Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Nutty Snowflake Brownies (Raw, Vegan, GF, Paleo)

Haley HansenComment

When can you have brownies for breakfast? Well, technically, you can have them whenever you want, so maybe I should rephrase that question...

When should you have brownies for breakfast? If you're stumped on an answer, don't worry - I was, too. Then I made these raw vegan brownies and it became clear that there are many instances in which brownies are more than just okay for breakfast: 

  • when they're raw, oil-free, refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo 
  • when the holidays justify any and all sweets 
  • when you've been obsessed with raw treats recently
  • when your sweet tooth speaks louder than anything else 

I must admit, these guys caused a bit of a hassle for me and my food processor, so I'd like to offer some tips that will hopefully help you avoid said hassle...

  1. Soak the dates for about 10-15 minutes beforehand if they aren't really gooey and dreamy like they should be. From my experience, the darker the date, the softer, mushier, more gooey and caramel-like it will be (by the way, my mouth is watering right now). If the dates aren't squishy when you buy them, soak them  for just 10-15 minutes. 
  2. Process the dates and nuts separately from each other and then combine them. Otherwise you'll be standing over your food processor for thirty-some extra minutes waiting for the dates and nuts to be smooth when really they're just fighting each other. 
  3. When transferring the dough to the pan, USE PLASTIC WRAP. The dough is extremely sticky and you'll be licking all of it off your fingers before any of it even makes it to the fridge. 

These remind me of my second-mom's signature homemade brownies - hers are always gooey and rich and chocolatey and horribly irresistible. My favorite part about them is the snow-like powdered sugar she sprinkles on top :) Despite they're non-vegan ingredients, Barbara's brownies will always have a place in my heart, and no matter how hard I try to recreate them with natural, plant-based ingredients like dates for sweetness and shredded coconut for "snowflakes", nothing will quite compare. 

BUT these raw brownies are definitely worthy of recognition when it comes to texture, taste, and nutrition. How can you beat that when the holidays bring with them dozens of refined treats? 

Bring these to your next holiday gathering and watch as the vegans and non-vegans alike swoon and wrap themselves around your sticky, chocolatey finger ;) 

aaaaand as always, get at me on dat snap app: haleyhansen11

aaaaand as always, get at me on dat snap app: haleyhansen11

Makes 1 pan (about 12 brownies in my pan) 

2 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates, soaked for 10 minutes if dry
1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups pecans, divided
3/4 cup shredded coconut, divided
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. water, if needed
Sea salt
Optional: 1 tsp. peppermint extract (for peppermint kick!)

  1. Soak the cashews for 10 minutes. While they soak, pit the dates if not already pitted and blend into a paste using a food processor or extremely talented blender. 
  2. Add in a 1/2 cup of the shredded coconut, cacao powder, vanilla extract and peppermint extract (if using). Blend until smooth. If blending is tough, add in a tablespoon of water until  and then set aside in a separate bowl. 
  3. When the cashews are done soaking, grind them in the food processor with 1 cup of pecan pieces. 
  4. Combine the date mixture and the nuts in a large bowl until everything is well incorporated. You'll have to use some muscle here! 
  5. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and press the dough into the pan. I used plastic wrap to press it to prevent sticky fingers. Sprinkle with the leftover pecans and coconut, and refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. 
  6. EAT THEM :) 

Recipe adapted from here.