Smart Brownies

The raw food diet is attractive to me because I’ve always loved fruits and veggies. Raw food recipes also incorporate herbs and spices that have many health benefits and create delicious flavors. You wouldn’t believe how creative you could get with foods in their natural form. Instead of cooking food, there is preparation, mixing and blending involved. Pots and pans are substituted with blenders, food processors, juicers and dehydrators. These kitchen tools do slightly heat the food, but the raw food rule is not to heat it over 115 degrees if you would like to follow the diet strictly.

I’m not planning on becoming a raw foodist. I’m a chef that loves to cook. But I will tell you that I do incorporate more raw foods in my diet today. The easiest ways have been to juice and make raw smoothies for breakfast and incorporate raw side dishes into my lunch and dinners. I’ve gone all out and made a full meal of raw tacos and have enjoyed raw pizza, raw falafel and even raw chili at a few fantastic raw cafes.

The most impressive raw foods that I’ve seen and tasted are raw desserts. I’ve been wooed and wowed at how traditional desserts can be duplicated with similar flavors using foods with nutritional value. You don’t need flour, sugar or butter to make dessert; instead you can use healthy ingredients like nuts, dates, coconut, and even avocados!

This is the first raw chocolate dessert that I’ve made. Raw cacao powder is used (ground cacao nibs) which is basically pure chocolate before sugar is added. If you’ve ever tasted it, it’s unbearably bitter. Luckily when you blend it with natural sweeteners such as dates, along with vanilla flavors and spices, it becomes irresistibly decadent and addicting! You may be surprised to know that cacao is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and a great source of magnesium, iron and vitamin c. It will give you a better feeling when choosing this brownie over a traditional brownie. It’s a smarter way to satisfy your sweet tooth!

This recipe was adapted from, a fantastic website that you should definitely explore. I put my own twist on this recipe. It’s ridiculously easy to make and I think you will love it. The only adjustment that you may want to make is to add more almonds if you prefer a nuttier brownie.  A huge advantage to making raw desserts is you can alter the taste to your liking because all of the ingredients are edible. No baking involved! You can also store them in the freezer for weeks.

This recipe inspired me to make my very own creations that I can’t wait to share with you. My raw food creative juices are flowing and I am excited to incorporate more raw dishes into my diet. Enjoy these smart brownies and smile.


CookingwithMelody.com_Smart Brownies

CookingwithMelody.com_Smart Brownies

Smart Brownies

These dense rich tasting brownies will satisfy your sweet tooth and actually have nutritional value from raw cacao, nuts, dates and spices. It’s a smart brownie! Beware they are addicting!


2 cups raw Walnuts, sprouted recommended
2 ½ cups Medjool Dates, pitted
1 cup raw Cacao + additional for dusting
¼ teaspoon ground Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoon raw Vanilla Powder (raw Vanilla Bean or Pure Vanilla Extract may be substituted to taste)
½ cup roughly chopped raw Almonds, sprouted recommended

Special Equipment: 8x8 Baking Dish (preferably glass)


Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add cacao, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and pulse to combine. Gradually add the dates in small amounts while machine is running. The mixture should easily stick together. If needed add more dates. Combine the mixture with the chopped almonds in an 8x8-baking dish then press evenly into the pan. Cover and refrigerate until very cold (overnight is best) and cut into preferred sized squares. Dust with sifted cocoa powder and serve.

*Store brownies in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Makes 12-16 Brownies

Download Recipe (PDF)






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