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You Never Knew Gluten Free Doughnuts Could Be So… Beany? Cool Giveaway!

Garden Eats bean fry cake doughnut with nuts baked

When you consider a gluten free doughnut, you either think, “not a chance it’s as good as the ‘real thing'” or you’re wondering who will get the gf flour fixings right to create what is definitely my all time favorite, any time of day, sweet tooth satisfy-er.

I’m pretty in love with doughnuts and have been searching for a recipe that wouldn’t send me into a sugar coma tizzy every time I baked. The last time I attempted gluten free doughnuts, I ended up with buttery Madeline-style French cookies (that I still promise to post the recipe to soon). No complaints from anyone in the kitchen, but, not exactly what I was going for.

One of my new, talented-in-the-kitchen friends and best-selling author, Kathy Hester has released several very creative, plant-based cookbooks I’ve been playing around with of late. I usually acquire cookbooks as kitchen inspiration, yet never end up following the recipes. But, Kathy’s bean book is different- flipping through the pages, I landed on a photo of doughnuts! First, I have never followed a baking recipe based on beans. Second, because I’m dying to perfect a gluten free doughnut, I thought, “okay, Christine, follow Kathy’s recipe and then improvise later, if you must.” The Great Vegan Bean Book is home to a collection of over 100 vegan-based recipes highlighting every food category you can think of- Noshy Beans, Morning Beans, Beautiful Beans… But, more on that later and back to my fave chapter, Bean-A-Licious Sweet Treats.

Kathy Hester Great Vegan Bean Book

My experience cooking with beans comes from my mom Kath’s kitchen where she taught me to cook Italian food with Cannelini beans. So, I admit to being a bit skeptical about how delicious the “bean doughnut” could possibly be. I took my concocting of weird ingredients inspiration that I get from dad and my love for doughnuts to the kitchen though. What resulted was rather dreamy- sweet, cakey and not-so-beany after all.

Here’s What You’ll Need


Dry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup GF Flour (I used Bob’s Redmill)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut, hemp and almond milk (I blended them together)
  • 2/3 cup sweet red bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Red Bean Paste

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup dry Adzuki beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar

Putting The Paste Together

1. Put the beans and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover and cook until beans are nice and soft, about 1 ½ hours.

2. Once beans are done, add sugar and stir well. Cook until the mixture is thick. If you like it smooth, toss in your Vitamix or blender, but the bean chunks are just fine too.

3. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or even freeze for later.

Putting It All Together

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl with a whisk to help break up bean paste and the dry in another. Spray doughnut pan with a little oil so they will be easier to get out.

2. Next add dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a wooden spoon. Divide the batter between 6 doughnut molds (Kathy uses a mini-doughnut pan and I used a regular size to make larger doughnuts) Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 to 13 minutes (Kathy’s directions say 10, my oven needed 13). They should be firm to the touch when finished.

3. Let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully remove. (If you don’t wait they will stick in the pan even though you oiled it.) Place them bottom side up on a plate and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Confession: I added 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to mine because I was craving chocolate. I baked a tester and it was not as sweet as I wanted it so I added a 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey to the mix. And, then I added a glaze to the next batch (pictured)… And, then I added crushed peanuts to my next batch!

The Almond Vanilla Glaze

What You’ll Need

  • 4-6 tablespoons organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp organic almond extract
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Putting The Glaze Together

1. Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth and creamy, add a little extra sugar if too runny.
2. Place in a wide, shallow bowl in a small bowl and dunk away.

I’ve tried a couple other recipes from Kathy’s book because I had the ingredients on-hand and wanted to try something different- my personal goal is to create or try at least five new recipes a week. I was also intrigued to cook with beans. I tried a soup and dip which I’ll blog about soon, but will tell you my lunch guests scarfed down on the one day it was cold in San Diego!

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Kathy’s book is perfect because she writes to everyone- new or experienced in the kitchen- your skill level is really no matter. And, she writes in the first person, I love that! Kathy gives readers gluten free, soy free and oil free options whenever possible- let’s face it, what’s a cookbook these days without an option for everyone.

If you’re not vegan, buy the book- you no doubt need extra plant-based foods in your diet, we all do, or, you can add meat to the soups and stews. The Noshy Beans chapter is great if you like to entertain, but serve something different than hummus as guests arrive. Because I prepare a ton of food therapy recipes, I especially liked the Morning Beans chapter. Think of Garden Eats’ Congee based recipes. Anything with beans, fruit and nuts is to die for and also wakes up that spleen qi first thing when your body craves something warm. If you’re prescribing foods medicinally, this chapter will be super helpful for your kidney yang and spleen qi deficient patients.

K A T H Y is a cool gal- I wish she lived closer to SoCal, but she’s back on the east coast where she perfects all things vegan and has mastered slow cooker recipes for “two or just you” as one of her latest books teaches us! You can check out her newest recipes at her blog Healthy Slow Cooking and get tips on how to feed picky eaters healthy food at home by joining her community here.

Have a bean-baking experience of your own? Do share! Want to WIN Kathy’s bean book? It’s simple. Like us and Kathy on Facebook and you’ll be entered to win. Yep, it’s that easy!

This giveaway will be open for the next two weeks. 



  1. I Liked you and Kathy on Facebook and would love to win The Great Vegan Bean Book. I also wish Kathy lived closer to SoCal but enjoy her Vegan Slow Cooking book that I have and her online recipes. I use beans a lot and love to put them in brownies. I’ve never tried donuts but must with this recipe, especially since it’s gluten free. ~~Deb

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