To my father’s dismay, I became a vegetarian very early on in life. My dad is an avid hunter and my family is predominantly a “meat and potatoes” style household. Not only do they raise their own cattle for beef, but there are several ominous deer heads mounted on the living room walls of the house I grew up in—no joke. Originally fueled by my love for animals, and perhaps a gleam of teenage angst, I became a vegetarian at fifteen. I continued to modify my diet throughout the years, shifting between variations of veganism, vegetarianism, and pescetarianism. What initially began as a social statement developed into an exploration of personal health.
It wasn’t until last year that I began incorporating raw food into my diet. When I decided to go on a month long raw feast this summer, the changes I noticed were incredible. I had more energy, I slept better, my skin cleared up, and I had so much FUN experimenting with a new way of eating. Since then, eating raw has become a regular part of my diet.
Let me kick off this recipe by expressing my deep love for avocados. When I first began my raw food journey, avocados were my daily go-to fruit. They’re high in unsaturated fats, which support both brain and heart health. They’re also surprisingly versatile. So versatile, in fact, that they are the primary ingredient in one of my favorite dessert recipes: Rawvocado Mint Brownies. This recipe was inspired by Pure2Raw’s Unbaked Mint Avocado Layered Chocolate Cake.
- 2 2/3 cups whole walnuts, shelled, unsoaked
- 1/3 cup cacoa powder
- 1 tbsp maca powder
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals alcohol free Stevia Extract, available at most health food stores)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
Mint Avocado Layer
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or a sweetener of your choice to taste)
- 1 tablespoon mint extract
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon spirulina (optional)
There are several things from the original recipe that I modified. I altered the measurements slightly, changed the cocoa powder to cacao powder, added maca powder, downsized the sugar content, and upped the amount of coconut oil. I also replaced the irish moss paste called for in Pure2Raw‘s recipe with coconut oil. While irish moss paste is full of many vitamins and minerals, it can be time consuming to make. I found that copious amounts of coconut oil work especially well in this recipe.
Start by blending the walnuts in a food processor until they reach a crumbly texture. Then, blend in the chia seeds to ensure they mix well with the walnuts. At this point you can add the remaining ingredients. It may help to warm the coconut oil slightly before you try to incorporate it into the rest of the mixture. I usually use a spatula to combine the rest of the ingredients of the brownies. From here you can take the brownie mixture and place it into a small coconut oil “greased” pan (any shallow pan or dish around 6″ x 6″ or so will do). Place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the top layer.
In your clean food processor, add the avocados and coconut oil, and blend until completely combined. From here you can add the remaining ingredients. You may decide you want to adjust the amount of stevia you use or try a different sweetener in both layers of these brownies. I have a fairly complicated relationship with sugar, so I usually try to use stevia whenever I can due to its many benefits. Add the avocado mint layer to the top of your brownies and place the pan back in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Sometimes I cut my brownies before I put them in the refrigerator so they’re easier to get out of the pan. If you store these brownies for more than a day they will likely loose their lovely green color. So it’s best to eat them now, or share them with a friend!