Feeling Raw – Raw, vegan brownie bites

2 Jun
The Women

The Women (photo courtesy of Alex Berger)

This past week has been a rollercoaster. It started out wonderfully. The whole family on my mom’s side met in Louisville, Ky for a mini family reunion to honor my grandmother on her 90th birthday. We are a crazy lot. I don’t know how we did it, but the four of us; my brother, myself, my cousin, Ayelet and my cousin, Mike, managed to marry people who are just as nutty and just as entertaining as we are. Aside from nutty, ours is also a small lot. I’m not sure if it’s the many potential cousins and auntie and uncles who might have been but who never were because of the Holocaust or because my grandmother, who is British and met my grandfather in England during the war, came over to settle in the States and, as a result, we weren’t able to be as involved with my British family as we would have liked to have been. Whatever the reasons, as far as cousins go, I only have 2 first cousins but luckily, they are the bee’s knees! They are like siblings and I truly hope our children continue to have a similar close relationship. And as for grandma, well, she is sassy, tiny, hilarious and awesome. My grandmother has twin sisters, Doreen and June, who look exactly like the Gabor sisters and don’t you think for one second that they don’t know it either. As the story goes, my grandfather met one of my grandmother’s sisters first and asked her out on a date. As was their habit, one would make a date and then if she decided she didn’t really want to go out on that date, the other would step in (they are that identical). In the case of my grandfather, neither wanted to keep the date (I’m not sure why but it all worked out in the end) so my grandmother stepped in. And the rest, as they say, is history. It was often the case, in terms of marriages between American soldiers and a local girl abroad, that marriages happened quickly and without much planning. My grandpa submitted a request for a weekend leave so he could finally marry my grandmother. But the Army wasn’t so in to giving a person advanced noticed so Thursday or Friday, while my grandfather was stationed in France, he received the news that he was granted his leave for that very weekend and that very weekend only, so he hopped a train, made his way to England and they were married to very minimal fanfare that very weekend. Ahhhh . . . romance.

This is me and Dana, my cousin Mike's wife.  We both lucked out when he found this one.

This is me and Dana, my cousin Mike’s wife. We both lucked out when he found this one.

Picture courtesy of my cousin shown here, helping Grandma blow out her candles.

Picture courtesy of my cousin shown here, helping Grandma blow out her candles.

Anyway, all that is to say that it was a lovely weekend and was especially lovely to get away from the stress of work. I came back from the reunion feeling refreshed (not so much energized) but more prepared to get back into things at work. However, on Wednesday night, just as I was beginning to celebrate the fact that there have about 8 days left of the school year, I received word of the devastating loss of one of our students who had just graduated the week before. The circumstances surrounding the death are a bit hazy and quite frankly, I don’t need to know them. All I needed to know was that I was needed on campus in a way I hadn’t been needed before. The following day was the hardest of my professional career. I’m not trained in grief counseling. I’m not even trained in counseling. I’m a social worker with a concentration in community organizing so my on-the-job skills were tested every second of this past Thursday and Friday. I came home on Thursday completed gutted. So much so that at 9 o’clock at night I made the decision to go get some comfort in the form of frozen yogurt. I went to one of those places that measures by the weight, you know, with all the topping options. I mean yes, I may have chosen the healthier flavor in that plain yogurt with all the active, live cultures, but I killed those cultures something fierce when I topped them with Reese’s peanut butter cups and chocolate sauce. And let me tell you, as a personal chef to people with an eye on health (I added to my client list—got me a vegan!), I’m sure I should tell you, heck, you might want me to tell you, that after eating that gargantuan cup of frozen yogurt topped with Reese’s cups and chocolate sauce that I didn’t feel comforted or better but worse because of all that sugar, but I can’t. I can’t tell you that, dear reader, because I would be lying to you and I don’t condone lying. Not one bit. That froyo was absolutely delicious and I felt completely fine afterwards.

The hubby capturing some wildflowers on the side of the road in Kentucky

The hubby capturing some wildflowers on the side of the road in Kentucky

I did however, decide the next day that I needed a healthier pick me up and I wanted to make a treat for my new client for this week’s delivery so I decided on raw brownie bites. Guys, seriously, if you’ve skimmed this entire post up until this point, PAY ATTENTION NOW. The following is a recipe for what is, up to this point, one of my most favorite recipe developments yet. I started out following a recipe from the Simple Veganista and then abandoned it completely to go with my gut and apparently my gut was still hungry for the taste of comfort food but this time around, that comfort food would be healthy. So, grab your food processor and bookmark this page. I feel very strongly that you’ll be glad that you did. (P.S. this is so easy and would be great as a healthy snack for kids. I’m excited to let Siona try it once we clear that 1 year mark).

Chopped dates and walnuts

Chopped dates and walnuts

All the ingredients in the processor

All the ingredients in the processor

Raw Brownie Bites:


10 – 12 dates, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup oats (I used gluten free)
1/4 – 1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp milled flaxseed
3 tbsp vegan cocoa powder
3/4 tbsp vanilla extract
1 – 2 tbsp organic maple syrup (depending upon your taste—start with 1 and if you make it again, up to 2 if it wasn’t sweet enough for you)
**Extra cocoa for rolling the bites in afterwards if want an extra chocolate punch.

