Mix flax meal with water in a large bowl set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F(180 C). Line an 8 inch brownie pan with parchment.
Add the maple, vanilla, sugar to the bowl and mix well to combine the sugar.
Mix in almond flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and tapioca starch if using, until well combined.
Mix in the almond or cashew butter until well combined. Add 1 tbsp hot water and mix in.
Fold in half the chocolate. fold in some chopped strawberries if you like more strawberry distribution.
Immediately Transfer the batter to a lined 8 inch in brownie pan, as the batter keeps thickening as it sits. Spread using a spatula. The batter will be thick so spreading will take a few seconds. The depth of the batter will be thin for chewier brownies.
Add strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle remaining chocolate. Bake for 23 to 25 mins.
Let cool for 20 mins before removing from the pan. The brownies are more delicate when warm. Slice and Serve with whipped coconut cream or ice cream. Store on the counter for the day and refrigerate for upto 5 days.
Nut-free: I haven't tried these without nuts. They might work with 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter and regular flour instead of almond flour. Or try my Grainfree Chickpea Brownies with sunbutter.
Almond flour can be substituted with 1/4 cup regular flour if not making glutenfree.
** You can use Peanut butter instead of almond butter. Pb adds a stronger pb flavor.
Variations:You can make them without the strawberries for plain gluten and grain free brownies. or add other berries of choice.Add a swirl of nut butter on top for nut butter swirl brownies. Nutrition is for 1 slice