Thursday, December 6, 2012

Raw Vegan Brownies with a Peanut Butter-Banana Frosting (Grain Free, Gluten Free)


You will love these nutrient-packed beauties!

Full of wholesome ingredients, they turn traditional brownies into a powerhouse of goodness without compromising taste.  In fact, they are more like a quality energy bar in nutrient value than anything else and would work well as a loaded breakfast bite on-the-go.

These brownies are fully adaptable which means that you can substitute whatever nut or fruit filling you wish.  Play around with different combinations and see what suits you best.  You will simply want to be mindful of the dry to wet ratios to ensure that the brownie base sticks together.

Because these brownies are highly concentrated in nutrients, a small square goes a long way.  Enjoy!


Raw Vegan Brownies with a Peanut Butter-Banana Frosting

For the Brownies:
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, or pitted dates 
  • 1 cup dried cherries, or dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, or nut of choice
  • 1 cup raw pistachios, or nut of choice
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (left out at room temp to melt)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder

For the Frosting:
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup natural just nuts raw peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder 



Notes:

These brownies do best stored in the freezer.  You can eat them right from the freezer as well as they will never freeze solid.  If you leave them out at room temperature, the frosting will start to melt.
The frosting will solidify (and become darker) when the brownies are left in the freezer for over an hour or so - I couldn't wait that long!!


Directions:

Makes 24 squares.

In a blender or food processor, combine prunes, cherries, walnuts, pistachios, coconut oil and ¼ cup cocoa powder.  Process until the brownie mixture is well blended (you will still see flecks of nuts - very pretty! - but the fruit should be well broken down).  The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed between your fingers.  If it doesn't, you can add a little bit more coconut oil, olive oil, or smooth nut butter for binding. 



Line a baking pan (roughly 6 1/2 x 10) with parchment or wax paper and then spread the brownie mixture overtop, distributing as evenly as possible.  Using a small roller or the back of a spoon, press down gently to pack.




Sprinkle peanuts over the brownie layer, pressing down gently on them to set into the mixture.



Using the same blender or food processor, add: vanilla, banana, peanut butter, maple syrup and cocoa powder until mixture is well blended and the frosting develops a nice creamy texture.



Spread frosting over brownie layer, spreading it out to distribute evenly.




Place pan in freezer for about 45 minutes to one hour until mixture has set.

Remove pan from freezer and, using both sides of wax or parchment paper, pull brownie slab out of the pan.




Cut slab into 24 squares and store in freezer.

18 comments:

  1. I love these bars. I basically live off of them.

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  2. Are they really healthy, nutritious and in general good for me? In spite of being sticky, rich, chewy and looking like the best brownies in the world? And they don't even require baking! I am scared to think what would happen if I made these brownies... I would quickly convince myself that they are 100% harmless and end up having them after every meal (and between!). They are extremely festive with all the nuts and dried fruits too. In short, I love them!

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  3. Kelly I am just drooling over these amazing raw brownies!! Love all the substitution options, too!!

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  4. I am trying to make similar sugar-free bars that don't need to be placed in the freezer and so can go to work with me. I think I have it sussed out and will be doing them this weekend.

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  5. Mandy - The Complete Cook BookDecember 7, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    Throw in a cup of tea and I will have the perfect afternoon.
    :-) Mandy

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  6. Agree, they are very festive, perfect for this time of the year!

    BTW, are you left-handed or were you spreading the frosting with one hand while taking the photo with the other? (that would be enough to leave me in complete awe, if I attempted to try that trick there would be nasty consequences and a new camera acquisition in the horizon)

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  7. Yes, right handed, spreading with the left and clicking with the right - makes for an awkward photo indeed ;0) - too funny! - I don't have any hand models on week days! (the weekends are too frantic here to attempt posts :).

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  8. Looking forward to seeing your method for sure!

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  9. Haha, everything in moderation indeed. The good news is that there are 24 servings here - each coming in under 200 calories - so actually very reasonable for a snack and unheard of for a dessert! But yes, if you gobble 5 at once, maybe a little on the excessive side ;0).

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  10. These sound so so good! But I think the frosting takes the cake (or the frosting?!). I would seriously eat that by the spoonful ;)

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  11. Another home run, Kelly, these are not only so delicious and soft and chewy looking but they are healthy too. Particularly this time of year when we're OD'ing on sugary sweets and fatty savouries. I will make these for sure...stay tuned for my surprise 'take' on them.
    Such an impressive treat.

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  12. I can't believe these are raw Kelly - they look so... for want of a better word, "baked" (in a good way!). I'd try a combination of prunes and dates I think instead of just one. I've never been a huge fan of dates, but I find their consistency excellent for things like this, so the prunes would do a great job at offsetting the flavour a bit.

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  13. The peanuts were a pleasant surprise as well as these being no bake! I really like the combination of dates and cranberries. I'm not a fan of dried cherries. I find them way too tart for my tastes. However, I do Love fresh cherries. Anyhoo, these do look like delicious and as always, healthy little treats!

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  14. I should make these for my friend for the holidays. She's always having a hard time finding good gluten free dessert options. I love the touch of color in these too. Very pretty. Maybe I'll whip some up for her for Christmas. :)

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  15. I am diggin' the pistachios PLUS that frosting! Raw, vegan, or not. It looks delicious!

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  17. Ooh Kelly, these are amazing. I love the combination of ingredients, a flourless brownie but so full of flavor. The frosting could really be used on so many other desserts too. We could all use a few healthy desserts during this holiday season!

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!