The grind

The grind



The final product

The final product

The How:

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until well combined—to about the count of 30 or until the ingredients have a dough-like consistency. If you feel like it’s a bit dry due to too many walnuts or oats, just add a bit of water, about 1 tbsp at a time, until you get that doughy consistency. Once you’ve attained your desired consistency, roll into 1 inch balls. You can add fun little powder extras after rolling, like more cocoa or a combo of cocoa and cinnamon, if you want a little extra flavor. Keep refrigerated.

Close up to the goodies

Close up to the goodies

25 Responses to “Feeling Raw – Raw, vegan brownie bites”

  1. ZMW June 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Ha, did you also have Caitlin’s raw truffles last week?? I have been trying to replicate them all week. I’ve gone through a Costco size box of dates! I’ll have to try these and see how they compare:)

    I’ve been following your blog ever since Caitlin gave you a shout-out on hers – keep posting the recipes! I’m always looking for new ideas. I used to pick the brains of my healthy mom friends back in Vancouver, but now I only have Caitlin, and she never uses recipes, she’s always just winging it and can never give me exact measurements!

    • Whitney June 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Zinta! Yes! Those were scrumptious! I also have a problem with not writing down recipes but Yonz, this blog, and one of my clients yelled at me enough to start writing things down that I just had to give in. In the original recipe, I included 1 whole tbsp of vanilla extract but felt it needed just a hint less. I hope the recipe works for you. I’m sooooooopo honored you read the blog!

  2. ZMW June 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Ironically, one of those healthy moms I referenced just posted this on Facebook:
    Everybody’s doing raw/vegan/gluten free these days…

    • Whitney June 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Looks delicious! We are ‘accidental’ vegans at time as I cook at least 2 meals a week for one vegan client and then 3 meals a week for a Paleo client. It helps diversify the menu, which would be pasta every day of the week if I could.

  3. stephanie June 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    recipe looks delicious, but i really want to wish your grandma a happy 90th! my grandmother also recently turned 90!

  4. Hindy Garfinkel June 4, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    This looks delicious!

  5. Misty D June 4, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    making these..pronto. You know I love the gf oats 😉 The kids are going to LOVE these after swim team!

  6. ronnievfein June 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Wonderful story about your grandparents, funny too. I know what you mean about cousins. My first cousin is like a sister. Good thing our husbands like each other too. As for the brownie bites: they look terrific. I actually make something very similar. Nice afternoon snack.

  7. This American Bite June 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    You are spoiling us with the raw, vegan talk… and the pictures… awesomeness.

  8. Alison@Alibabka June 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I have been looking for a way to fill my chocolate craving in a healthy way!!! Thanks!

  9. Kitchen Tested (@kitchentested) June 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    With all of the raw desserts I’ve been making lately, this recipe is right up my alley! I would definitely keep these in the freezer and pop one out whenever I need a chocolate fix.

  10. Sarah Klinkowitz June 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    I’ll be honest – I don’t know much about raw cooking, but this looks intriguing!

  11. jessica // the kosher foodies June 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    happy birthday to your grandma! and these look amazing!

  12. Chanie@BusyInBrooklyn June 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    So funny, I recently bought dates with some kind of raw truffle in mind. I’ll definitely be trying these.

  13. Tamar Genger @joyofkosher June 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    These sound interesting, love the pics of the family.

  14. Vicky June 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Sounds like you had a wonderful family reunion! I recently made a very similar recipe for my family and they love it! The combination of dates and nuts it is just perfect

  15. Couldn't Be Parve June 11, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    These sound delicious. I have been playing around more and more with dates for sweetening and this recipe looks like something I have to try. Do you think it would work without the flaxseed? My family doesn’t like the taste of flaxseed and I know they would love these otherwise.

    • Whitney June 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      It would definitely work without flaxseed. I like to sneak in the omegas anytime I can 😊

  16. Chani Richmond June 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Finally had a chance to read this post..the title “Feeling Raw” just kept me away :(..but I had to see the recipe for the “Raw Balls uh..Bites”! Whitney! want to make them so badly but have some peeps here that are allergic to all nuts..any suggestions?

    • Whitney June 12, 2013 at 7:34 am #

      You definitely don’t need to include the nuts. Maybe add a little more oats and flaxseed or add another seed if that’s ok for the allergy.

  17. Kitchen Tested (@kitchentested) August 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    I finally made these and they are amazing!!! Okay, so maybe I adapted them a little bit based on your peppermint version 🙂 and I used a little bit of coconut milk to bind it all together (instead of water).


  1. Jewhungry - August 13, 2013

    […] vegan peppermint chocolate chip brownie bites (I used my own brownie bites recipe, found here, and took out the oats and added a few drops of peppermint oil and vegan chocolate chips). […]

  2. Mini Vegan Chocolate Chip Berry Pies + Coconut Milk Whipped Cream | Jewhungry - October 27, 2013

    […] from my own recipe for Raw Brownie Bites (Make sure to omit the oats for a grain-free version.  Keep them if you don’t mind a grain […]

  3. Gluten-Free Holiday Dessert Round Up | Seasonal & Savory - December 11, 2013

    […] Raw Vegan Brownie Bites […]

  4. 100+ Healthy Christmas and Holiday Dessert Recipes - Jeanette's Healthy Living - December 16, 2013

    […] Strawberries, Almond Chocolate Thumbprints, Pomegranate Poached Pears, Triple Ginger Gingersnaps, Mini Vegan Chocolate Chip Berry Pies, Peanut Butter and Jam Bars,  Apple Pear Crisp, Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle, […]

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