These fabulous brownies are sweetened only with dates, and are kept moist by the secret ingredient – avocado! You can’t taste the avocado at all; it just lends a fudgy texture. Use raw cacao powder for the best chocolate flavour. The orange zest and juice give a little extra sweetness but you could easily leave these out if you don’t like chocolate and orange together. If you like a sweeter brownie you could add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the mixture. These brownies are free from dairy, grains, nuts, seeds and refined sugar.
Makes 12 Brownies
- 125g Medjool dates (ordinary dates do not give as good a texture to the finished brownies)
- 100ml boiling water
- 1 avocado
- 100g good quality dark chocolate – 85% cocoa solids (Optional: 100g extra bar for chocolate chunks in the brownies and chocolate drizzled on top)
- 50g raw chocolate powder/raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 25g coconut flour
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 and ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 orange plus a squeeze of the juice
- Chop the dates and place in a small bowl. Cover with 100ml boiling water. Leave to soak up the water for about half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Grease and line a brownie tin (roughly 20cm x 20m) with greaseproof paper or tinfoil.
- In a glass bowl, break the 100g bar of chocolate into pieces. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water.
- In a blender or food processor blend the dates (including the soak water), avocado, chocolate powder and eggs.
- Add the melted chocolate, the coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, orange zest and a squeeze of orange juice and blend thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture.
- If you are using the extra chocolate, chop 50g into small chunks and stir through the brownie mixture.
- Pour the mixture into your lined brownie tin and smooth the top with a knife so that the brownies will bake evenly and come out of the oven looking nice.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer or fork inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- If using the extra chocolate, melt it over a pan of simmering water and then drizzle over the top of the cooled brownies.
- Leave to cool so that the chocolate on top hardens and then cut into 12 squares. Store the brownies in an airtight container in a cool place – they will last about a week.
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I’m a nutritional therapist, author, blogger, teacher and mum. I studied at Oxford University from 1999-2003 and have an MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. During my degree I became fascinated in the workings of the human body at a cellular level – how what we eat effects the genes and proteins in our body, how the immune system works and how cancer develops. I’m interested in the science of nutrition. I apply my scientific training when I read information about nutrition and I never believe something I read unless I can see evidence to back it up.
I’ve always had a passion for nutrition science, I’ve been writing about nutrition and health for several years and I qualified as a Nutritional Therapist in 2017. I’m also a Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach and Mindfulness Teacher.
I currently live near Tunbridge Wells with my husband, 3 beautiful children and a gorgeous whippet called Millie! When I’m not working I love foraging, reading, Pilates, cooking, making herbal medicine and going for long walks with my family and my dog.
At the core of my work is a simple question: how can we live better, healthier & happier lives? I hope you’ll join me on a quest to discover the answers.
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