“So many desserts!”…you might be thinking. “What’s the deal? Where’s the corned seitan and gravy, the tofu mayo, the pink rice bowl with chia and blueberries?”
To you I say:
a) You can totally eat all of these deserts for any meal, they’re that delicious and healthy. So I do feel like I’m providing you with a pretty proper, rounded diet. And
b) It’s almost Valentine’s Day, my friends! I’m overloading you with chocolate for the obvious reasons, but most notably because–while chocolate hasn’t necessarily been proven an aphrodisiac, nor have aphrodisiacs really been proven to exist–chocolate boosts serotonin levels.. and happier people are much more likely to, well, you know.
To do it….
TO HAVE SEX, PEOPLE. GEEZ. So.. I think what I’m trying to say is, “You’re welcome.” In addition to the happy-happy-chocolate, the plant-based desserts are less likely to cause any bizarre reactions like one might experience post-white flour/sugar, or the general heaviness that tends to accompany more processed, animal product-based desserts. Throw in a bit of compassion for the animals, our earth, and your sweetums*, and it’s pretty much a sure thing. That’s a recipe for some lovin’, if I’ve ever heard one.
This brownie is one of the very first raw dessert dishes I made, expecting it to taste like a glorified–and much cheaper–Lara bar. Instead, my mind was blown.
I’d never been one for too cakey of a brownie anyway, foregoing the crackly tops for dense, nearly-molten textures, slathered in a rich, fudgy frosting. So when I blended up a few raw vegan ingredients and produced a decadently rich, dense, and chewy brownie, I basically had a heart attack.. because I was preventing them at the same time?! I mean.. what is that.
You’ll be surprised just how much flavor can come packed in an unassuming little square, whipped together from only five simple ingredients. Because there’s no extraneous flour or eggs, the luxurious chocolate shines through beautifully, while the dates provide a chewy, cushiony platform. Packed with protein and fiber, not to mention magnesium and copper, these raw brownies are just as perfect for a little afternoon or pre-run snack as they are to cap a special occasion dinner.
These keep in the freezer beautifully for, er, a long time. I still have a couple squares from this batch in my freezer, though I originally shot them almost exactly a month ago. I’m not too particular about “keeps for” lengths personally, but I’d say these easily keep a month in the freezer, as long as they’re in an air-tight container. Even if you opt to keep them in the fridge, freezing them at first helps you cut them into perfect little uniform squares, which you can then nosh upon however you like.
If you do freeze them, I find that giving them just a few minutes to “thaw” before inhaling works best–no need for much time, just a bit.
Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mix that appears rather like cake crumbs, but that, when pressed, will easily stick together (if the mixture does not hold together well, add more dates).
In a large bowl (or the pan you plan on putting the brownies in), combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve (it is also easier to cut these when they are very cold). Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from My New Roots
*I made a half-batch for these photos before I decided to, well, photograph them. The recipe makes double what you see in the photos. I also have a really crap blender, so if you have a food processor or Vitamix, you'll have a much smoother, more luxurious texture!
**You can find raw cacao at health food stores, like Whole Foods, or online.
*100% a Parks and Recreation reference, just in case you were unsure.5