Raw Brownies

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Have you heard of the concept “eating raw”? What is eating raw? If you are like me, you are thinking salads, smoothies, or a veggie tray with dip. Many of us are already eating some raw.  We enjoy slaws, fruit and salads. There are some who subscribe that the benefits of only eating raw foods are worth the extra effort, which mean the microwave, cook top and oven get a break. This sounds pretty good, right? No cooking? That should be a snap. Well, not really. Eating raw actually requires more cooking skills while utilizing small appliances. The practice of preparing foods with blenders, food processors, and dehydrators can be a bit overwhelming at first. Why would anyone what to create more work? Well, one of the main benefits of raw eating is the belief that cooking the foods kill the enzymes and nutrients our bodies need, and that causes health problems.

Recently, I purchased a book on eating raw. I was interested because I had heard that people who were diagnosed with cancer often could turn things around by eating “raw” or “juicing.” While there is no scientific evidence that supports this, there are survivors who swear it’s made a difference for them. So who am I to contradict that?  They are alive when the doctor told them there were no other medical treatments left. I do believe in healthy skepticism. I don’t believe that there is only ONE way to eat, or only ONE diet plan to follow. But, maybe I can work in a little raw during the week that would benefit me and my family. Most Americans don’t get their daily allowance of fruits and vegetables anyway. So if I can trick my family into eating raw, especially desserts, then maybe they would be game. At least it’s a place to start.

According to my own research, eating raw could give the body a good energy boost and a good place to start for good health. It can lower the risk of certain cancers like, breast and colon. Eating raw means eating “clean” and I’ve heard a lot of people talking about wanting to eat “clean.” Having only tried a few of the recipes, I can tell you that what I made was surprisingly good. Even my skeptical husband liked the brownies I made. As a matter of fact, he finished the pan.

The down side is it can be expensive to eat raw, at least the desserts. The recipes I've tried contain dates, nuts, raw cashews, and pure maple syrup. While a better choice than their refined counterparts, I believe the cost is worth the consequence. I’m leaving you the recipe for the brownies our family enjoyed. This week, I plan to experiment more with raw.  I’ll keep you posted.

The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies

  • 2 ½ cups loosely packed pitted dates
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup plus 2 TBSP cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP melted coconut oil or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine dates, walnuts, 6 TBSP cacao powder, 1 ½ tsp vanilla, 2 tsp. water and salt in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, or line a dish with parchment or waxed paper. Transfer dough to dish. Press dough very firmly into dish with your hands until dough is evenly distributed.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup cacao powder, remaining ½ tsp vanilla, maple syrup and oil. Stir until mixture forms a paste (this is the frosting). Spread paste evenly over dough in baking dish. Refrigerate brownies for at least 2 hours to set, and then cut into squares. Refrigerate any leftovers in a covered container for up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 2 months.

Nutrition information per serving (1 brownie)

207 calories, 10g fat (2g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 29g carb., 63mg sodium, 3mg iron, 39mg calcium.

adapted from

Choosing Raw

, by Gena Hamshaw