27. März 2013

Date-studded Mini Brownies

New foods always amaze me. They actually make me behave like a three-year-old that just got the doll she ever wanted to have so badly. Oh well. I think there is nothing I freak out about more than new foods. First time I had oatmilk? Total freakout because it tasted like heaven. First time I had kale? Did a happy dance in front of the stove. Burned the kale while doing it. That's me.
What makes me wonder sometimes, is the way we change over the years. Our bodys, mind, feelings, cravings, tastes. They all change.
I often find myself raving about certain foods and at the same time my mind says: "Stopp. Didn't you use to hate that?" Me:" I guess you are right, mind." We talk about dates here.
Not blind-dates or coffee-dates with your best friend. Dates. The fruit. This wrinkled, purple, (tofu-)sausage-shaped fruit that sneeks into many oriental dishes and creates the wonderful honey-like sweetness that brings the dish to the next level. 
At least that's what I am thinking now. A few yeras ago I was having dates for the first time around Christmas
. In Germany dried fruits are very popular around Christmas. Baked as bread, covered in chocolate...I always prefered the bread version. Dates on their own just tasted way too sweet for my liking. But since I have been diagnosed with some kind of a sugar intolerance, I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. And what does a sugar-graving gal like me do when the desire for soemthing sweet hits? Go and have some dates.
Contrary to my opinion a few years ago, I now adore dates and every dried fruit on the planet. I even might be keen enough to say that dates are my favorite.
There flesh is soft with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. When chewing the dates properly, they develop a lovely honey flavour that is just too good to be true!
They make a perfect mid-afternoon snack and are versatile enough to become your best baking friend.
This is the first recipe I have ever used dates in and I think it worked out fabulous.If you prefer other dried fruits feel free to replace the dates with any fruit you prefer. Maybe leave a comment to let us know how it worked out!
These brownies are alomst raw, but I am by no means an expert. I used regular cacao, but if you replace it by raw cacao (so expensive, ooohh), they should suit a raw vegan diet.
Serve with a cold glass of oat milk and enjoy as an indulgent but epowering snack all week long.
I promise that you won't miss the real thing. These brownies make a perfect healthy alternative to their sugar-and-butter-loaded siblings.

Ingredients (Makes10 Mini-Brownies):

1 cup sunflower seeds
½ vanilla bean
1 ½ cup soft, pitted dates
2-3 Tbsp cacao powder, more for garnish
Pinch Fleur de Sel or sea salt
A big handful of walnuts, roughly chopped

Process the sunflower seeds until finely ground. Use a food processor or Vitamix.
Add salt, cacao and the vanilla seeds and pulse to combine.
Keep on processing while adding the dates until a crumbly dough forms. The dough should be sticky enough to hold together when pressed together with two fingers. If it is still to crumbly, add more dates until you reach desired consistency.
Fold in walnuts with a spoon.
Spread dough into a small rectangle paking pan (approx. 10x20cm). Don’t forget to line the pan with a piece of parchment paper!
Place into the fridge for at least 1 hour and garnish with additional cacao powder before serving. Cut into 10 small pieces and enjoy!

Store in the fridge for up to a week.

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