So this post did not make it before Christmas because I was too busy. I didn’t have any time off and worked until December 24th. But hey, we can all use a dessert for New Year’s Eve party, right? Anyway, this is my husband’s favourite dessert. His brownie-fascination started at the age of 5 in the Philippines when his Tita Jessie baked this North American dessert…so different from the typical Filipino rice cake sweets. To this day, having a piece of brownie brings him back to this joyful childhood memory.
Now fast forward to the present…our new lifestyle inspires us to make a healthier version of this popular dessert. This means no processed sugar, no eggs, no flour, no butter. And best of all no oven time! And it tastes as good as it looks. Oh, by the way…I almost forgot…my son loves it too! This was originally adapted from Julie Morrisbut over time, I have since added my own personal spin on this wonderful recipe.
The above picture shows the ingredients minus the salt (although not in exact measurements..pls. see the recipe).
I highly suggest that you visit a health food store near you and buy the organic version of these ingredients as the quality will be tremendously better. Also, make sure that you use an organic cacao powder which is not the same as cocoa. Organic cacao powder is milled cacao beans at a low temperature (to keep the nutrients intact) in order to remove the fat (cacao butter) which then becomes powdery. Cocoa, on the other hand, is prepared by grinding the cacao beans into a paste between very hot rollers and are then mixed with white sugar and starch. The processing system is really the key. Cacao has high levels of magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and chromium. This has now been considered a Superfood because of its richness in antioxidants and minerals. However, we have to eat this in moderation because it also contains an element called theobromine which is a powerful stimulant.
Medjool Dates are a wonderful replacement for processed sugar and are really popular in raw dessert making. They are actually called the “king of dates” and are exceptional because they come in larger sizes and contain considerable amounts of “fruit meat” than other varieties. They are very sweet with complex flavours and are a good sourceof fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. They also have some copper, iron and zinc. Make sure to get the ones that were naturally dried, free of sulphites.
Walnuts are great source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids which our bodies cannot manufacture and must come from the food we eat. Walnuts also rank highestamong the other nuts in its antioxidant properties.
How about our wonderful light green gem called pistachios? I thought they are just the perfect addition to this recipe. Pistachios are considered a tree nut variety and are also a good source of protein, fats and minerals. You can read more about their benefits here.
Decadent Raw Brownies
Ingredients: (preferably organic)
1 1/4 c. raw walnuts
1 c. Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 c. raw cacao powder
1/4 t. sea salt
1 small vanilla bean, scraped or 1/2 t. vanilla powder
1/4 c. to 1/3 c. shelled raw pistachios, chopped
1. In a food processor, grind walnuts to a fine powder.
2. Add the cacao powder, salt and vanilla then pulse to combine.
3. Add the dates through the feed tube one a time and process until a sticky consistency is reached.
4. Transfer the mixture from the food processor into a pan or a container where you plan to store the brownies (I used an 8” x 6 1/2” Pyrex glass container) then mix half of the chopped pistachios.
5. Press firmly into the pan then sprinkle the rest of the pistachios as toppings.
6. Place in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Cut into even squares, and serve. This would yield at least 12 squares. Enjoy!
1. You can definitely use other nuts like almonds instead of pistachios. I used 1 1/4 cup walnuts as I just find it too sweet with just 1 cup. However, you can experiment and increase the dates or lessen the nuts as you please.
2. I observed that if you pulse a little longer, some of the oil from the walnuts will moisten the mixture and therefore you will then have a moist brownie.
3. This is a very rich dessert and a little goes a long way. It should be eaten in moderation. It is meant for holidays and celebrations but not an everyday food!