My husband is weird. (I say that in the most endearing way.)
I made raw chocolate brownies yesterday and left them out on the kitchen counter. He walked right past them. Who does that??
I, on the other hand, never fail to notice desserts. I’ve got the sweet tooth in the family, and I like to enjoy occasional treats.
But since I do my best to keep refined sugar out of my diet, I’ve learned to make homemade pies, cookies, cakes, and chocolates with natural sweeteners and whole food ingredients. They do not put me on the sugar roller coaster like the refined stuff does, and they satisfy my sweet tooth.
One of my top strategies (I have 16!) to help me stay on track through the sugar-filled holiday season is to say no to anything made with refined sugar and make sure I include some homemade sweet treats in my diet. That way, I cut down on sweets, I don’t let my sugar addiction get the best of me, and I also do not feel at all deprived.
These brownies are part of the strategy. They actually are filled with healthy real-food ingredients that I feel good about eating.
Walnuts -- contain healthy fats, including omega 3 fatty acids, which support your heart and brain and help reduce inflammation
Dates -- a natural sweetener that provides a good source of fiber, magnesium, and potassium. We can't say that for refined sugar.
Cacao -- one of my favorite superfoods, next to kale of course. Cacao powder is pure raw chocolate and contains hundreds of chemical compounds that support your body, including magnesium, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Bring on the chocolate! Cacao powder is the way to get it. Since it is unheated, it preserves the nutrients in a way that heat-processed cocoa powder does not. Plus, just opening the bag and savoring the aroma is magical.
The Raw Chocolate Vanilla Brownies are one of the healthier holiday treats we will be learning to make in my 4-week Healthy Holidays program.
In this program, you'll learn how to make holiday sweets without refined sugar, gluten, or dairy. You'll also learn and practice my 16 strategies for making healthy choices through the holidays so that you feel great in your body.
We'll be eating lots of home-cooked delicious food to stay energized and balanced through the busy holiday season.
Learn more and register here. We get started November 9.
For now, try the brownies. See if your family can walk past them.
Raw Chocolate Vanilla Brownies
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Time: 10 minutes
Put walnuts in food processor and blend until they turn into a powder. Add raw cacao powder, vanilla, and salt and blend. Add dates one at a time through the tube while the processor is running. Add coconut and give it another whirl.
Press into a glass baking dish, cake pan, or candy mold. Refrigerate overnight. Cut and serve.