Raw Vegan Brownies

Raw Vegan Brownies

These brownies have become a family favorite. They are as close to “raw” brownies as you will get. All of the ingredients are pure and unprocessed. The only difference is that this recipe calls for cooking the brownies in the lowest setting on your oven. My oven has a 170 degree setting and that is what I use. I also sometimes dehydrate them in a dehydrator for 4-6 hours at 115 degrees (turning them over about half way through).

No need to miss eating yummy brownies! But these are brownies you can feel good about. They are healthy, guilt-free and easy to make.

Don’t expect an overly sweet brownie when you make these. They are rich in flavor and dense with chocolate (the raw chocolate that is actually good for you). However, there is no processed sugar added. You can indulge in these brownies. Although, they are so rich and filling that you will probably only need to eat one.

The health benefits of cacao are increasingly coming to light. All chocolate is derived from the cacao (cocoa) bean. In their natural, unprocessed, unadulterated state, cacao beans are rich in nutrients that are beneficial to health. They are the ultimate superfood and contain more antioxidants than any other food.

Chocolate is often considered a “guilty pleasure.” However, the reputation that has been earned by chocolate as a harmful junk food is more accurately attributed to the detrimental effects of the commercial processing and refining techniques that are commonly used when making popular chocolate products. The other ingredients that are commonly added to these commercial products, most notably refined white sugar, also make most commercially processed chocolate products harmful to your health.

The chocolate in this recipe is non-processed and non-refined. It is pure cacao from the cacao bean – the beneficial chocolate. You can find raw cacao in health food stores like Whole Foods as well as from many raw product sellers online. A quick Google search will uncover many options. If you need a good option, send me an email and I can give you a couple of recommendations.

The other healthful ingredient in these brownies is cashews. They have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of their fat, approximately 75%, is unsaturated. The unsaturated fat that they contain is about 75% oleic acid. This is the same monounsaturated heart-healthy fat that is found in olive oil. Research has shown that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health and is beneficial to those who have diabetes. Studies of diabetics have shown monounsaturated fats, when part of a healthy diet, can aid in the reduction of high triglycerides (bad cholesterol).

Preheat oven to 200 degrees or if you have a lower setting, set it lower. If you can go to as low as 115 degrees, you will have raw brownies.

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 2 1/4 cups of raw cashew flour
  • 1 cup of raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup of pure cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Wet:

  • ½ cup of maple syrup
  • ¼ cup pure agave nectar
  • ¾ cup of pure water
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raw cacao nibs for garnish

Method:
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well until they are blended nicely. Add the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a batter.

Line a 9 x 9 rectangular pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly.

Place the brownies in the oven for about 3 hours. Turn the brownies on to a flat cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Carefully remove the parchment that is now lining the top of the brownies. Pour over the raw cacao nibs and press lightly into the top of the batter. Cut the brownies into even squares and return to the oven for another hour or so. Check them for consistency. If you prefer a drier brownie let them cook a little bit longer. For a moister brownie, remove from oven completely after 4 hours.

Enjoy with a scoop of raw ice cream or on their own! Yummy!

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