I’ll be the first to admit that I have a seriously sweet tooth. Put me in front of a buffet table and I immediately scan for the dessert options. I can take or leave any other type of food but as far as I am concerned chocolate should be considered an essential food group.
Chocolate brownies are the pinnacle of chocolate desserts and while I do make a mean brownie, just looking at the butter, sugar and chocolate that goes into them is enough to send anyone into heart failure territory. They are unfortunately relegated to very special occasions but these raw brownies do the trick of killing a brownie craving very nicely and giving you a healthy dose of nutrients while it’s at it.
Raw Brownies and Almond Milk
If you follow a strict raw diet then these raw brownies may not be suitable due to the processing of some of the ingredients which is often performed with some heat. However these are completely no bake, contain no butter, sugar, flour or dairy and are are sticky, sweet, filling and fudgy.
Before I get to the recipe nitty gritty excuse me while I just squeal with excitement again at making the shortlist for the Irish Blog Awards 2014 in the categories Best Food and Drink Blog and Best New Blog. I’m in great company – you can check out all the other great Irish Blogs over on the Blog Awards site.
Ingredients for Raw Brownies
1 Cup of Almonds
2 Cups of Pitted Dates (see recipe note)
1/2 Cup Hazelnuts
1 Cup of Oat Bran
1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup
3 Heaped Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Cacao Nibs to Sprinkle (optional)
Note: Medjool dates will work best in this recipe however if you can’t get them dried dates will also work. Cover them with water overnight and before using them drain well. If you don’t have almonds and hazelnuts to hand, I think pecans or cashews would work really well in this recipe.
Add your almonds and hazelnuts to a food processor. Pulse until they are broken down a little but not too fine, you want to have some chunky pieces in the brownies. Add all of the other ingredients into the processor and process until they are well mixed.
Line a small baking tray with cling film and spoon in the mixture. Flatten it out and sprinkle with the cacao nibs if using. I recommend these as they give a nice crunch to the raw brownies! Pop the tray in the freezer to set. After about an hour it’s ready to cut into brownie sized pieces. Keep these in the fridge or freezer. Best eaten chilled, once they come up to room temperature they become pretty sticky!
Now I’m not going to try and convince you that these are better than real proper brownies but as far as a healthy treat goes they are a pretty good alternative!