I made these brownies as part of my cooking class the other day and OH MY GOSH they were delicious! I hadn’t made them in awhile and almost forgot how good they are.
I wish I could say I created this recipe but it belongs to the lovely Judita Wignall aka Raw Judita. She has a few raw cookbooks but this one comes from, Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet and Lifestyle Revolution at Home. It’s the perfect primer on all the what’s, how’s and why’s of raw food and most of her recipes are simple and accesible. Perfect for dipping your toes in the world of raw food “cooking”.
And while I wouldn’t necessarily call these brownies “healthy”, I would definitely say they are at least healthier than most desserts you’d buy or make at home. They don’t contain any refined sugar but they do have a few nutrient dense ingredients within them. Walnuts are are a great source of omega-3’s, raw cacao (not to be confused with processed cocoa) is highly antioxidant, cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar and dates are a great source of fiber and magnesium.
The only change I made to her recipe was that I used real vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. I also highly recommend purchasing good quality Ceylon cinnamon and star anise because along with the real vanilla bean, it will give these brownies a beautifully deep, complex flavor profile.
I forewarn that some of the ingredients aren’t cheap but I promise that once you taste them, you’ll realize it’s worth it!
- 4 cups raw walnut pieces + 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces (keep separate)
- 2/3 cup pitted dates (medjool dates are best)
- 2/3 cup Thompson raisins
- 2/3 cup raw cacao powder
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon (*optional, Ceylon is best if using)
- 2 large vanilla bean pods, scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground star anise
- A few pinches of sea salt
- 4 Tablespoons water
- Put 4 cups raw walnuts into a food processor outfitted with the “S” blade and grind them until they become the consistency of a meal. Don’t over process or it will become too oily.
- Loosely separate the dates and raisins and add them to the food processor. Continue to process until the mixture is well combined.
- Add the cocoa powder, spices & vanilla bean paste and process to mix. You made need to add a tablespoon or 2 of water to the mixture if it isn’t combining well.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup walnuts and sprinkle with water. Mix well with your hands.
- Pack the mixture firmly into a 7×7 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper.
- 2/3 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (slightly warmed just until it turns into liquid)
- Put maple syrup in the blender first, followed by cocoa powder and coconut oil.
- Blend well until smooth.
- Spread topping on brownies and chill at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
- Store the brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for three months.