Are you addicted to sugar?   Can you get through a day without it?    Does your mood change if you don’t get enough?  I am definitely addicted to sugar – I feel the high after I have had my hit and of course then not long after the dreaded low when my energy levels slump and life isn’t so great anymore!   Every morning I get up feeling strong and thinking that this is the first day to a healthier “sugar free me”, and usually my resolve stays strong until about 2pm – and then I start thinking a cup of tea and some chocolate or a biscuit can’t be that bad for me, especially when I have been good all day?   Of course who can stop at one… and then my day spirals out of control from then on and I nibble constantly until dinner.   Do you relate to what I am saying?    Well in an effort to control my sugar addiction I have been researching other healthy alternatives.    I want to recreate the feeling I get from sitting down and having a cup of tea and something sweet but without the nasty side effects.

Irawbrowniesmix was recommended to check out a fantastic Blog called “Oh She Glows – Glow from the Inside Out”.   Oh She Glows is an award-winning recipe blog featuring over 500 healthy recipes that help you make energizing, plant-based meals for you and your family.  A lot of the recipes are gluten-free and many are allergy-friendly too.   I haven’t had a chance to try out many recipes, but because my main focus is finding something healthy to replace my craving for sugar, I did make the Two Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies and OMG they were a taste sensation!   The brownie dough is “protein packed with walnuts, medjool dates and raw cacao powder”, and then to add even more chocolate to the mix, there is a second layer that you pour over which goes hard like chocolate icing – but it is actually a mix of coconut oil and cacao.   I kid you not this rivals the most sugar packed brownies I have ever had, and yet it is actually healthy!

The recipe is listed on the blog, but to save you time (because I know you are desperate to get baking!), I have listed it here.   I have actually made a couple of changes to the recipe because I couldn’t get all the ingredients although I did buy everything from Woolworths – which is another bonus because I who has time to be running from shop to shop getting specialty ingredients?

FOR THE BROWNIES:

  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates (approx. 275g)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
  • heaping 1/4 cup raw walnut pieces

FOR THE HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave nectar for a raw sweetener)
  • small pinch pink Himalayan sea salt (or fine grain sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

veganrawbrownies

Directions:

  1. For the brownie: Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, one piece going each way to make it easy to lift out the brownies later on.
  2. In a food processor, process the walnuts into a fine crumb.
  3. Add the pitted dates and process until finely chopped and sticky..
  4. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and pink salt and process until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir or pulse in the chopped walnuts until just combined.
  6. Evenly press the mixture into prepared square pan until smooth. You can roll it out with a pastry roller until smooth. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. For the chocolate topping: Melt the coconut oil over low heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat and whisk in the cacao powder, syrup, salt, and vanilla until combined and smooth.
  8. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour on the chocolate topping. Spread out evenly. Carefully transfer the pan to the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20 + minutes or until the topping is firm enough to slice
  9. Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (warming up the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).
  10. Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime.

Now I am not claiming that these are low in calories, so you do still need to control yourself – but they are an incredibly satisfying substitute for a sugary snack when you can’t fight the cravings any longer.    Give it a go and let me know what you think.