Raw Superfood Brownie Bites

So it seems I’ve finally got a stable job set up here in Korea (knock. on. wood.). Unfortunately, our “normal person” hours of 9-6 p.m. are long gone now, and Luke and I are teaching 2-6 p.m. for now, and 2-10 p.m. in the future… which means, for me, lots of energy dips and tired times at work. I needed something to help me get through. Something strong and powerful. Something with enough protein and fat to satiate me, with some natural sugars for a little boost, and maybe some chocolate. Of course, some chocolate (as I might have hinted at earlier this week on Instagram..)

That’s when my superfood brownie bites were born:
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These are a great afternoon snack, I usually pack two and they’ll fuel me for my post-work workout, or later when I’m working late into the night I pray they’ll fuel me through all the cries of “teach-a!,” homework groans, and “upside-down” rides for the little ones. I hope.

I call them “Superfood” Brownie Bites because of their all-star ingredients: cacao powder and cacao nibs contain plenty of naturally-occurring antioxidants and some caffeine, coconut oil is a wondrous miracle (this probably deserves a post of its own) and an excellent source of healthy fats, and hemp seeds have got you covered for omega-3s and extra protein. Chocolate is a super-delicious food too, if that counts.

Raw Superfood Brownie Bites (gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free)

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, soaked 2-8 hours (see this post for soaking times and explanation), drained, and rinsed well

1/2 cup chopped, pitted medjool dates or date pieces

1/2 cup cacao powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup hemp seeds

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts a few times to break up the big pieces.

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Next, soak the dates in hot water for 30 seconds to help soften them. Rinse, drain, and add to the food processor.

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Add ingredients up to salt into the food processor and pulse until the mixture starts forming clumps. Remove the blade and add cacao nibs and hemp seeds and mix together well.

Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to form balls. Store in the fridge (this way the coconut oil doesn’t melt and the balls stick together better!) for up to a week or in the freezer. IMG_4121 Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to form balls. Store in the fridge (this way the coconut oil doesn’t melt and the balls stick together better!) for up to a week or in the freezer. Munch throughout the day whenever you need some energy!IMG_4129

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Double Dark Chocolate Cacao Chip Brownies with Coconut-Vanilla Icing

Some of the world’s best inventions are by accident.

Post-it notes. Popsicles. These brownies.

In cleaning out my kitchen for an upcoming move (more about which I will share soon), I’ve been emptying my cabinets and trying to creatively use all my ingredients. There were a few flops, a few recipe makeovers, and then there were these.

I tried to make some chocolate granola bars to bring road-trippin this week. But the granola bars were just too good. So good, I decided to slather them with icing, thus converting them from health-snack status to divine, decadent desserts.

Scrumptious, sweet, satiating, and shareable. Very, very shareable. So shareable I had to take them into work, and then bring them on my road trip to ensure all of my friends were able to sample these little delights, and couldn’t take proper pictures at home. So shareable that I had to share them with you.

Double Dark Chocolate Cacao Chip Brownies with Coconut-Vanilla Icing (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

For the brownies:

Ingredients:

Start by making date paste: In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates and 2 tbsp filtered water, adding more water and combining as long as needed to achieve a nutella-like consistency. (Optional: combine in this mixture 1 tbsp bee pollen. 1 tbsp sprouted flax, 1 tbsp hemp or chia seeds, 1 tbsp maca… it’s easy to sneak a few superfood goodies in here!) Date paste acts as a great fruit-based sweetener and binding agent, and if you make extra it can be saved in the fridge.

Leave the date paste in the food processor and then add:

1/2 cup cup walnuts

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup oats (I used gluten-free)

3/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the food processor until the “dough” starts clumping together and forming a large ball. Transfer out of food processor and press dough into a pyrex tray, flattening with hands.

For the vanilla frosting:

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup agave or honey

2 tbsp vanilla

dash of sea salt

Directions:

Make a “double boiler” by placing coconut butter in a small bowl and placing the bowl of coconut butter in a tub of hot water. Stir the coconut butter to aid its melting—it should be pudding-like, not runny. Stir in the agave, vanilla and sea salt, and while the mixture is still hot spread evenly over the top of the brownie base. Sprinkle with cacao powder and store in the fridge so the coconut butter doesn’t melt. Mine made 20 small square brownies.

These are dense and quite filling which is why I highly suggest them for sharing! Or, if you want some bite-sized goodies for later, do the opposite—put the icing at the bottom of a shot glass and top with brownie base. Put in the fridge for a few hours and pop out of the glass with a knife when you are ready to eat—brownie thimbles!

A Blizzard Good (for you) Enough for Breakfast

Guuuuuh. Soooo. Good.

For the first time probably ever, I was able to hold off an ice cream craving long enough for it to pass last night.

Long enough, at least, for me to whip out the food processor and make my own.

My first experience a few years ago with Banana Soft-Serve was a flop, one I’d account to a crappy blender and a poor ratio of nut milk to frozen banana. This time, however—a grand success! Nothing easier than a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk (or coconut, for extra creaminess) and a splash of maple syrup, just process and serve. Soft-serve for softie chefs. Simple, and so seriously perfect.

Layers of silky chocolate sauce and chewy cookie dough don’t hurt either.

This Raw Cookie Dough Blizzard is actually about as healthy as most breakfasts I eat. Just a restructuring of the same ingredients. (Kinda like this, but good for you.) Thus, I deem this a worthy hot-weather-worthy brunch. Rolled oats (I used gluten-free!), nuts, coconut, raw cacao in various forms, banana, and a little maple syrup or honey—sounds like the perfect granola, but believe it or not, it’s just the rearranged ingredients for the above parfait.

Wish I could say this combo was my idea, but it seems to be a popular blogosphere idea. Rawified makes it super-simple (like five-minutes simple, hence why I used her recipe!), Angela‘s dished her own interpretation,  and VeganLisa demoed hers at last summers Toronto Vegetarian Festival.

Now you have my blessing. Go forth, be fruitful (bananas!), and multiply (make extra cookie dough, and save some for me!).

 And to those of you who have shared their recreations of my recipes and posts…. thank you!! It does truly make my day when someone has been inspired by, helped by, or even just enjoyed reading the blog. So please keep it up, feel free to comment, abuse my Facebook wall, Twitter handle, etc. It is all much appreciated 🙂