Friday, July 20, 2012

Raw Chocolate Brownies

I am so excited to share this post with you. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing all my posts with you, but this one in particular makes me very happy! I have discovered the most amazing recipe for brownies, raw brownies to be specific. I know, I know, the raw diet is such a fad and totally gross - who wants to eat cold food all the time! Well, I am here to tell you that it isn't all bad. Close your eyes and imagine a delicious brownie, now think about that brownie not being baked or having any sugar, gluten or eggs. What??? No way, Jessica!

Raw Chocolate Brownies |

I am totally serious though, My New Roots hit the jackpot with this recipe. I have been making them nonstop so I have a constant stash in my freezer for a quick sweet treat. They are perfect and absolutely delicious! 

The secret to these are Medjool dates - not a common food in American cuisine, but should be! They are very common in Middle Eastern cuisine, which is where most are cultivated. Dates can replace sugar or honey in recipes and are rich in fiber and other vitamins. They kind of taste like caramel!! Dates have a very sticky consistency, but provide layered flavors and texture, which make them great for baking. So naturally, dates are perfect to replace sugar in this recipe.

Raw Chocolate Brownies |

The other secret to these brownies are using raw cacao (not to be confused with cocoa). Cacao (pronounced ka-kow) refers to the actual tree, pod and bean that chocolate comes from. Cocoa refers to the by-products of the raw cacao bean (powder and butter). Many think that the two powder forms are interchangeable, but after some research I discovered that cacao powder refers to raw, unsweetened powder, where as cocoa powder might still have small amounts of cocoa butter in it to enhance the flavor.

Raw Chocolate Brownies |
I had cacao nibs in my pantry, so I ground them first into a powder.

Therefor, Mixing the cacao with the dates basically makes a form of chocolate but without the sugar additive. Not to mention that cacao is one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature!

Raw Chocolate Brownies | www.kettlercuisine.comRaw Chocolate Brownies |

The best part about these brownies, they are super healthy! Dates, almonds, raw cacao, walnuts are all super foods. With their powers combined, they are Captain Planet! No, just kidding, but they are super healthy and taste delicious. A cooking phenomenon!!

Feel free to get created with the recipe with the add-ins. I like to use a bit of sea salt and chopped raw almonds. My friend Meg makes these a lot as well and adds in coconut. Dried fruit or macadamia nuts would be a great add-in as well.

Raw Chocolate Brownies |

I tweaked the recipe from My New Roots to reduce the amount of dates in the brownies, which helps create a stronger chocolate flavor. It also helps the brownies hold together better and not have as much oils and liquids come out from the dates because of the hot humid weather in NC. 

Raw Brownies

Adapted from My New Roots
Yields: 8x8 pan of brownies
Prep time: 20 minutes

2 cups whole walnuts
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
8 ounces fresh organic Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, chopped

Place the walnuts into a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add in the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse just until combined. Add in the dates, one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. The mixture will start to come together when pressed. 

Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add in the chopped almonds. Stir until the almonds are well incorporated, I like to use my hands for this! 

Press the mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. The consistency will be like fudge in a way, it is dense and thick. 

Raw Chocolate Brownies |

Place the pan in the freezer for at least an hour, remove from the pan using the parchment paper and cut into small squares. I cut them into 1 inch

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