I have to be honest, the texture of some raw/vegan desserts makes my skin crawl. I know that they are better for me and my ass won’t jiggle quite as much when I consume them but the mind over matter thing just doesn’t work. Take my last vegan/raw brownie recipe, it was actually quite good but the texture of the top made me feel weird inside so I went in search of a better raw brownie. This is also why I don’t eat the following: jello, avocados, beef jerky and seafood of any kind. I have these mental barriers that I just can’t seem to overcome. And according to a lecture I watched today, your 20’s happens to be where it all goes down, all your opinions are formed in this decade. So if, approaching thirty (insert whiny face here) I can’t stomach seafood, it’s probably never going to happen for me. Anyways, I was surfing the great land of Pinterest the other night, where I am convinced most recipes go to die (green bell pepper stuffed with roast beef and then covered with american cheese and baked, ewwwwwww), when I stumbled upon this little gem. It led me to a site I am quite familiar with and happen to love love love: My New Roots. This lady gets it, food should be good and good for you. Labels are not necessary. And just because you are going healthy doesn’t mean you should feel like crying in the corner. My last vegan/raw brownie made me want to hit someone in the face. Reading the recipe, I was unsure, but I have tremendous faith in the author of this fabulous blog and her pictures looked amazing so I decided to give it a go in my kitchen.
It really is simple, you will need the following: Medjool dates (this will cost you anywhere from $9-$14 bucks, get over it, they’re worth it), walnuts, almonds, raw cocoa powder and sea salt. A food processor is also a must as there is no way any blender (not even my trusty Vitamix) can handle this business. Don’t skimp on ingredients, if you use some creepy regular grade cocoa powder, it will be obvious and then no one will want any part of these. I gave my almonds a nice little toast, as well as the walnuts, because my nuts don’t like to go naked, they like a little flavor. But to keep the brownies truly raw, don’t be doing any of that.
You start with the walnuts, pulsing them until they are fine. Then you add the silky raw cocoa powder and the sea salt to the walnuts and give it a little additional pulse.
Then it’s merely dropping the dates in one by one until the mixture starts to come together. From there, I lined a square pan with parchment paper and threw the mixture right on in there. Then, I pulsed my almonds gently in the food processor (nope, didn’t even wash it) and then I combined the almonds with the date/chocolate mixture with my fingers. Once they were happy together, I pressed it all into my pan.
After a nice deep freeze, I took them out, anxious to cut into them and see what they actually taste like. The texture is amazing. When you cut them, they look like real brownies. Which for me is just wonderful. It gets me excited. Deeply excited. But then I took a bite and was completely amazed. These really are good. Like really really good. They taste like a deeply rich, decadent, brownie. I think I just heard angels singing.
I’m telling you all, go and give these a whirl. They take zero time at all and they taste magical. Without the guilt.
The Raw Brownie, courtesy of My New Roots
2 cups whole walnuts
2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw cacao
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ tsp. sea salt
1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
2. Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mix that appears rather like cake crumbs, but that when pressed, will easily stick together (if the mixture does not hold together well, add more dates).
4. In a large bowl (or the pan you plan on putting the brownies in), combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve (it is also easier to cut these when they are very cold). Store in an airtight container.