The holiday known for gorging on absurd amounts of sugar and chocolate puts any dentist or dietitian in a stupor. You can have your cake (or brownie) and eat it too with this virtuous treat that will be sure to scare all your halloween guests silly.
Dates and maple syrup make these treats sweet and decadent minus the processed sugar and preservatives. Orange zest, cinnamon, and chili powder add an elevated edge to please a sophisticated palate. For the littles, consider going light on the citrus and omitting the spice all together.
Wrinkly and brown, dates are a great natural sweetener with mega nutritional mileage. Vitamin and mineral rich, dates contain fiber which helps with digestion and prevents or resolves any "hold ups". Dates also contain potassium which assists in regulating blood pressure, nerve function, and heart beat. Although busting with nutrients and sweetness, dates need to be eaten in moderation since they contain concentrated amounts of carbohydrates and fructose, which is natural sugar from fruit. Aim for two dates per serving for a healthful sweet treat.
raw fruit and nut brownies
recipe adapted from the Natural Gourmet Institute
makes 12-14 servings
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw pecans + 1/4 cup chopped for garnish
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsps chili powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cherries
- 24 dates, pitted
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder
- 6 tbsps maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut + 2 tbsps for garnish
- 2 tsps orange zest + additional for garnish
- Place nuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until nuts are finely ground, but not turned into butter. Add remaining ingredients, (except for garnishes) and process until the mixture sticks together.
- Press date mixture into an 8" x 8" baking dish. Top with additional pecans and coconut flakes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill well. When ready to serve, finish with additional orange zest and cut into bit sized pieces.
- Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.
Have a healthy and a happy halloween!