now requested every time we eat together. Tonight, I was in such a rush I forgot the honey and they still tasted great! Thanks for the recipe! It is always fun to cook paleo foods for non paleo people. :)

  15. Sheilla says:

    Just made these tonight and they are awesome! Thank you so much for the recipe, I have had to eliminate all nuts, coconut, eggs, and the list goes on. But with a few modifications I was able to make and eat these! I used duck eggs, 2 tsp of vanilla because I love vanilla, and mixed it in my Vitamix. I didn’t have any chocolate chips so I broke up a bar of 85% Lindt dark chocolate and these were perfect! I also love how inexpensive the ingredients are, thanks again!

  16. paleodiva says:

    Wowzers! I just made these brownies and they are amazing. They look and taste so much like the flour and processed sugar version that I feel like I’m cheating somehow. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! P.S. I melted the chocolate chip with a little coconut milk before adding it to the mix…I feel like it may have given it just a little extra richness. Yum yum.

  17. laura says:

    These were amazing! My 1 yr old and 4 yr old gladly ate them. Thank you for this great recipe!

  18. Lisa says:

    Plantains can vary quite a bit in size. Could you possibly give a cup measurement so I get it right? Also do you think there would be any problem if I sub with melted unsweetened chocolate instead of cocoa and reduce the fat accordingly?

  19. […] also took some time today to make some brownies. I got the recipe from Preparing It Paleo. The Paleo Plantain Brownies uses plantains and Enjoy Life chocolate chips so keep the brownies so moist and tasty. I used […]

  20. Shannon C says:

    I love recipes that basically just require a food processor and baking pan. I made these this morning and shared with several co-workers, all to rave reviews. I was worried my plantains were too ripe and liquid-y so I added about 1/2 cup of almond flour. I also added 2/3 cup of unsweetened coconut and decreased the chocolate chips to 1/3. They were still a bit sweet for me, but again all my co-workers loved the flavor and texture. Thanks for the recipe.

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  22. Goldy says:

    OMG….added a 1/4 cup of rolled oats. Worked great!!!!!

  23. avondarcye says:

    Aren’t Coconut and Almond flour gluten -free?

  24. Kim says:

    Thanks for this recipe. It was my first time using plantain and I was amazed that they ROSE like real flour and texture was just like real brownies. I am now thinking of using this as a base for an attempt at blueberry muffins as baking w coconut flour so far has been to dry and dense.

  25. Alex says:

    I just made these with some swaps. I used carob powder, because I already had it, in place of cocoa powder.

    I don’t eat eggs, so I used 4 heaping tbsps of arrowroot powder. I also don’t eat dairy, so I used coconut oil in place of the butter…and then I swapped honey out for some grade B maple syrup.

    They are amazing. I cooked them in an 8X8 for 20 minutes.

  26. […] Paleo Plantain Brownies from Preparing It Paleo!  Many paleo bakers are starting to recognize just how magical pureed green plantains are as a paleo flour substitute. These brownies are a good example! So, if you need a chocolaty square of joy this holiday season, this is the recipe to try! […]

  27. Marylee says:

    I live in the Caribbean, and I never knew I could make so many different recipes from plantain, I grow my own in the back yard, and I tried the brownies, I did not have unsweetened cocoa powder, so I used homemade cocoa, which I also have a tree next door, in my country – we make “cocoa tea” from it . It was the most delicious brownie I have ever had. Everyone was raving over it. I’m going to make it soon again..they cannot believe it had no wheat.

  28. Carlene says:

    I just made these today and I was thrilled! So good, turned out perfect. Going to freeze half the pan in case I eat it all! Thank you so much for this recipe :)

    • Carlene says:

      Oh, I should mention that I used raw honey, alcohol-free vanilla extract, very ripe plantains, organic butter, cage-free and pastured eggs and cacao powder. Just wonderful!

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