The first time I tasted a raw vegan brownie was when I was living in Bristol and came across a health food store. I couldn’t believe that a raw brownie could be so yummy and be so rich and decadent. Fast forward a few years and here I am trying to replicate that experience at home.
Now, I’m not fussed about whether what I eat is raw or vegan, but I am interested in making treats that are healthy, tasty and nutritious all at the same time. These brownies are exactly that! They are packed full of antioxidants and fibre. Also, there are no added sugars.
So how can something this healthy be so tasty? The secret is in the dates – these help to create that gooey sought-after consistency in brownies, and give it a sweet taste.
I gave a few of these brownies to a friend and she nailed what I was thinking but couldn’t quite place. Have you ever tried nakd bars? Those health food bars that are made of natural ingredients, are free of wheat and gluten and contain no added sugar? These basically taste like them. And a closer look at the ingredients they use confirms my suspicions.
Anyway, these are a much cheaper way of making them. Although ingredients such as nuts and dates are on the pricier side – it’s much cheaper to make these bars at home than to buy them. It’s also incredibly easy and quick to make seeing as there’s no baking time and barely any washing up. Win win 🙂
The recipe below is adapted from this. I substituted in almond flour primarily because I have loads of almond flour and no pistachios or hazelnuts. I also added a little expresso powder for a hint of coffee. I think you can play around with the quantities of different types of nuts to make different flavours. It’s quite a flexible recipe because you can keep adding to it and tasting as you go along to see how the flavour changes.
You need either a food processor (ideal) or a hand blender for this recipe. I only had a hand blender, which works fine, it just takes a little longer. I chose to chop up the walnuts and dates before processing to make it a little easier.
- 150g dates (Medjool are best)
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1/4tsp salt
- 2tsp water
- 150g walnuts
- 50g almond flour (or use whole almonds and grind in a food processor)
- 1 tsp expresso powder
1) Place walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground. (Do the same with the almonds if using whole almonds rather than almond flour). It’s a good idea to set aside some slightly chunkier nuts to incorporate into the mix as this adds some ‘bite’ and texture.
2) Process dates, cocoa, salt, expresso powder and water together in a food processor – until it is thick and sticky.
3) Add in the ground walnut and almond mix from step 1. Process until the mixture comes together- it should be thick and cake-like, but sticks easily when pressed together.
4) Combine using your hands and press into a parchment lined square or rectangular tin. Ensure the thickness is even all over.
5) Place in the freezer or fridge for a minimum time of 30 mins, before lifting out by pulling upwards on the parchment paper and slicing into squares. They are easier to slice when cold!
Enjoy these tasty treats when you need a bit of energy but don’t want to reach for the chocolate.