Traditional chocolate brownies require an oven and a fair bit of sugar and butter with perhaps a few chocolate chunks thrown in for good measure. These raw chocolate brownie hearts have all the yumminess of a cooked brownie but they require no cooking, are super easy to make and are much better for you.
The sugars in these brownies take the forms of maple syrup (which is not raw but rich in minerals), Medjool dates and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower GI than refined sugar, helping to level out blood sugars and the body to be able to metabolise fat more efficiently.
Coconut sugar, if you’ve never used it before, is sometimes called coconut palm sugar. It has a beautiful molasses-like flavour, a little like muscovado sugar and comes from the sap of the coconut tree. Coconut palm sugar is not to be confused with palm sugar which is made from a different type of palm tree.
Let's be honest about it. All decent brownies should contain a fair amount of chocolate and I think that this is pretty non-negotiable. I like to use raw cacao powder (which is unroasted) but a good quality, strong cocoa powder will also work in terms of flavour.
I also use raw chocolate bars in my brownies and as luck would have it, I have just produced a raw bean to raw bar fine chocolate in collaboration with Mayhawk Artisan Chocolate, so I happen to have a few bars of the 71% plain laying around the house. Chocolate can be made from either using melted cocoa mass or produced straight from the bean, and ours uses the latter technique.
Raw chocolate, or cacao as it is often called in raw food circles, is full of antioxidants but when the bean is roasted it loses many of these. It is then called cocoa rather than cacao. So, if you are looking for a super nutritious brownie, do ensure that your ingredients include a good quality chocolate bar (either raw or roasted), which isn’t laden with refined sugar and has a very short list of ingredients.