If you told me last week I'd be this excited about a vegan, gluten-free, raw brownie, I'd have called you crazy. But here I am, talking about a brownie that tastes totally decadent, while actually being pretty good for you. It might be the perfect guilt-free treat.It all starts with raw walnuts pulverized in a food processor. The nuts become a fluffy, moist powder to which raw cacao powder and a little salt are added. Pitted dates are processed in one by one, adding sweetness and enough stickiness to turn the brownies into a soft, moldable dough. The dough is pressed into a parchment-lined dish and topped with chopped almonds and...that's it. Healthy, five-ingredient brownies!
The dough is quite soft, so it is best to firm it up in the refrigerator or freezer before slicing. I was making the brownies for a party, so I quadrupled the recipe, pressed the dough into a jelly roll pan, and cut the brownies into small bites. As written, the recipe would probably fit best in an 8-inch square pan.
Raw cacao is quite a bit more expensive than regular cocoa powder and has more fiber, iron and magnesium, but if taste is your only concern, any good-quality natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder will make great brownies. I tried both Sunfood brand raw cacao and Dagoba cacao powder and the difference in flavor was negligible.
My usual brownie is a buttery, fudgy recipe made with dark or bittersweet chocolate, and if that is your brownie preference — as opposed to cakey or very sweet — you'll likely find this recipe as surprisingly satisfying as I did. The batch I made for the party disappeared in a flash, but I'll soon be making another pan and storing it in the freezer for guiltless weeknight nibbling.
• Get the recipe: The Raw Brownie at My New Roots
Do you make any sweets that taste deceptively decadent?
Related: Sweet, Easy & Raw Recipe: Avocado Cacao Mousse
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)