There are few recipes we make more than once, but raw brownies are one of them. They’re so deliciously fudge-y, it’s hard to remember they’re made only of natural ingredients: dates, cocoa powder, nuts. Quite magical, really.
My mom has been a passionate fan ever since we introduced her to raw brownies. She generally keeps a pan in the freezer so she can easily whip up creative desserts for guests, dousing them in chocolate sauce and topping with fruit. When we visited this winter, she created a delicious parfait with crumbled brownies that we just had to share.
This is a “healthy dessert” with no sacrifice on taste or satisfaction. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and dates, it’s also gluten-free with no baking required. We’ve used frozen berries since we’re currently in the dead of winter, but combined with a bit of fresh lemon juice and just a bit of maple syrup, the fruit is reminiscent of summer (which can’t come soon enough!).
We love occasional dessert splurges, but generally after a meal we spring for: 1. Dark chocolate 2. A “healthy” dessert option. There’s some kind of creative challenge that we enjoy about coming up with sweet finishes that are light and wholesome. What are your favorite “healthy” desserts? (And is there a better term for this concept, since “healthy” sounds more like desserts full of celery and carrots?)
- For the brownies:
- 1 cup walnuts (unsalted)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 12 Medjool dates
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- For the sauce:
- 3 cups frozen mixed berries (1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- For the yogurt:
- 4 cups Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Remove the pits from the dates.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place 1 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground. Add ½ cup cocoa powder and ⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt. Pulse to combine.
- Turn on the food processor. As the processor is running, add the dates one at a time. Once all the dates have been added, the mixture should be crumbly but easily formable. Add the almonds and pulse several times to combine.
- In a small, square dish, press the dough into the desired thickness (press it into the desired shape, even if it does not fill the entire pan). Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
- For the sauce, place 3 cups frozen berries, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoon maple syrup in a skillet over medium heat. Stir for several minutes until fruit is thawed. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water, then pour into skillet and heat until the sauce is thickened.
- For the yogurt, add ¼ cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla to 4 cups Greek yogurt; stir to combine.
- For the parfait, layer yogurt, crumbles of raw brownie, and berry sauce in a tall glass.