We know a lot of folks who follow a plant-based diet here at Vie.
In fact, we write a ton of recipes each week that are specifically Vegan to help out our subscribers who are looking for fun and inventive ways to eat the healthy foods they love.
In a branch out from our typical dinner and side offerings, we thought it would be fun to offer a dessert this week! We’re also featuring the making of this dessert in our Live Video Tutorial Series on Tuesday at 2 pm, so go check it out! (Or scroll down to view it here.)
Founder Lynsie first made this dessert years ago and fell in love. Now she has found that it happens to be the perfect snack or dessert to feed her kids (in small doses). It’s one of those sneaky recipes that uses healthy ingredients like coconut oil and avocado, walnuts and dates to infuse an otherwise unhealthy and sugar-laden dessert with all the good stuff that we crave when we’re looking for a post-dinner munchie.
With no added sugar and an amazing amount of richness from the cocoa, she loves this dessert because it satisfies everyone’s sweet tooth while still feeding them right.
Make this today and check your pantry before you head to the store, you’d be surprised at what pantry staples you may have lying around that you can use to make it! Keep in mind, too, that here at Vie we are all about thinking on our toes and encouraging you to be laid back in the kitchen, so feel free to substitute dried (rehydrated) figs in place of dates, almonds or cashews in place of walnuts, and olive oil in place of coconut oil. Don’t leave out the cocoa, salt or avocado, though, because these are some of the ingredients that make this dessert amazing!
DESSERT Vegan No Bake Brownies
Yield 16 brownies
Enjoy this Vegan, No Sugar Added treat! It's filled with protein from the walnuts and fiber from the dates, plus an extra benefit from the unsweetened cocoa powder and avocado, which provides an excellent source of healthy fats.
Assuming that the people you serve this to do not have nut allergies, this is a fantastic alternative to normal brownies, and since it is a No Bake recipe, the nutrients are also preserved!
For the No Bake Brownie Base
2 cups walnuts, raw
1 1/2-2 cups dates, pitted
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided into 3/4 cups & 1 1/4 cups
1 cup hot water
1 tsp salt, divided
cooking spray, as needed
For the Ganache
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and scooped out
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tsp maple syrup *optional
1 cup walnuts, toasted *optional for garnish
For the No Bake Brownie Base
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the raw walnuts, 1 1/2 cups dates (reserve the last 1/2 cup and use as needed to thicken), 3/4 cup of the cocoa powder, and half the salt.
- Blend until nuts are completely ground and there are no lumps, pulsing as needed to pull down any stragglers.
- Next, add hot water 1 Tbsp at a time while the machine is on and processing, continuing to add water until you form a thick paste. *Too thin and the base will have too much liquid and not firm up properly so remember you can always add but you can't take away. At this point if you've accidentally made your base too thin, add that 1/2 cup of reserved dates!
- Once mixture is done, allow to rest for a few minutes while you work with your pan:
- Pull out two sheets of plastic wrap and spray each on one side with cooking spray.
- Place one sheet into the bottom of a square brownie pan and press to form into the pan. *If you have trouble with this step, spray some cooking spray under the plastic to help it stick to the pan.
- Lift up your food processor and place your finger underneath the bowl and into the hole of the blade. This will keep it in place while you spoon out the base mixture.
- Empty the base mixture into the brownie pan on top of the plastic and place the extra sheet of oiled plastic on top. Press gently to smooth out the base and spread to the corners of the pan. Make sure the base is level and smooth, then remove the top layer of plastic and reserve.
- Return your food processing bowl to the stand, replace the blade (it's ok if a little bit of the mixture is still sticking to the blade and/or bowl) and add the Ganache ingredients:
- Place your scooped avocado, coconut oil, the 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder, the rest of your salt, and 1 cup pitted dates into the processing bowl. Blend until smooth and repeat the process as above, adding hot water little by little until everything comes together and looks smooth and spreadable. At this stage you can add maple syrup for extra shine and sweetness, but that's optional if you'd like to keep added sugars out of this dessert.
- Spoon out ganache and spread on top of the base mixture.
- Cover loosely with that oiled piece of palstic wrap you reserved and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- While you're waiting for your brownies to chill (and firm up), toast your walnuts for garnish if desired using this recipe.
- Te serve, remove top layer of plastic wrap, sprinkle with nuts, and slice into triangles or squares. This can be served at room temperature or still cold, but we recommend enjoying cold since they are easier to handle!
We love the avocado in this recipe especially because since it is mixed with cocoa powder, you won't be able to see that unappetizing brown color as the avocado oxidizes!