I am the queen of making excuses to eat chocolate. It’s one of the better traits inherited from my big sister.
This brownie does not disappoint; it crumbs like a baked brownie, but is raw, gluten free, and loaded with nutrition.
Not all chocolate is of equal value, the majority of it loaded with refined sugar, zero nutrition, and contributes to poor wages and treatment of cacao farmers. Organic, fair-trade cacao is an amazing food, rich in antioxidants and iron (which helps prevent anemia).
In this brownie recipe, we combine it with sprouted almonds and herbs that help balance hormones. For this reason, it’s a wonderful snack to satisfy cravings while simultaneously enhancing fertility or balancing postpartum hormones.
Maca – a root-like cruciferous vegetable native to Peru. The soil in which it grows is rich in volcanic minerals and phytonutrients, making it a nourishing food for the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands, all of which play key roles in balancing hormones. In men and women, maca helps lower estrogen; high levels of estrogen in women make it difficult to sustain a pregnancy, so in this case maca promotes progesterone, and in men, high estrogen levels lead to erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, and low sperm count.
He Shou Wu (FoTi) – a plant used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine, known to prevent premature aging by tonifying the liver and kidneys. Like maca, it is nourishing to the endocrine glands, which help balance hormones, making this a great herb for fertility and during the postpartum hormone shift. Many women experience hair loss during the postpartum period because of hormone fluctuations. It is widely used in Asia to maintain youth and prevent graying and loss of hair. It is said to increase sperm count in men and ova in women.
The recipe – makes 10 brownies
1 cup sprouted almonds
1 cup organic raw cacao powder
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/2 cup pitted dates (I used 10 medjool)
1/4 cup maca powder
1 tablespoon He Shou Wu powder
5 tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pink himalayan salt
- in a food processor, process the almonds for a couple minutes; just enough that they are a coarse powder but not yet like almond butter.
- add the maca, he shou wu, oats, cacao, salt. process until thoroughly combined.
- while the food processor is running, add the dates one at a time. next, add the vanilla, then the coconut oil, in a slow stream. When you have reached a consistency in which you can form a ball and it holds its shape, it’s done (think larabar consistency).
- line a 4×8 pan with plastic wrap, so the edges are long enough cover the brownie mixture once you press it flat in the pan.
- after you have pressed it in the pan and covered it with plastic wrap, place it in the refrigerator to set. If you are impatient and you want to enjoy one of these babies as soon as possible, you can place it in the freezer to harden faster.
- cut into 10 brownies. or 8 if you want them to be bigger. I can’t judge. been there, done that. enjoy! store in the fridge.