Mmm, rich, chocolatey brownies.
What if I told you that behind the rich and chocolatey taste, there was no sugar, no oil, no flour, no butter, and no eggs? (Therefore making these brownies gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and all-natural.)
What if I told you they were made only of things that were actually good for you – natural foods that contain important nutrients?
And what if I told you that they require no baking, and actually take only about 5 minutes to whip up?
If you told me these things, I’d say you’d found the perfect dessert.
I must admit, I was skeptical at first. (Especially since the original recipe over at My New Roots claimed it would change my life.) However, after one taste of the chocolatey dough, I was a believer! I am still amazed that the combination of Medjool dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder can transform into a fudge-y “brownie” that is just as satisfying as the real thing.
Once you’ve tried them yourself, test them out on your family and friends (and make them guess the magical ingredients)! We did, and I think it’s safe to say they received rave reviews.
So are they dessert perfection? Pretty darn close for us – not only do they make up for my lack of baking skills, they are all natural and thus totally guilt-free! Let us know if you too become a believer in this new kind of treat!
Read all about the nutritional benefits of Medjool dates, walnuts, and cacao here.
Adapted from My New Roots
Makes about 10 small brownies (double as necessary)
Notes: The original recipe called for raw cacao powder which wasn’t easily accessible to us, so we substituted cocoa powder with good results. However, no substitutions with the dates! Medjool dates are a type of date that is exceptionally large and sweet; it is important to find the real thing for this recipe. We were able to find them sold in bulk at our local grocery; they are also available for sale online.
If you can’t imagine a dessert without chocolate, you could add a few dark chocolate chips if you’d like, or top with a bit of sea salt if you prefer the sweet / salty combination.
What You Need
1 cup walnuts (unsalted)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1 1/4 cups Medjool dates (about 12)
1/4 cup almonds (unsalted)
What To Do
1 Remove the pits from the dates. If the 1/4 cup almonds are not already chopped, place them in a bag and hit them with the back of a spoon to break them into pieces (we’ve found this is easier than chopping).
2 In the bowl of a food processor, place 1 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground.
3 Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt. Pulse to combine.
4 Turn on the food processor. As the processor is running, add the dates one at a time. Once all the dates have been added, the mixture should be crumbly but easily formable (it may form into a ball depending on how long you process it). Throw in the almonds and pulse a couple times to combine (if a ball has formed, you can also mix in the almonds in a bowl).
5 Form the brownies: Line a small square dish with wax paper and press into the desired thickness (don’t worry if it does not fill the entire pan; the brownies are easy to shape). Alternatively, press the brownies into a mini-muffin tin or other mold. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up; they can easily be cut when cold.
To serve, dust with cinnamon. (You also could add a bit of cinnamon to the brownie dough if desired.)