Raw Vegan desserts often make for the most tantalisingly delectable sweet treats out there.
Without having to contend with baking temperatures, oven times and scientific measurements, raw treats also happen to be some of the easiest recipes to make. They might look complex, but once you get into the swing of making raw desserts you’ll find that they are ridiculously easy.
A food processor does help when making this type of recipe.
You basically need dried fruit and nuts or seeds for a base to form the foundation (into which other superfoods and things can be added).
This recipe benefits from a frosting made with lucuma powder and coconut butter on the top. Note: if you haven’t got coconut butter, then just use creamed coconut instead (which is just as aromatic, creamy and delicious… and is often quite a bit less expensive than coconut butter).
Let’s talk about cacao!
If you’ve spent more than two minutes around me, you will quickly realise that I am a massive cacao fan! Love, love, love the stuff!
It contains heaps of phenylethylamine (not even sure I can pronounce it lol! also called PEA for short), which is known for elevating our mood and giving us that feel good factor we all love so much. Cacao is delightfully rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which are said to have healthy heart benefits (e.g. lowering blood pressure and improving good cholesterol).
Cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium. Magnesium is essential for brain health, the nervous system health and strong bones & teeth. Cacao is good for iron. A big YES from me for cacao.
I am using walnuts in this superfood brownie recipe for three reasons.
- Walnuts blend REALLY easily.
- Walnuts have a gorgeous nutty flavour.
- They are jam-packed with superfood goodness.
Walnuts are omega 3 superheroes. Omega 3 is excellent for heart health, brain function, managing cholesterol levels, and digestive health; and is often lacking in the human diet (whether conventional or plant-based).
Walnuts contain loads of beneficial nutrients, including rare antioxidants and phytonutrients, that aren’t normally found in other foods. They contain phytonutrients such as the tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin (very rare, with invaluable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties). Good stuff my friends!
Lucuma is a magical ingredient.
Lucuma is a fruit, typically found in South America and has a maple/caramel sort of flavour. It works like a dream in desserts, bringing its delectable, gentle, natural sweetness.
In this recipe, I am adding lucuma in its powdered form to bring in a little je ne sais quoi. Nutritionally speaking, this low GI natural sweetener is a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins & minerals. If you don’t have it, just leave it out (no substitution required) and you’ll get a lovely tasting regular raw chocolate instead. If you want to see how I add it to chocolate recipes then check out this page here: Homemade Raw Cacao & Lucuma Chocolate
We start off by making the main part.
I’ve taken a snapshot to show how to do this above. Once we’ve blended up the ingredients, we line a container with baking paper and then compact it down really firmly. ‘Really firmly’ is the trick here, to get it all to hold together. So be sure to spend a little bit of time with this, pressing down until it is packed tightly.
And when they are made, we let them firm up in the fridge and then slice…
I served it to guests on retreat at the Chalice Well and friends in Glastonbury this week and they loved it!
This is a BIG batch for 20 people. Ideal for a party or when you have lots of guests. They also freeze really well, so you might want to make a big batch and then freeze for later. If you want a smaller batch then just half the mixture.
Whatever you do, enjoy!
- 250g sunflower seeds (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 200g walnuts (2 cups)
- 1 heaped tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 200g dates (pitted) (1 cup)
- 200g raisins (1 1/4 cups)
- 6 tablespoons cacao power
- 2 tablespoons raw coconut oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g coconut butter (or creamed coconut block) (3/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons lucuma powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Soak the dates for an hour (or more) in advance if they are hard. Dates do vary a lot, so use your own judgement on this.
- Grind the sunflower seeds in a food processor, into a rustic 'meal' (i.e. roughly ground, with some chunks, some finer ground seeds).
- Get a mixing bowl and add the ground seeds, walnuts, dates, raisins, cinnamon, cacao powder, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix briefly with a spoon.
- Take the mixture and blend in a food processor in batches. The number of batches will depend on the size and strength of your food processor. I use a large Magimix so two batches does the trick for me with this quantity, but if I use a different food processor, I'll need several batches.
- Blend until it starts sticking together. Test with your finger and thumb. If you can compress the mixture and it sticks together nicely, it's good.
- Line a container (I used one that was size 24 x 24cm or just under 10 x 10 inches) with parchment paper.
- Compact the mixture down really firmly into your parchment paper lined tin or container. Compacting firmly is important, as this is what holds it together. I use the either my hands or the back of a metal spoon (or both). Spend some time with this until you are happy it is compressed as much as possible (see also my photo above for compressing).
- For the topping... Melt 200g of coconut butter (or one full block of creamed coconut). You can do this by filling a small pan with about 3 cm (an inch) of water, heating up the water on the stove and placing a heat proof bowl over it. The coconut butter will melt. If you live in a hot country or your kitchen is hot, then it may have already melted ahead of time.
- Once melted, add the lucuma powder and the maple syrup. This topping mixture might start to become 'claggy' at this stage. Just make sure everything is mixed in and it will be fine.
- When mixed put this topping on top of the brownie base as follows... Spoon the topping on top of the brownie base. It may stick together in one big lump. Spread it evenly, as best you can, until the whole brownie is evenly covered. If it is sticking together, USE YOUR HANDS rather than a spoon. The heat of your hands will warm the topping and making it softer. Just press and smooth it. You will also be able to push it about, to spread evenly with your hands (I do find it easier with my hands). This may take a few minutes, so be patient.
- Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour and then serve.
- This recipe also freezes really well and is good for months.
Please note: The cup measurements are approximate. For accuracy, please use kitchen weighing scales.
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