I use only four ingredients – walnuts, cacao, dates and vanilla. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats which may improve brain health and prevent heart disease. I’ve spoken about the benefits of eating good quality dark chocolate before, and raw cacao powder is just as nutritious. Cacao is loaded with antioxidants (one of the highest sources along with blueberries and walnuts), as well as iron, copper and magnesium which are essential for energy metabolism (the process of generating energy). Feel free to substitute some of the walnuts for ground almonds, or you could use a combination of your favourite nuts. Replacing the vanilla powder with a tablespoon of good quality espresso powder is another very popular option!
Makes: 15 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Rating: Simple
Nutrition: approx.193 calories per serving. Source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, iron, magnesium
- 150g pitted dates (try to use preservative-free dates)
- 300g raw walnuts (plus 15g extra for topping – optional)
- 70g raw cacao powder (plus a little extra for dusting – optional)
- 15g dark chocolate drops (optional, replace with 15g walnuts if not using)
- 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla powder
- Tip the dates into a heatproof bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soak for ten minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile pulse the walnuts, cacao powder and vanilla in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
- Once the dates have softened drain off the water and add them to the food processor. Pulse the mixture again a few times until a dough forms.
- Tip the mixture onto the lined baking tray and press out into the corners. To even out the top place a sheet of parchment on top of the mixture and use a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to smooth out the mixture.
- Refrigerate for about an hour to set before slicing into squares. Press some chopped walnuts on top of each brownie and dust lightly with a little cacao powder or some cinnamon.
Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist*
* Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.