I've never gone out of my way to make a raw dish before. To me, cooking/baking is half of the fun of eating, after all. But, after I brought in a batch of my Fudgy Brownies to work several weeks ago (they received rave reviews, I'm happy to say), one of my coworkers passed along one of her favorite brownie recipes from My New Roots. I thought I'd give it a try, and I'm glad I did!
|Fruits, nuts, and chocolate -- in brownie form.|
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. As you can see below, it calls for just five ingredients. I slightly altered the ingredients list from the original version by swapping out almonds for hazelnuts, so here's my version.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I used a blend of Dutch cocoa and black cocoa)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2.5 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
First, line a baking dish with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan (any size dish will do -- a larger dish will yield thinner brownies, and vice versa).
Then, place the walnuts in a food processor and blend until they are finely ground. Add the cocoa and salt, and pulse until combined.
Next, while the food processor is running, add the dates one at a time through the feed tube. Blend until combined. The mixture is ready when it looks crumbly, yet holds together when pressed between your fingers (if it's too crumbly and won't hold together, add more dates).
Finally, using a spoon or your hands, mix together the chocolate mixture and the hazelnuts in a large bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. Yields 1 pan of brownies.
These brownies have the rich, chocolatey flavor we all look for in a good brownie, while having something else to offer: a subtle, fruity sweetness. The dates provide for a fudgy, moist texture, and the nuts add a nice crunch to each bite. Also, I want to point out that people who are unfamiliar with dates shouldn't shy away from this recipe! I can't remember the last time I ate a date, but I do know that I enjoyed these brownies.Accessibility:
Between the nuts and the Medjool dates, these brownies aren't cheap. However, my coworker who's made these brownies a few times emphasized to me the importance of using high-quality dates. Luckily, I was able to find Medjool dates at the store.Ease of Preparation:
As long as you have a food processor or blender, these brownies are a piece of cake to make. There's nothing better than whipping up a batch of brownies and being able to eat some right away.Non-vegan friendliness:
The only reason I give these a low carrot rating is because they couldn't really pass for typical, baked brownies. For example, Simon commented that the brownies' texture reminded him of the inside of a fig newton, and as a result, he wasn't as enthusiastic about them. So, I wouldn't serve them as a replacement for baked brownies -- instead, I'd serve them in all of their raw, vegan goodness. I bet any raw or vegan food skeptic would be shocked to learn that these rich brownies are both dairy- and heat-free!