Mmm, rich, chocolatey brownies. What if I told you that behind the rich and chocolatey taste, there was no sugar, no oil, no flour, no butter, and no eggs? (Therefore making these brownies gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and all-natural.) What if I told you they were made only of things that were actually good for you – natural foods that contain important nutrients? And what if I told you that they require no baking, and actually take only about 5 minutes to whip up?
If you told me these things, I’d say you’d found the perfect dessert.
I must admit, I was skeptical at first. (Especially since the original recipe over at My New Roots claimed it would change my life.) However, after one taste of the chocolatey dough, I was a believer! I am still amazed that the combination of Medjool dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder can transform into a fudge-y “brownie” that is just as satisfying as the real thing.
Once you’ve tried them yourself, test them out on your family and friends (and make them guess the magical ingredients)! We did, and I think it’s safe to say they received rave reviews. So are they dessert perfection? Pretty darn close for us – not only do they make up for my lack of baking skills, they are all natural and thus totally guilt-free! Let us know if you too become a believer in this new kind of treat!
Looking for more healthy desserts?
Want other ideas for healthy desserts? Here are a few of our favorite healthy desserts on A Couple Cooks:
- Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Tahini No Bake Vegan Cookies
- All Natural Strawberry Yogurt Pie
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, naturally sweetPrint
The original recipe called for raw cacao powder which wasn’t easily accessible to us, so we substituted cocoa powder with good results. However, no substitutions with the dates! Medjool dates are a type of date that is exceptionally large and sweet; it is important to find the real thing for this recipe. We were able to find them sold in bulk at our local grocery; they are also available for sale online. If you can’t imagine a dessert without chocolate, you could add a few dark chocolate chips if you’d like, or top with a bit of sea salt if you prefer the sweet / salty combination.
- 1 1/4 cups Medjool dates (about 12)
- 1/4 cup almonds (unsalted)
- 1 cup walnuts (unsalted)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- Remove the pits from the dates. Chop the almonds.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place 1 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground.
- Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/8 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 (it may form into a ball depending on how long you process it). Throw in the almonds and pulse a couple times to combine (if a ball has formed, you can also mix in the almonds in a bowl).
- Form the brownies: Line a small square dish with wax paper and press into the desired thickness (don’t worry if it does not fill the entire pan; the brownies are easy to shape). Alternatively, press the brownies into a mini-muffin tin or other mold. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up; they can easily be cut when cold.
- To serve, dust with cinnamon. (You also could add a bit of cinnamon to the brownie dough if desired.)
Adapted from My New Roots
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.