I am excited to introduce to you a very old and dear friend of mine - one that has been with me through thick and thin and most importantly, through the most powerful of sugar cravings.
I come from a long line of coffee and choco-holics, and I really never stood a chance against the monster that is my sweet tooth. I had thought that my love for sweets was at odds with my desire to feel good but that all changed the moment I discovered raw vegan desserts.
Don't let the "raw vegan" part scare you. These desserts are sweet, but not too sweet. They are nutrient dense. They are full of healthy fats which makes them virtually impossible to overeat. They are also, dare I say, fun to prepare.
I should admit that I was living in Los Angeles at the time of this confectionery discovery. Close your eyes and envision every health-freak stereotype imaginable. All while I was busy making green smoothies, spiralizing zucchinis and pretending to like the taste of chlorella tablets, there was a little New England girl inside of me who just wanted a King Size Hershey's Bar. Enter a book that changed my life: Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet . Before you utter a peep let me tell you that the cover is amazing, and don't you dare make fun of it. After cooking my way through Cornbleet's simple and unpretentious cookbook I was shocked to find that every single recipe was to die for, and her brownies (p. 142) were no exception. My Raw Brownie bites are adapted from this very recipe.
To quote our friend Hippocrates, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". These brownies, in my opinion, are the embodiment of this statement. Why should we have to sacrifice our health for an innocent moment of snacking bliss?
If you are the type of person who loves dessert, more specifically chocolate, even more specifically rich chocolatey brownies, this recipe is for you. And if you are not this type of person, I frankly cannot trust you.
All you need is three ingredients. THREE.
For approximately 12 Brownie Bites:
Walnuts - 1 Cup
Medjool Dates - 8 or 9
Cacao Powder - 1/3 Cup
Pit the dates and literally chuck all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until they are completely ground together. Pour the mixture into a bowl and roll into bite sized balls. Feel free to dip them in coconut flakes or add any other flavorings that interest you, such as vanilla extract or cinnamon . Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
The exciting thing is that real, unprocessed chocolate, or cacao, has amazing health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and is known to be a powerful mood booster. A superfood powerhouse, if you will. Cacao powder is also said to be effective at curbing sweet cravings. Could it be more perfect for us chocoholics?
In addition to the nutritional wonder that is cacao, this recipe uses raw walnuts which, if I may be so bold, are very delicious and f*cking nutritious. They are basically my everything. I'm perfectly content eating a handful of them, raw, straight out of the freezer. Chopping them and toasting them in the oven for a few minutes will make your house smell like heaven and literally melt all your troubles away, but I digress. Walnuts are good for you. Healthy fats, omega-3s, bla bla bla.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "Dates are full of sugar, Georgia". Seriously? Calm down. Calm down right now. All sugary foods were not created equal! Sweet, sugary delicious dates have so many redeeming qualities it will make your head spin (but not from the sugar high). Dates have far too much fiber to affect your blood sugar negatively the way other sweeteners do, especially not when paired with the badass walnuts and cacao. They are good for your digestion and contain tons of vitamins and minerals. So talented, the date, and yet so humble. We could all afford to be a bit more like them.
Simply put, these 3 ingredients bring so much to the table that they are all this recipe needs to be as delicious as it is nutritious.
I just love them. I can't get over them. I have been making them for at least 5 years now and the deliciousness of them never ceases to amaze me. My mom makes them once a week claiming they "keep her out of trouble".
I suggest you try them. They pair wonderfully with an afternoon coffee or tea, a real pick me up, and are also great as a nighttime treat.
Thanks for reading!