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

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!

Breakfast Banana Bread Cookies

While I do love my homemade almond milk, I know that with each batch I risk being left with a substantial helping of leftover almond pulp. I toss it in a container in the fridge, and usually then give it a periodic whiff to ensure it still smells okay, dreaming of the day I’ll use it for facial scrub or make crackers or find a catch-all use for my scraps… and then eventually, it kinda smells like nail polish remover and I solemnly scrape it into the compost heap, resigning another loss. Those poor almonds.

BUT NOT TODAY.

In a last-dash effort to prove the hero, saving my almond pulp from decades of decomposition, I scraped a batch into the food processor and followed it with other things that sounded yummy, or at least palatable, like ripe bananas (those old ones you’d freeze or save for banana bread anyway), nuts, seeds, and some superfoods. (I will also add this occurred past 1 a.m., thus proving that even zombies can make these cookies. Or generally really tired people.)

And I’ve gotta be honest, I kinda saved the day here. These healthy cookies are a superhero, superfood success.

Meet my new second breakfast.

Breakfast Banana Bread Cookies (can be raw, vegan, added sugar-free, soy-free, gluten-free)

Ingredients:

1 cup almond pulp

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup crushed walnuts

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp each hemp seeds, sprouted flax, chia seed, maca (or whatever you have on hand ie. salba, bee pollen, etc.)

1/4 cup goji berries

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup crushed walnuts

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

Turn oven on to 150. Place all ingredients up to hemp seeds in food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Transfer from food processor to bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out little balls of fixture, roll and flatten into small cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for one hour, flip cookies, and bake another hour on the other side. If you have a dehydrator, bake these guys overnight for rawsomeness.