I joined The Secret Recipe Club at the end of May, which was too late to participate in June, so I was super eager to finally get my assignment for July. In this club, each month the participating bloggers make a recipe from another participant’s blog. The blog is assigned secretly and at random, so no one else knows who’s making something from their blog that month. I found the whole idea really fun and exciting! (Don’t judge me.)
I was assigned to make a recipe from Ginger Lemon Girl’s blog, and my first reaction was a mixture of both trepidation and anticipation. Carrie follows a gluten-free diet, and since I don’t have any dietary restrictions, I wasn’t sure if the recipes would appeal to me, but I knew I could adapt them if necessary and was ready for the challenge. Once I started browsing her archives, I quickly realized that her recipes were good, wholesome foods that anyone could enjoy, and some of them were naturally gluten-free because no flour was involved. Like this one!
I made the recipe as it was written the first time (pictured above) and really liked it (maybe that’s an understatement, seeing as how I ate half the batch the first day!), though adding as much agave nectar to sweeten them as I liked (2 T) made them too soft for me. I wanted them chewier and a little sweeter (i.e. more dates!). I also wanted more of the chocolate dough so that it would completely cover the bottom of a loaf pan. The first batch, spreading it to the thickness I wanted, filled only 2/3 of the bottom of the pan. So I took Carrie’s rockin’ recipe and tweaked it a bit, and couldn’t help adding some mini chocolate chips to make them doubly chocolatey! The chocolate chips only add 16 calories per Brownie Bite and don’t change the points, so I really recommend you put them over the top to make these bites, well, over the top. :)
For those unfamiliar with raw desserts, they are a lot like Larabars, but better (at least I think these are). If you’ve never had those either, now’s your chance to see what all the fuss is about. This isn’t like eating a candy bar or any sort of processed sweet, because it’s all-natural, raw, and much healthier (not to mention allergy-friendly), but they are very good! I bet even your kids will love them. Give them a try and see if you don’t agree.
Raw Double Chocolate Brownie Bites
1 cup pitted dates
1 1/3 cups raw nuts (I used 2/3 cups each almonds & pecans)
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon Fleur de Sel or kosher salt
~or ¼ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Soak the dates in a bowl of hot tap water for five minutes; drain well. (Skip the soaking step if you are using Medjool dates.) In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, grind the nuts until very fine. Add the drained dates, cocoa powder, and salt. Process for a minute or two, until nuts are very fine and the mixture sticks together quite easily, if it’s not already coming together in the bowl. With the food processor running, add the vanilla through the feed tube and continue processing until the mixture starts to form a ball. Just run it for another 10-30 seconds and if it doesn’t form a ball, check the consistency and see if it will stick together when pinched. If not, add a teaspoon of water and continue processing, adding more water if necessary (it shouldn’t be) until the mixture is sticky. Pat the chocolate dough into a loaf pan. It is OK if oil separates a little and forms a layer on top; it will soak back down into the brownie dough while it sits in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and pat them down into the surface so that they will stick. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cut into 18 squares (6 rows x 3 rows) and enjoy cold.
Makes 18 Brownie Bites
Per Brownie Bite: 107 calories; 7 g fat; 1.1 g saturated fat; 1.6 g polyunsaturated fat; 3.8 g monounsaturated fat; 0 g cholesterol; 33.2 mg sodium; 151 mg potassium; 12 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g fiber; 2.1 g protein; Vitamin B-6 2%; Vitamin E 8%; Calcium 2.2%; Copper 10%; Iron 4%; Magnesium 8.4%; Manganese 21.3%; Phosphorous 5.6%; Riboflavin 3.6%; Thiamin 3.3%; Zinc 3.6% 3 Points Plus
Recipe source: adapted from Ginger Lemon Girl