Hazelnut & Coconut Chai Brownies (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
Add to favorites
The secret ingredient in this brownie recipe is the chai spices, which gives the brownies such a unique taste! You simply cut open a tea bag and pour it in! Your choice of green, black or herbal chai tea. This recipe is a cross between brownie and fudge-like textures. It is rich, decadent and for the true chocolate lover!
Typical spices in chai include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and the herb fennel. The fennel and spices frequently featured in chai are known to help promote better digestive health. For example, black pepper stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid required for breaking down food, while fennel inhibits bacteria that cause gas and clove refreshes your mouth and throat.
Cinnamon is also a health-protecting antioxidant, and ginger is a recognized anti-nausea remedy that soothes the stomach. All of that aside, the bottom line is…. IT TASTES GREAT! What more research needs to be done? haha This would be a wonderful recipe to make ahead and have it tucked away in the freezer. When unexpected guests pop in, pull out a tray of the brownies and be prepared to wow everyone.
Makes 12-24 brownies, depends on how big your eyes are :)
- 4 cups softe medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup cold-pressed raw coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or preferred sweetener)
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 6 coconut chai tea bags, contents of (see below)
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts, soaked, dehydrated & chopped
- Prepare an 8×8, straight-edged pan by lining it with plastic wrap or parchment paper. This will help when it comes time to remove the brownies. Set aside.
- In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the dates, coconut oil, cacao, flax, vanilla, tea bag contents, and salt. Process until everything is well incorporated.
- I don’t recommend soaking the dates prior to soften them… the batter will get very very sticky. Been there done that. :)
- Remove the dough and place in a large bowl.
- Add the chopped hazelnuts and work the dough by hand.
- Run your hand under the faucet to dampen yours hand to prevent the dough from sticking too bad.
- Then using the palm of your hand, make folding motions with the dough so the hazel nuts get evenly distributed.
- If the dough starts to stick to your hands, just dampen them again.
- Press the dough into the pan.
- Put the brownies in the freezer and let it set for a least an hour.
- Slice squares, sprinkle with cacao powder and garnish with whole hazelnuts.
- Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- What is raw cacao powder?
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil? Click (here) to find out.
- Learn how to grind you own flax-seeds for ultimate freshness and nutrition. Click (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
This is just to show you how lining your pan can really make things easier for you in the long run. ;)
Update: I posted this recipe on 12/11/11. I put a batch in the freezer and just now took them out.. 3/30/12… still taste amazing!!