Brownies, reinvented

Normally, when thinking about brownie ingredients, we think sugar, butter, flour, eggs and of course, chocolate.

But what if you could have the taste and yumminess of brownies without any of these ingredients? What if brownies could be reinvented to the point where they could even be considered healthy? I’m not sure you will believe me before trying out these recipes yourself!

The basics for both the recipes below are the following:

Dates – bring the sweetness without needing to add sugar. Ideal is to use medjool dates, but I have also used normal (organic) dates and they work well too.

Cacao powder – as always, full fat and raw, without added sugar.

Sea salt – I find mixing flavors – in this case sweet and salty – gives a more sophisticated taste.

The final ingredient differs – ground walnuts and almonds or ground cooked quinoa, depending on the recipe.

For both recipes, you will need a good food processor to grind everything into a smooth paste.

RECIPE 1: RAW BROWNIE (recipe here)

This is delicious and doesn’t even need to be baked!

RECIPE 2: BAKED BROWNIE

The main ingredient here is quinoa, a super healthy seed that is cooked and eaten more like a cereal. I actually can’t believe I haven’t done a post on quinoa yet with the amount I eat – especially after the United Nations declared 2013 the Year of Quinoa!

Because the brownies here are baked, they feel much closer on a sensory level to the real thing. Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked quinoa or 3/4 cups dry quinoa

2 cups pitted dates

½ cup cacao powder

pinch of vanilla

pinch of sea salt

4 tbsp melted coconut oil (or other oil)

METHOD:

Soak, then cook the quinoa according to instructions. In a food processor, pulse the quinoa until it is mushy. Add the dates, one by one, until a paste is created. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, sea salt and melted coconut oil. Pulse until everything is consistent.

The batter should be stick – scoop it out into a small baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Let me know your thoughts if you give these a try – I can guarantee you won’t miss the ‘real’ thing!