An insanely delicious treat, packed with goodness.
When it comes to dessert, I’m all about enjoying indulgent foods (in a healthier way, of course). If you’re anything like me, when you want a treat you want it to satisfy but you don’t want it packed with unhealthy ingredients. Which is why I’m loving these insanely delicious freezer brownies from The Perfect Blend by Tess Masters. I whipped up a batch this week, and they were a huge winner at our table.
Packed with dates, walnuts, cashews, cocoa, and a touch of maple syrup, these decadent chocolate treats are deliciously satisfying but low in added sugar at about 5g per bar. This is a combo I can get into.
Tess is a rockstar when it comes to harnessing the blender to make amazingly delicious meals, which any parent knows is a key strategy when it comes to quick and easy meals for families. The Perfect Blend is the latest in her series of books focused on easy ways to make healthy foods taste delicious. All of her recipes are vegan and gluten-free, making them particularly great for anyone struggling with allergies.
For all of you tired parents out there, The Perfect Blend is loaded with recipes to boost your energy and immunity so you can keep up with your kids. Tess separates her recipes by health goals like gain energy, boost immunity, combat inflammation, utilize healthy fats. I’m a believer that all whole, colorful foods are great for our bodies, and Tess provides lots of great options for eating all colors of the rainbow. Remember, you can’t do a good job taking care of your family unless you’re taking care of yourself. Take a few minutes to nourish your body and you’ll be better able to enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities that life brings your way. Including dessert.
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup firmly packed chopped pitted dates, plus more as needed
- 1⁄4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened almond milk (strained if homemade)
- 1⁄3 cup coconut oil (in liquid form)
- 1⁄2 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- 3⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Pinch of natural salt
- 1 cup peeled and diced zucchini
- 1 tablespoon açaí powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon spirulina or chlorella powder
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) square pan. Cut two long strips of parchment paper to fit along the bottom of the pan and up and over the sides and place them crisscrossed in the pan; this will help with removal of the chocolate slab after it’s frozen.
- To make the crust, throw the walnuts, dates, and cacao powder into a food processor and process until well combined. Form the mixture into a ball; if it doesn’t hold together, add more dates and process again. But add more dates gradually—you don’t want the crust to be too sticky. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
- To make the filling, throw all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed, including the boosters, and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze for 4 to 6 hours, until solidified.
- To serve, transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge and let thaw for about 30 minutes. Use the parchment paper tabs to lift the slab out of the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut it into equal-size squares. Keeping the squares together, return the slab to the fridge until ready to serve or for up to 7 days.
CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography copyright 2016 by Anson Smart.