Sunday, 27 January 2013

Healthy RockyRoad Brownie

Lavan Style Rocky Road
Adapated from My New Roots: The Raw Brownie

We’ve been following Sarah’s blog for a while now; we love her recipes, her personable style of writing and the oodles of information she provides on nutrition. I first tried making her recipe for her raw brownie last year and was surprised by how simple to make yet tasty AND healthy it was. My boyfriend kept asking “are you sure this is healthy?” because it’s that good. We started a cleanse on Friday and by Sunday we were looking for something to satisfy our sweet tooth without breaking our cleanse. A quick peek on our pinterest board and we settled to make Sarah’s Brownie again; we tweaked the recipe and were blown away, which inspired us to post our recipe here. Our tweak was to add a layer of bananas sandwiched in the middle and another layer of banana on top. The effect was added gooeyness, giving the brownie a Rocky Road texture, a childhood favourite long banished from our diet due to its sky-high processed sugar content. Sarah wrote that her recipe will change your life and we don’t think she was exaggerating, because in this version, you can have your cake and eat it too. We love guilt free food.


2 cups walnuts
2 cups Medjool dates pitted
1 cup raw cacao
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ tsp sea salt
4-6 medium bananas mashed
Freezer friendly container (plastic, baking tin, cupcake pan etc) lined with parchment paper

Feel free to experiment with different nuts and spices, maybe adding layers of desiccated coconut as well!

     1) Using a food processor, blitz the walnuts until they are finely ground. 
2) Add cacao and salt, pulse to combine.
3) Add the dates one at a time while the processor is running. The mixture will resemble cake crumbs, if it doesn’t stick easily together, add more dates.
4) Stir in the almonds with a spoon
5) Our tweak: Tip half of the walnut-cacao mix into your container. Press down with the back of a spoon to pack the mix. On top spread a layer of mashed banana then add the rest of the walnut-cacao mix and press down again with a spoon. You can add another layer of mashed banana on top. (If you like bananas like us, you will be tempted to slap a thick layer on top, resist that urge as it will take longer for it to set)
6) Put it in the freezer for an hour. Take it out and slice into bars, serve with fresh raspberries on top or slice some more bananas.
    Try hard not to gobble it all up in one go, store leftovers in an airtight container, place in the fridge.

We’ve been talking about how good this tastes but the best is yet to come, because now we come on to how nourishing and healthy this is.

Raw Cacao Powder: This should be distinguished from cheaper kind of processed cocoa powder that people use for hot chocolates or baking. We use Sevenhills Organic or Detox your world, both can be found on amazon. Who would have thought that chocolate can be healthy? Bursting with antioxidants, phytochemicals, fibre, minerals and vitamins, the health benefits of cacao have long been recognised and utilised by humans. In fact, the Mayans and Aztecs worshipped the plant that makes cacao, it’s even called “food of the gods”. Modern studies have shown that people who eat dark chocolate regularly are healthier than people who don’t eat chocolate at all (note that I said dark chocolate, because milk and white chocolates have lower levels of chocolate and lots of dairy and fat). It’s the best source of magnesium, a mineral that is needed for a plethora of bodily functions such as your immune system, regulating blood sugar, keeping heart rhythm steady and maintaining muscle and nerve function. It also boasts one of the highest levels of antioxidants found, beating green tea and blueberries. Do you feel happier after eating chocolate? I do! And there’s a scientific reason for it, cacao contains chemicals that when ingested, causes your body to release “feel-good” chemicals such as serotonin and anandamide. That’s a long list of health benefits, as if I needed to convince anyone to like chocolate.

Bananas: Containing lots of Vitamin A (for healthy skin, hair and eyes), B6 (for nerve and muscle function) and Potassium (reduces risk of heart disease and reduces blood pressure) as well as Vitamin C, E and K, magnesium, calcium, fibre, Bananas are healthy and filling. The powerhouse of fruits, it provides an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy, it’s no wonder that it’s a favourite among athletes. Did you know that Bananas can make you feel happier? It contains a protein called tryptophan that your body converts to serotonin which helps you relax and improve your mood. Modern day life is so stressful these days, so we need all the help we can get. Feeling the January blues? Go snack on a Banana!

Dates: Ever since discovering dates about a year ago, I've been using it extensively as an alternative to sugar. It has a rich caramel kind of flavour when cooked and is great used in deserts. Full of fibre, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese and copper, proving yet again that healthy can taste good! 

Almonds: Considered the healthiest of all nuts, it’s a nut after our hearts, literally, due to high levels of monounsaturated fats, magnesium and potassium, it lowers risks of heart diseases. It also contains lots of vitamin E, which is great for lowering cholesterol. It contains calcium, so it's good for keeping your bones strong too. It's also good for preventing colon cancer and diabetes. 

Walnuts: Walnuts are considered as a brain food and they actually look like brains when you crack the shell open. Rich in omega 3, walnuts will help lower bad cholesterol and lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and cancers such as breast, colon and prostate. With the highest levels of antioxidants amongst nuts, and a great source of vitamin E, B-vitamins, manganese, copper and iron, a few a day will do wonders for your health.

Wow, with all that goodness, it's no wonder we feel energised and happy after every bite. With this healthy version up your sleeve, we doubt you'll ever want to buy another commercial brownie that comes in a plastic wrapper again. 


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