Raw Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate-Brownies | www.8thandlake.com

These chocolate brownies are incredible.  I could probably leave it at that but then you wouldn’t know to the extent of how great they are.  These little bites of brownie are just so simple and absolutely delicious! They are moist yet dense and have such a decadent chocolate taste throughout, thanks to the many layers of chocolate.  I brought these brownies to a friend’s party and everyone couldn’t believe they were raw and didn’t come from a bakery.  But what caught them off guard was how healthy they are!  After I stated that point, the brownies were eaten in handfuls. 

I tend to crave sweets after every meal.  But as I’ve tried to savor sweets till after dinner, I’ve never found a dessert that keeps me satisfied.  These brownies keep me satisfied.  Since it has multiple layers of chocolate throughout, one little square brings the perfect amount of sweetness and chocolatey flavor.

These brownies are delicious but they are also packed with nutrients.  The majority of ingredients are walnuts, pecans and hemp seeds.  Walnuts bring incredible phytonutrients, which house antioxidants that aids in free radical damage.  This means walnuts are an essential food that helps prevent heart disease and premature aging.  The vitamin E and antioxidants in walnuts support brain health, helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.  These brownies are also a way to increase your protein intake.  Just two tablespoons of hemp seeds provides 5g of protein.  Especially if you’re a vegetarian, protein is a part of the diet that is often in question.  Adding hemp seeds to smoothies, brownies or on top of salads is an excellent way of upping the protein in your diet.

The sweetness from the brownies is coming from my favorite food, medjool dates.  Dates are wonderful as they add a sweet caramel taste to any dish.  They are also a powerful food themselves as they are full of fiber, which regulates the digestive system, and dates are easily broken down into sugar - providing sustained energy.  If I find myself tired during the day I will eat a few dates with water as a snack to help wake me up.  These brownies are really more than just a dessert; they provide essential nutrients that should be eaten throughout the day.  As I have a substantial sweet tooth, I prefer to take my extra protein and antioxidants in the form of delicious chocolate brownies!

3-Chocolate-Brownies | www.eighth&lake.com

Makes 15 brownie slices

Ingredients for the Brownie:

- ½ cup walnuts

- ½ cup pecans

- ½ cup hemp seeds

- 1 cup medjool dates (medjool work best since they are naturally very soft and break when pulsing)

- 1/8 cup maple syrup

- ½ cup raw cacao powder

- few pinches of sea salt

Ingredients for the Chocolate Sauce:

- 3 tablespoons coconut oil

- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (depends of how sweet you like it)

- 1/4 vanilla extract

- pinch of sea salt

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Freeze Time: 30 minutes

Brownie Instructions

Simply pulse the walnuts and pecans in a food processor until a crumbly-flour forms. Then pit and add the dates and hemp seeds to your food processor – pulse until very sticky and chopped pieces start to form.  If you don’t have medjool dates, soak the firmer dates in water for 1 hour before pulsing.  Add cacao powder, maple syrup, and salt and process until all ingredients are combined and very sticky.  At this point a large ball will start to form.

Now line a small pan with parchment paper and evenly press the brownie mix into the pan.  The brownies will be short, less than 1” tall.  Place in the freezer to set while you prepare the chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce Instructions

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat.  Once it has fully melted, remove from heat and stir in the cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt.  Taste the mixture to see if you would like to add more sweetener or cacao.

 Remove chocolate brownies from the freezer and pour the silky chocolate sauce on top and let it overflow onto the sides of the brownie.  Chill for another 30 minutes.  If you enjoy extra cacao, sprinkle a little bit on top like I have in the pictures and enjoy!