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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Raw Vegan Brownies from "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People" by Jennifer Cornbleet

Raw Vegan Brownies From Jennifer Cornbleet's "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People".
What do you need?  Ingredients and maybe 10 minutes!! 

I can't even remember now when I first started truly "flirting" with Raw Foods.  It was before I had ever been to Pure Food & Wine in New York, but prior to eating there, I had no idea that you could made gourmet raw food or that you could make it so incredible tasting.  Even though the place is uber trendy and dripping in a "Sex in the City" kind of hipness (without Samantha's boyfriend being a waiter), I still consider it the best "foodie" experience I've had (excluding anything my mother makes of course!  And she has been known to make a mean raw vegan carrot cake).  So the Pure Food & Wine experience was the turning point that eating a lot of raw could be very cool and of course I anxiously awaited the arrival of their cookbook at my doorstep.  

The first book with recipes from the "Pure Food & Wine" restaurant in New York. came and it is indeed a beautiful book, but it is not the best "everyday" book nor is it the least intimidating book for raw virgins.  Most recipes have slightly lengthy ingredient lists and a few different "parts" to assemble.   So...I ordered another book, slightly less romantic and no photos of the author showing you, apparently, how "sexed" out you suddenly get if you eat raw, but practical.  And for a middle aged chic who isn't throwing dinner parties for the "who's who" in the world, um, this is the book I needed to have. 

Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People
 I think this is the absolute EASIEST, most realistic raw food book I own.  No flax crackers, no 12 step recipes, and no 2 pounds of goji berries or 1 cup of olive oil for an eggplant.  Really healthy eats with basically zero work.  I am into this.  When you get old you don't feel like expending THAT much work for food.  Or you might "feel" like it, but the inertia of your butt makes you more likely to READ uncookbooks than actually USE them.

Can you say 4 ingredient brownies? 
At first I ignored it slightly, as it didn't make any promises of perfect health or overnight beauty by eating raw & it didn't include very many photographs.   But then after I actually read some of the recipes, I realized, Hey, I actually have this stuff in the house at this moment & this looks like it take 5 minutes to make.  Hence, this was probably the first book I actually discovered a few recipes that I could used on a regular basis and no dehydrating or busting open coconuts.  

I bought the Sunfood brand of Cacao because I haven't been using cacao at all but was bringing something to a friend's house.  Well, I had to buy it from Whole Foods and this was the brand they had.  However, if I am planning on using Organic Raw Cacao, then I order it online either from Mountain Rose Herbs or whoever else may have a good price.  Lots of stuff that has intimidating prices at whole foods, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, rooibos tea, can be found much cheaper elsewhere. I can buy one pound of Rooibos from Mountain Rose for about ten bucks.   Fair trade, Organic.
No fancy tools needed for this recipe.  Food processor!

You can make the brownies whatever texture you choose.  I prefer them a little chunky.  You don't want to "overprocess" them where they get SO sticky that it is difficult to do anything with them.  I have made these brownies with regular (non raw) cocoa powder, and the texture was totally different!  They were super sticky and I had to throw in a whole lot more nuts in order to try to do anything with them.  

Then you just roll them in crushed walnuts or coconut shreds if you want.

You could flatten them more like cookies as well, but I have a really hard time making anything look visually presentable (including myself!).  So, I stick to balls.

Depending on the amount of dates you use or if you add stevia, these brownies are not overly sweet.  I love them that way.  However, if you are nursing a real sweet tooth or transitioning from a real "American Diet", then obviously, add some more sweet stuff!!  Stevia might be your answer because it won't change the texture.  If you add too much of any type of syrup (Coconut Sap) or dates, they may get too sticky.

Here is Jennifer Cornbleet telling you how to make the "Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse".  She uses agave nectar in this video, but you don't need too!!  You can use dates, date sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, whatever!!  This was before the "National Agave Controversy".

And here is my post on Jennifer Cornbleet's "Raw Vegan Hummus" made with Zucchinis.

And another post that includes Jennifer Cornbleet & Awesome Raw Vegan Chocolate/Carob Avocado Pudding!

Or if you feel like hot & spicy food packed with unbelievable amounts of protein, that is dirt cheap to make & simple!! Then check out Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry" from Anupy Singla's "The Indian Slow Cooker" book!

Do any readers have this book (Raw Food Made Easy)??  What are your favorites from it? 
I have tried the Marinara, the Mousse (chocolate avocado), Walnut and Sunflower Pates & more.  I really liked everything!  There are a lot of simple raw collard/kale/swiss chard types of salads in this book too!

