Sunday, March 11, 2012

Raw Vegan Brownies

Last weekend I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Mega Conference in Long Beach along with 4,000 other Certified Holistic Health Coach’s. I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing, inspiring community of professionals dedicated to helping others through whole-foods nutrition, natural health and healing. Some CHHC’s own wellness centers or restaurants while others have created and sell a whole-foods product. In fact, I met one woman who was selling a few of her delicious creations during lunch. I opted to try her raw organic brownie and it was wonderful!

The only negative thing I have to say about this brownie is that it’s so good that it’ll leave you wanting more! This entire week I have been thinking about this brownie and finally decided to re-create something like it. I tossed in a few of my favorite things and voila! While it’s not exactly the same, it too is delicious!

You will see that one ingredient I have listed is called Maca. Maca is actually a root, and medicinal herb, that grows high in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It is an Adaptogen and a SUPERFOOD (a.k.a., nutrient dense food) that provides your beautiful-self nourishment and healing! This root contains almost 60 phytonutrients and helps to rebuild the immune system and increase endurance, energy and stamina. I’ll let you in on a little secret, Maca is also known to be a “love” enhancer because this special root increases libido. Ooh la la!

1 cup of organic raw walnuts
1 cup of Medjool dates (pits removed)
5 heaping tablespoons of raw organic cocoa powder (or whatever unsweetened cocoa you can find at your market)
1 tablespoon of coconut manna or butter
2 tablespoons of unsweetened raw coconut shavings
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 teaspoon Maca powder (optional)
1/3 cup of raw cacao nibs (optional)

Add the walnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender and process until the nuts have turned into a fine powder. Make sure you don’t process too long or you’ll end up with walnut butter.

Next add the pitted dates to the walnut powder and continue to process until you have a thick paste. Toss in all the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the cacao nibs, and process again. You should have a thick chocolatey mixture. Toss in the cacao nibs and stir.

Transfer the mixture to an 8x8 baking pan (lined with parchment paper). Use your “clean” hands and begin to press the mixture down until it evenly covers the pan. Place the brownies in the fridge for one hour, cut and serve!

* Keep brownies in the fridge if you don’t finish them immediately J


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