The Brownie Project
So I obviously needed to include brownies in my week of sugar-free chocolate treats. But the brownie project proved to be a bit stubborn. After a couple close-but-not-quite attempts, I decided to try a different tack and go with a raw bite rendition of the classic chocolate treat. I will be returning to the sugar-free baked brownie attempts, but nixing sugar completely is a tricky beast. One or two more tweaks to the recipe and I think I’ll get it, but I was inspired to mix it up and try out a raw version since I have another baked treat coming your way next!
Raw to the Rescue
Baking was always my go-to of choice to satisfy my sweet tooth, but lately I’ve had a lot of fun mixing things up in the kitchen and trying raw treats using whole, unrefined foods. I have a few variations under my belt, but most use dates, which are definitely not ok on my current sugar-free regime.
On this temporary super-strict diet, ‘sugar-free’ includes all foods that easily convert to sugars in the body: sugar, alcohol, processed foods, carbs, grains, legumes, fruit (especially dried fruit), and root vegetables. Sadly, even sweet potatoes are off the table for the time being, as are carrots. A few flours are ok in small quantities, like almond and coconut, but even some nuts, like cashews, are not an option for a while – talk about tricky!
So the typical paleo baking sweeteners like honey, maple, coconut sugar, and even dates are definitely out, which is why I turned to stevia as my sweetener of choice for these truly sugar-free chocolate recipes. Fortunately, stevia is an all-natural, no side-effects, zero-sugar, zero-calorie sweetener that is completely fine for a no-sugar diet.
Raw Bite Bliss
Because of this strict diet, I’ve had to get extra creative with these creations. Fortunately, the basics of a raw treat are pretty straightforward, and the results are surprisingly delightful!
These Raw Brownie Bites are no exception: with a blend of hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and a little almond butter and full fat coconut milk to bind, these treats are packed with both nutrition and flavor. I opted to go with hazelnuts in this recipe because the hazelnut-chocolate blend is beyond delicious, and these little treats have that note of nutella – um, yum!
To finish these babies off, I coated them in unsweetened cocoa powder, which give them an extra oomph – a little bitter to balance the sweet. Best of all, they’re super simple and just require a food processor.
Raw Brownie Bites: Vegan, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Recipe
What you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts (soaked overnight, ideally)*
- 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup smooth almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (or vegan milk of choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Optional: cocoa powder to coat
*Any nut of choice will work here.
How to make:
- Chop nuts in the food processor until fairly small.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Scoop out rounded half tablespoons of the dough and shape into a rounded ball.
- Optional: place a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in a small bowl and roll the balls in the powder until thoroughly coated. Unsweetened coconut would work well here too.
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