 My auntie "Artina" recently expressed an interest in raw foods and veganish stuff (that is healthy, no white flour cake books here!).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a Raw or Vegan flirt that doesn't want to spend that much time in the kitchen and probably wants to eat a more "simple" diet?  With an emphasis on healthy??  Tell me your favorites & which books you use the most from your shelves!  Which books do you suggest she buy first??

I don't have a lot of vegan cookbooks because when I went vegan, there were only a couple!!  My favorite, most used "cook" book is "The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla.  But this isn't the best book for my auntie Artina because she is not a spice or Indian food lover.  My most used raw books are probably Ani Phyo's, Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people, some of Cafe Gratitude's recipes, Alisa Cohen's "Living on Live Food".  Gosh, I usually have a few recipes I gravitate towards in each book.  Oh, I do love Renee Loux Underkoffler's "Living Cuisine" and have made a lot of her cracker & snacky recipes.  This was the Raw Vegan Carrot Cake that my folks made me for my birthday one year.  It ROCKED!


  1. I just started reading your blog and enjoy it! Thanks for sharing! The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook is great...very simple, fast, whole foods recipe that appeal to a very "average" palate. Also, Caldwell Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book has really great recipes in it.

  2. These would be so fun to make! I love making raw treats with dates, especially something quick like raw brownie balls! perfect on the go or to pack away for snacking later in the day <3

  3. This recipe looks so easy and good! I love avocado pudding, too. Yum!

  4. Hi! I have this cookbook and am ashamed to admit it, without more pics, I am not as inclined to uncook from it! With your help and lovely photos, I am about ready to re-acquaint myself with the food stuffs in this cookbook--so THANK YOU! (*And thanks for the note!). FYI--Matthew Kenney has a new raw food cookbook hitting the shelves this week--thirty minutes or less raw food cooking--which is what I am all about. You probably already knew this--but just thought I'd mention it. Have no idea whether Borders will get copies in or not--but I am destined to get my hands on a copy of it if for no other reason than "fast raw cooking" in the title!

  5. Hey. Question for ya. . have you heard of frederic pantenaude? I stumbled upon his website maybe a year ago and think about him every time I read something about raw foods. I do agree raw is the best way to eat food, however he said there are two types of raw food mostly fats (avocados, nuts) and another just raw fruits and veggies. I did try eating mostly raw food from websites and cookbooks and they were so heavy in the nuts and avocados that i realized he was right.. Ive also been trying to alkalize my diet and oddly enough peanuts, cashews and avocados are all acidic when they break down in your digestive tract..I really feel awful when I eat heavy things like avocados and walnuts, cashews, peanuts (although they taste wonderful) but I also suffer skin breakouts and moreso when I eat these foods. For me, eating raw means purely fruits and vegetables. It also makes it stick out very obviously whenever I see raw recipes that they are mostly heavy in these things to make them appear more appealing (cheesecake is a great example of this) Not bashing the raw food movement, Just wondering if you had ever heard of these two types of raw, your thoughts, etc.

  6. @Kelly. I know, I used this in the beginning because the ingredients were SO basic. The Marinara and Nut Pates are also good. I also gravitate towards picture books but it is all an illusion because I never even attempt to make food look pretty!! If it has to be rolled into any shape, I am basically totally freaked out by it!
    @Michele. Yeah, I know of F. Pantenaude. Think he is into the 80/10/10 diet, so high fruit, low amount of nuts. Greens too, but LOTS of fruit. Which is very cool. Raw Fooders (which I am not!) are all over the board. Some seem like they aspire to be breatharians (for real), and others are eating raw nutcakes while some juice feast for long periods of time or really don't eat so much at all. I don't know if I think "raw" is the best way to go, especially 100%. However, if people are eating a normal diet, then transitioning to a raw, high fat, fruit, whatever diet may be helpful just because the rules are so easy and they can't eat anything processed! Plus no cholesterol. I think it's great if you can be like Tim, the "Raw Runner" and eat green smoothies & salads and be mostly content. For me, my stomach feels better the more raw I eat, high fat or not. I don't think it's healthy, perse, but, I come from a family of stomach problems so my stomach is very tempermental. I love beans, rice, and any cooked vegan food but if I eat primarily cooked without eating lots of fresh foods, then it doesn't take long before it gets grumpy!! I think the Low Fat, Whole Grains, Plant Based diet is probably the most doable by the most amount of people. I don't know if I could ever be a well behaved, low fat, raw foodist because I eat too much period! Are you thinking of doing the "raw" thing?? I have never had a "reason" to want to stick to 100% raw for longer than 3 weeks or so. I figure I am already weird enough :) But then my hubby is actually talking a bit about it now, so who knows? And they say you lose your taste buds as you age, so maybe I will be less in love with food as I age!!