Remember how one of my goals is to care for my health properly this year? Instead of eating simple refined sugars and other junk food lacking in nutrients I’m going to be experimenting in the kitchen and will pass on any successful recipes to you!
A few years ago I told you about a recipe for date & carob truffles by Gillian McKeith. I’ve made it a few times and it’s always delicious but wanted to make some healthy brownies! I changed the recipe a bit and added a few ingredients and it worked out well!
Melissas Raw Vegan Brownies
220g pitted dates
35g raw brazil nuts
2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 x 45g Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Bar (I used a brand called ‘…well, naturally’. It’s 70% cocoa and sweetened with stevia instead of aspartame)
Combine dates and lime juice together. I don’t have a food processor so it’s a mini workout trying to blend the dates with a fork. I try to mash them up with the fork first and then switch to a wooden spoon. If you find its a bit too dry you can add a teaspoon of water.
Chop or crush the brazil nuts. I put them inside a plastic bag and smashed them with an ice cream scoop in a caveman-like fashion.
Add 80% of the coconut to the date and lime juice mixture and then stir in crushed brazil nuts. The mixture should be kind of soft and not runny. You should be able to pick it up and blend the nuts through with your hands.
Press the mixture into a square brownie tin or container.
Melt the chocolate (click here for a melting chocolate tutorial)
Pour the melted chocolate onto the brownie mixture and smooth it out so that the entire brownie slab is covered.
Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top and place in fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate is set.
Remove from fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!!
Note: The recipe won’t be raw if you use the chocolate on top. If you want the raw recipe just press the remaining coconut on top of the brownies.
Also, the photo above are the actual brownies I made! They look deceptively big in the photos but were really just bite sized pieces. It’s called portion control people! If you need to make a larger batch I suggest doubling all the ingredients. Especially if you have kids and want to use them as healthy lunch box treats
Read the health benefits of each ingredient below
Health benefits of each ingredient:
Dates – Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. It is said that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.
Brazil Nuts - These nuts are extremely nutrient-rich and contain protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that works to neutralize dangerous free radicals. A study at the University of Illinois even found that the high amounts of selenium in Brazil nuts may help prevent breast cancer.
Lime - Thee health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, good digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders, etc.
Organic Cacoa Powder – Cacoa powder has an anti-oxidant (ORAC) score of 95,500. To put that into perspective, that’s 14 times more antioxidant flavonoids than red wine, 21 times more than green tea, and 7 times more than even dark chocolate!
Magnesium is the most common deficient major mineral even following a balanced diet – it is estimated that over 80% of Australians are chronically lacking.
Cacao contains high levels of magnesium – possibly being the best food source for magnesium available.
Coconut - Coconut increases the metabolic rate of the body, which means that energy is consumed faster and excess body weight is burned off. This process is completely natural, and doesn’t cause the body any harm. Coconut contains a PH that is good for the skin, supporting the natural chemical balance of the skin. It softens the skin and helps to relieve dryness and flaking. Coconut can prevent wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
Dark chocolate - Dark chocolate health benefits include a unique effect on a person’s blood pressure. Evidence suggests that people with mild cases of high blood pressure can help to lower it by eating more dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate cannot take the place of treatments prescribed by a medical professional. Additionally, it’s not a good idea to overeat dark chocolate, as doing so can lead to tooth decay and unwanted weight gain. Read the nutritional information for the chocolate I used here.