This Valentine’s Day, bake up some love with our gluten-free, moist, fudgy, and secretly-healthful raspberry brownie recipe. This tasty treat can be made vegan and is has all unrefined, good-for-you ingredients. The dark chocolate and cacao powder provide a wonderful richness that also delivers big on health-boosting compounds and stress-reducing properties. The fiber-rich dates add the right amount of sweetness to complement the deep chocolatey flavor. The raspberries not only boost up the antioxidants but also create a divine fruity chocolate combination. This recipe is a great healthy twist on a classic dessert that holds true to the tastes and textures we expect and love from a delicious brownie.
Makes: 16-20 depending on if you cut it 4×4 or 4×5 for the difference in size.
- ¾ cup of old-fashioned rolled oats or ½ cup oat flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 oz of dates, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes (~1.5 cups)
- ¼ cup of date-soaking liquid
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen*)
- ½ cup avocado oil, olive oil, or melted coconut oil
- 8 oz dark chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs or 3 chia eggs (3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 9 tablespoons water, whisk and let sit for 10 minutes until chia has fully gelled)
- ½ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup nut of choice (optional)
*If using frozen, allow them to thaw for 10 minutes before using.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a square baking dish (8×8 or 9×9 works) with parchment paper or lightly rub with oil.
- Soak pitted dates in hot water for 15 minutes.
- If using whole oats, place in a food processor or blender to process into oat flour.
- Combine the oat flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and mix together.
- Melt chocolate in a saucepan over low heat with oil, stirring constantly or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds until fully melted.
- Remove dates from soaking liquid and place in a blender or food processor with ¼ cup of soaking liquid. Blend until dates are broken down into a paste.
- Add raspberries and blend until smooth. Add in oil/chocolate mixture and vanilla and blend until smooth.
- Add in the eggs or chia eggs and blend until well incorporated. Pour mixture over oat flour mixture and fold to combine. Add remaining raspberries and nuts and gently fold.
- Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tester comes out clean, rotating pan halfway through cooking time.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove and let cool on the rack. When room temp they are ready to eat. If you prefer a fudgier brownie, place them in the refrigerator for 1 hour to firm up.
Oats: Full of soluble fiber (beta-glucan), which has been shown to slow digestion, increase satiety, and bind to cholesterol to excrete it out of the body. Oats also have plant chemicals that act as antioxidants to reduce damaging effects of chronic inflammation.
Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder: Improved cardiovascular health by the polyphenols (antioxidants) reducing the levels of nitric oxide in our blood, helping to increase blood flow through arteries and blood vessels as well as increase blood flow to the brain. It has also been shown to help reduce stress and make us feel happier.
Raspberries: Extremely nutrient-dense. Contains high amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Berries are packed full of antioxidants for immune supporting and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant, anthocyanin, can repair DNA damage to protect against aging and cancer and increase overall circulation. Berries are great brain food, improving our overall brain functioning. They can boost our mood and strengthen our memory.
Dates: A healthier substitute for refined sugar, dates contain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc for bone health and support a healthy nervous system. They are very high in fiber that will assist in blood sugar control and aid in a healthy digestion. Very potent with antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid to help reduce inflammation, promote heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s diseases and provide anticancer effects.
Eggs: It is important to buy pasture raised or cage-free eggs. These eggs will be a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids to lower inflammation, maintain brain functioning and vision along with being a natural source of vitamin D for strong bones and immune support.
Chia Seeds: Excellent source of fiber (10g in just 2 Tbs!). Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When you soak chia in a liquid (i.e. milk or water), it takes on a gel-like texture due to the high fiber content. This gel coats the gut and helps slow digestion to make you feel satisfied. It also helps bulk up stool and feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. It is also high in calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which can help protect bone health and fight off osteoporosis.