Turning over a new brownie

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Hello there! It’s been awhile. Since I last posted, I started graduate studies in speech-language pathology, and I am happy to report that it’s wonderful! But it is far more stressful than I anticipated it would be. Clearly, my attendance on this blog does not indicate that I have been particularly successful at balancing school and real life, and reaffirms my ongoing mission to maintain a well-balanced life.

This past quarter, I’ve found myself sheepishly retreating to the frozen food aisles of grocery stores more often than I wish to admit. While I spent much of my free time last year carefully selecting my groceries and organizing well-balanced meals, I spend more of my time now thinking about how quickly I can get a semi-decent meal on the table and wolfing it down before studying.

A couple of weeks ago, after a particularly guilty and embarrassing day of quick, store-bought food, Geoff and I both decided to turn over a new leaf in our diets and be more intentional with what we eat. Let me just say that despite this 11 o’clock revelation, it is hard to realistically wean oneself off a revolving door of daily scones and creamy espresso beverages, especially when one’s academic building is a 30 second walk from four coffee shops. I am only human, after all!

So when I came across — and more importantly, tasted — this raw brownie recipe, I fell in love. Now this is a brownie that I can get behind! It’s rich in chocolate, but full of nuts and dates to provide sustainable energy throughout the day. And it contains no added sugar! Have a brownie for breakfast! As a mid-morning snack! A mid-afternoon snack! Dessert! This fits all of the bills.

All of this post’s beautiful pictures are courtesy of Geoff, photographer extraordinaire!

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Raw brownies
Slightly adapted from My New Roots’ Raw Brownie

2 cups walnuts
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
Up to 1/4 cup water
1 cup slivered almonds

In a food processor, pulse walnuts until fine. Add cocoa powder and salt and pulse until well-mixed. Add dates and pulse until mixture is homogeneously ground and sticky. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture appears as though it can be pressed together and hold its shape (you may not use the full 1/4 cups of water). Empty contents of your food processor into your baking or serving dish of choice (I used a 11” x 7” glass baking dish). Mix in slivered almonds until well-distributed, and press brownie mixture firmly into the pan. Eat immediately for a softer brownie or refrigerate brownies with a foil tent to harden.

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