Raw Fig and Walnut Brownies
I don’t know about you, but if one word could describe my holidays, this word would be: decadence. Honestly, it was quite a cooking and eating marathon! From vegan mushroom and cashew stuffing, to vegan “meat pie,” chocolate hazelnut mousse torte, snickerdoodle cookies, almond chocolate biscottis, vegan beet wellington, mushroom “sausage” rolls to black forest vegan cheesecake, this holiday's foods were, I must admit, some of the best I have ever made. With all this indulgence, when January 2nd hit, I told myself I had to get back on track (yep, I wrote 2nd, because you know, on the 1st I was still eating leftover cake, cookies and wellington!).
Don’t get me wrong, I am not the type of person to start dieting – I love my sweets and grains. So rather than cutting out all the stuff I love to eat, I just decided to focus more on eating whole foods. What does that mean exactly? Well it means that I decided to replace white flour with whole wheat, brown rice, oat, spelt or buckwheat flour. It also means instead of snacking on commercial Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, they would be swapped with homemade granola. Lastly, it means that desserts have to be more wholesome, made with nuts and seeds, sweetened with natural sweeteners (e.g. dates, maple syrup...), but can absolutely include dark chocolate.
This new resolution meant that because I love desserts and sweet snacks so much, I had to replace my cookie habit (yep, I had formed one between Christmas and New Years), with one that was more in line with my health goals.
That is how I came up with these raw fig brownies. Most of you have probably come across a recipe for a raw brownie before. They are usually made with dates and nuts and have a creamy ganache. I wanted to try creating something similar but with a food that I do not usually cook with and that has amazing health benefits, which is why I chose dried figs as the base of my brownie. Figs are super high in fibre, contain calcium, iron & potassium. By combining them with raw cacao powder and walnuts, these brownies are an antioxidant powerhouse!
Not only are these chocolaty squares really good for you and super easy to make, but they are also incredibly tasty. They are chewy, slightly crunchy because of the tiny seeds in the figs, deliciously rich and not too sweet. The crunchy dark chocolate topping adds that extra touch of richness that every brownie needs in my opinion and the green pistachios really make the brownie pop, while also adding some awesome nutritional benefits to this raw dessert.
I love having them right after a meal for dessert, or as snacks throughout the day when I am craving something sweet. They pair beautifully with an unsweetened black tea or dark roast coffee.
So come on guys, give these brownies a try and let me know how you find them. I would really love to hear your comments + feel free to share your new year resolutions down in the comments.
Raw Fig and Walnut Brownies
prep time (excluding soaking and refrigeration time): 10 minutes
cooking time: -
total time: 10 minutes
yield: 15-20 squares
1 cup toasted walnuts
400g dried figs
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt
40g of dark chocolate (70% or more)
2 tbsp chopped toasted pistachios
Boil 4 cups of water. Transfer to a large heat proof bowl. Add dried figs and cover with a plate. Let sit to soften for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, drain the water, trying to get rid of as much water as possible. Set aside.
In a food processor, process the toasted walnuts until a coarse meal is form, leaving a few larger walnut pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
Without cleaning the food processor, add the figs and process until a paste is formed. Add cacao powder and salt. Process until incorporated.
Add the walnuts back in and pulse until incorporated.
Line a square 8”x8” pan with parchment paper. Transfer the brownie mixture and using a spatula or your hands, press the mixture down to flatten. Dip your hands or spatula in a bit of water if the mixture starts sticking to your hands.
Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour.
After freezing, line a large plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the brownie into even pieces and arrange on the parchment-lined dish.
Over a double boiler, melt dark chocolate. Transfer to a small Ziploc bag, cut off the tip and use it to drizzle the melted dark chocolate over your brownies. Top with chopped pistachios.
Transfer in the fridge to set. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.