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?)
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 Medjool dates
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 3 cups frozen mixed berries (1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup walnuts and process on high until the nuts are finely ground. Add ½ cup cocoa powder and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse to combine.
- Remove the pits from the dates. Turn on the food processor and as it is running, add the dates one at a time. Stop processing once the mixture is crumbly but easily formable. Add ¼ cup slivered almonds and pulse several times to combine.
- In a small square dish, press the brownie mixture into a layer at least 1 inch thick (even if it does not fill the entire dish), or thicker if desired. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, mix 4 cups Greek yogurt, ¼ cup maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- To assemble the parfait, layer yogurt, crumbles of raw brownies, and berry sauce in a tall glass.