I learned something this week: Cocoa powder isn’t raw, it’s cooked. Therefore, just because a brownie isn’t baked like these fudgy beauties doesn’t mean they’re truly raw. This is good to know.
You see I’ve been learning a lot about whole foods lately. It all started with my stumbling upon Sprouted Kitchen where whole foods are tasty, and then ordering the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. Since then I’ve been treating the thing like it’s my new foodie bible, because it is.
After that profound discovery came My New Roots, which I could rattle on about for hours. But for the sake of being concise, Sarah Britton is a whole foods genius and I want to shrink down to pocket size so I can ride around in her chef coat pocket and learn everything she knows about holistic cooking.
Think she’d mind? (OK, raise your hand if you think riding around in a little pocket would be super fun?!)
Sarah’s taught me a lot about food recently. How medjool dates are best, organic is worth budging for, and cocoa powder is not the same thing as cacao powder, just to name a few.
As Sarah explains, COCOA (koe-koe) powder is cooked which strips it of 90-some percent of its nutrients. However, raw CACAO (kuh-cow) powder is rife with health benefits like calcium, iron, and beta carotene. And it’s one of the top sources of magnesium found in nature.
So you see, cocoa and cacao are very different things, which is important to know if you’re shooting for optimum health like I am (trying to) these days.
Unfortunately I was not able to get my hands on raw cacao powder before making these no-bake fudgy brownies, so they are not technically raw. But I have just placed an Amazon order for a bag today so the next time raw brownies appear on this blog they will be so healthy they’ll boast too many health benefits to count.
But in the meantime, if you don’t have cacao powder you can make these brownies. And if you DO have cacao powder you can make them, too. Yours will just be healthier. But don’t go rubbing it in our faces or we’ll come and eat all your brownies. And how would you like that? Well, that’s what you get for gloating…
These brownies may not contain any butter, sugar, or flour, but they are some of the best I’ve had. They are moist, rich, dense, full of intense chocolate flavor and a hint of espresso. The walnut chunks make it, in my opinion, but if they’re not your thing leave them out.
I’ve already eaten half the batch since making them last week and have another healthy recipe utilizing them coming up later in the week so stay tuned. You don’t want to miss this ooey-gooey chocolaty treat.
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, divided
- 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups medjool or deglet noor dates, pitted
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder OR raw cacao if you have it
- 1-2 tsp espresso powder or finely ground coffee (depending on preference)
- pinch sea salt
- Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add the cocoa powder or cacao, espresso powder and sea salt. Pulse to combine and then transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove from bowl and set aside.
- Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor spout. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand.
- Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined cake pan or loaf pan and add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts. Toss to combine and evenly distribute, and then press down with you hands until it is flat and firm.
- Place in freezer or fridge to chill before cutting. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks and in the freezer for at least 2 months.
adapted from My New Roots