Around three o’clock, every day, I get a hankering for something sweet. To be more specific, I want something sweet and chocolate-y. Normally I just have a square of chocolate, which is great when all I want is chocolate, but sometimes it leaves me feeling less than satisfied. Sometimes I am also slightly hungry or getting a little sleepy and need something more filling and energizing to pick me back up. Something with some chew, that will satisfy me until dinner rolls around. Nothing in particular really filled that void in the past. But, the past couple of weeks these healthy chocolate cherry brownies have been doing the trick.
I’ve seen a lot of recipes for these types of snacks. Because I wanted something that I could snack on every day, instead of a special occasion, it was important to me that they were a totally wholesome and guilt-free. When I first made these, I was pretty sure they would taste good but I definitely didn’t expect them to taste so chocolatey and fudge-y. The texture of these guys are great. My boyfriend really likes them, and he was very suspicious when I first made them. A dessert made entirely of nuts and dates? No flour, egg, sugar, butter or oil? You could never imagine that they taste this good.
I used the recipe from My New Roots as the base. In my books, she is the master of healthy chocolate snacks. I didn’t stray from her proportions at all. They are perfect. Of course, if the mixture is slightly dry (probably because of the different moisture content in the dates), add a date, but otherwise the “brownie” is a fail-safe, perfect, slightly chewy, moist bite. You can definitely play around with the nuts that you use. I used almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts (and various combinations of each) and they were all delicious. I also made these with and without the fruit. I love the added burst of flavour that the cherries give these, and I want to take advantage of all of the summer fruit while it’s still available, but they are also great without. You can also top them with some unsweetened coconut flakes or nut butter. The possibilities are pretty much endless. I promise, after you’ve made these once, they will become a staple in your fridge too. There’s no chance of going back.
Recipe Adapted from My New Roots
The cherries add a lot of moisture, so keep that in mind. It's best to keep them as whole as possible so they don't change the texture of the whole brownie. It's nice to get a big chunk of cherry every bite!
I have made these with or without cherries and with a lot of different nut combinations. They work great with almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts, use whatever mix you prefer. I've also topped the brownies with shredded coconut and almond butter.
Make sure you are using soft, medjool dates. They provide the stickiness this needs to stay together.
In a food processor, grind nuts until finely ground (but before they start to turn into nut butter).
Add cocoa powder and salt and pulse until combined.
Add dates 2-3 at a time and pulse until combined. The mixture should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If it doesn't, you can add a couple of dates.
Add half of the cherries and pulse once or twice, until combined. Throw the rest of the cherries into the food processor.
Dump the contents in the food processor into a parchment lined baking tray (9 x 4 inches)
Press the mixture down firmly, using your fingers.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until set. If you want it to set faster, you can put it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Cut the brownies into 1 inch squares.
Store in an airtight container, in the fridge.
Healthy Chocolate Cherry Brownie was last modified: August 8, 2015 by