Friday, April 5, 2013

Raw Brownies

If you ask me to name my favorite dessert, it is without a doubt brownies.  I came up with this easy raw version. These brownies can be enjoyed cold (more like fudge) or at room temp (more like a brownie).
Raw Brownies

1.5 cups nuts, soaked

1 cup dried and pitted dates, soaked
1 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
.5 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
To soak nuts and dates, place in a bowl and cover with water. Let them sit for 2 hours, then drain the water. This process softens the nuts and fruit for a moist brownie.

- Place dates, nuts, coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup in a food processor and pulse until broken down thoroughly.

- Add cocoa a quarter cup at a time, scrapping down the sides of the processor when needed.

- Add salt and vanilla and pulse until combined and a "dough" forms.

- Transfer to a sprayed 8x8 dish and refrigerate for at least an hour.

- Cut into squares. 

For the nuts, I used equal parts walnuts, cashews and almonds. You can use any nut you prefer or have on hand.
Vanilla extract isn't technically a raw ingredient. For a true raw dessert you can substitute scraped vanilla beans.

Raw Carrot Cake

My husband had a birthday recently, and asked for a carrot cake.  I've really gotten into making raw desserts lately, and took the opportunity to experiment.  After looking at several recipes, I came up with this one.  It turned out great!! The best part of making raw desserts, is that they last way longer than their baked counterparts. This cake seemed to get better and better as it sat in the fridge.

Raw Carrot Cake

4 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup soaked dates*
1/2 cup soaked apricots*
1 cup walnuts
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil

- Process dried fruit until broken down

- Add carrot, walnuts, coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and pulse until broken down and combined

- Transfer to bowl and add almond meal and flavorings

- Mix until combined, separate into 3 equal portions

- Form 3 uniform cake layers on a cookie sheet

- Refrigerate for a few hours
Soaking dried fruit adds moisture and makes for easier processing. Simply cover the fruit with water and let sit for at least 2 hours, then drain water. Also, you can substitute any fruit for the apricots..ex. raisins, prunes, pineapple..etc.

Cashew frosting

2 cups soaked cashews*

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Almond milk

- Process all ingredients, adding enough milk to give desired consistency
Soaking nuts makes them easier to break down into a paste. It also makes them easier to digest. Cover them with water, and let them sit for at least 2 hours.

Once your cake layers have sat for a few hours, you are reading to assemble!

The easiest way to frost the cake is with an offset spatula, but any tool for spreading will work.
I used raisins and pecans to decorate, but you can use your imagination!

This is the base recipe, but you can get creative by adding different nuts and fruits to the cake, or spices to the frosting.