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!

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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 🙂

Rehab-Worthy Chocoholic Pie

I just had to make this after a friend posted a healthy chocolate mousse recipe on my wall the other day. I just kept dreaming of how perfect a pie it would make.

And then it suddenly struck that I had made an entire pie for no apparent reason.

Uh. Oh.

Good thing I have a larger-than-life boyfriend for a roommate. And a gym nearby.

In reality, though, this pie ain’t so bad for ya. The chocolate comes from raw cacao (in both powder and nib form), a certified superfood rich in antioxidants, and minerals like magnesium and iron (!). So for all those flexitarians worried about their iron consumption (myself included), a chocolate pie just may be included as a part of a balanced diet. (Take that, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod!) The fats in this recipe are from diversified and healthy sources—almonds, cashews, and the secret thickening ingredient, my beloved avocado (fun fact: I considered, for some time, naming this blog “Avocado Desperado.” In the end, it sounded too desperate.). And does it have refined sugar? Nope! Just got a few dates—kind of like my boyfriend’s favorite pick-up line. And no, I don’t have any raisins, either.

I realize now that I seem to have developed a penchant for posting snacks and desserts, particularly those involving chocolate. I swear, I do eat real food for most of the time. The cocoa-drenched aspects of my diet are just that much more interesting.

Like this.

No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Pie (raw, vegan, no refined/added sugar, gluten-free, soy-free)

For the crust… (nut/date/coconut template from CCK)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked and rinsed (enhances digestability)

1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked and rinsed (makes them softer)

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

pinch of salt

Directions:

Process all ingredients in food processor—mixture should form clumps and stick together. Transfer into pie tin, press down with fingertips and refrigerate while you work on the delicious, chocolatey filling…

For the double chocolate filling (adapted from Dr. Oz)

Ingredients:

12 dates, soaked and rinsed

1 avocado, pitted

1/2 cup cashews, soaked and rinsed

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3-4 tbsp filtered water

1/3 cup cacao nibs + additional for topping

Directions:

Process all ingredients up to cacao powder in food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth, adding in water through the mouth as needed. Stir in cacao nibs. Pour mixture into pie crust and spread flat, sprinkling with cacao nibs if desired. Return to fridge to firm up for at least two hours.

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Hope you enjoy this extreme chocolate recipe, and also that you have been liking the new blog overhaul so far! Please feel free to comment with any questions, suggestions or general comments—I do value each individual piece of feedback! I’ve got a few more goodies on the go—have a happy holiday weekend (you Canadians!), and see you soon after! xx