Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Sweet potato lovers, rejoice. These brownies are phenomenal, if I may do a #humblebrag. And they're basically a health food, so you can eat it like you would salad. I think. If you're trying to eat more raw foods, you may also rejoice because the brownie base itself is raw. The frostings are not raw, but you could make the chocolate frosting raw and omit the purple sweet potato frosting (but they won't be as colorful!). To make the chocolate frosting raw, make the following substitutions:
- Substitute unrefined coconut oil for the Nutiva shortening (though I'm not 100% if the Nutiva shortening, made with organic palm fruit oil, organic unrefined red palm oil, and organic unrefined virgin coconut oil isn't raw. If you know the answer, let me know!)
- Stick to the raw cacao powder instead of dark chocolate
- Instead of the maple syrup, use raw honey (not vegan) or raw agave syrup. You can also use a few dates that have been pulsed into a paste using a food processor.
You're also probably wondering what in the world is Nutiva shortening. As I mentioned above, it's a mix of organic palm oil and coconut oil, both of which are high in medium-chain fatty acids. Studies show that incorporating medium-chain fatty acids into one's diet can aid in weight loss and control, cause you to feel full more quickly, and increase your energy expenditure. Again, this proves my point that these brownies are a health food. A side bonus is that, unlike a lot of other specialty vegan or paleo products, this Nutiva shortening is so inexpensive. A 15 ounce tub sells for just $5 on Amazon.
Now that I've finished my unsolicited advertising for Nutiva, all I really want to say is that these brownies are outrageously good and I hope you try them!
Raw Vegan Brownies
Raw, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free
- 3/4 cup raw walnuts + additional 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 cup of almond flour (or make your own)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
- 12 ounces of Deglet Nour dates, pitted
- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/8 cup raw almonds, chopped
- Raw cacao nibs and flaked sea salt for serving
- Line an 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper, with ends hanging over sides of the pan.
- Using a food processor, ground the walnuts very finely.
- Add the almond flour, cacao powder, and sea salt to the food processor and pulse until combined.
- Finally, add the dates and process until mixture becomes a sticky dough.
- Transfer dough to the parchment paper-lined pan. It will be very sticky!
- Top with 1/8 cup of the additional walnuts and 1/8 cup of almonds.Using your hands and/or a rubber spatula, press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan until it is flat and firm.
- Refrigerate brownies for 1-2 hours.
- Frost brownies with chocolate frosting and then purple sweet potato frosting. Top with reserved 1/8 cup chopped walnuts, a sprinkling of raw cacao nibs, and a pinch or two of flaked sea salt.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free
- 1/2 cup Nutiva shortening (can substitute solid coconut oil)
- 4-5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, or 2 ounces of dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of canned coconut milk
- Using a hand blender or stand mixer, whip the shortening and coconut milk together.
- Then add the cacao powder (or melted dark chocolate), and maple syrup. Beat on medium or high speed until you reach a frosting-like consistency.
Sweet Potato Frosting
Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free
- 5-6 very small purple sweet potatoes (approximately 10-12 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons of canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of Nutiva shortening (can substitute solid coconut oil)
- 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap sweet potatoes individually in aluminum foil. Bake potatoes on a baking tray for approximately 45 minutes until completely soft.
- Once slightly cooled, remove potato from skins and place into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes.
- Then add coconut milk, shortening, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat on medium or high speed until you reach a smooth, creamy frosting-like consistency.