Dates and cocoa

By Summer

blog brownie photo summer

Working insane amounts and being on a cleanse (don’t worry, I can still manage to “cleanse” and eat copious amounts of food) isn’t very conducive to food blogging, but I decided to buckle down and write about the two ingredients that currently feature high on my shopping list: cocoa and dates.

The first recipe isn’t mine at all. I’ve taken it directly off the great blog My New Roots. There are only three main ingredients, plus salt, but the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts in this case. It’s unbelievable how much these dense little squares actually taste like brownies. They in fact don’t taste like dates at all. And they are cleanse-friendly! My boss Mark loves them.

The hot cocoa was invented out of my desire for dessert while on this ^&*^% cleanse. It had to be in liquid form (those are the evening rules) and could not contain any sugar or dairy. One evening I decided to blend up a couple of dates with some cocoa and the non-dairy milk I had in the fridge. The result was surprisingly rich and delicious. Even better than the real thing, dare I say?

Raw brownies

2 cups whole walnuts

2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted (use nice plump ones)

1 cup raw cacao (I actually don’t bother with raw)

1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped (or just more walnuts or pecans)

¼ tsp. sea salt


Grind up the walnuts in the food processor. Add the cocoa and salt and pulse to combine. While the food processor is running, add the dates one at a time. The end mix should be a moist crumbly mess that will stick together when pressed.

Empty the contents of the food processor into a bowl and fold in the chopped almonds (or other nuts). Press into a pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and return to the fridge or freeze.


Desperation hot cocoa

  •  2 or 3 small dates
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (anything unsweetened: almond, rice, oat, millet, hemp)

It’s important that the dates be soaked first. I put a bunch in a bowl (they don’t have to be very soft ones but should be nice quality) and pour boiling water over top to just cover. I then cover them and stick them in the fridge overnight. This softens the dates so that they blend well, and the soaking water turns into a deliciously sweet syrup that you can add to the cocoa or anything else (especially when you’re on this cleanse).

To make the cocoa, put two or three of the soaked dates in the blender along with a splash of the syrup the dates are sitting in. Add a bit of whatever milk you’re using and blend until the dates are pureed. Next, add the cocoa, salt and the rest of the milk and blend until frothy. Pour into a pan and heat.

Apologetic site administrator’s note: If these recipes have an autumnal air, it’s because I forgot to post this contribution from Summer back in October when she sent it. But it’s always the right time for a good brownie, so enjoy!

Summer lives in Switzerland. In her spare time, she is either on her bicycle or in her kitchen.
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After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”


5 thoughts on “Dates and cocoa

  1. I really like dates and prunes and all those dark and chewy fruits, so I’d like to give these a try, switching up the walnuts for something else, obviously. Who was it who made the chocolate cake with beet juice? Susan? Summer?

  2. Oh hey, I’d never heard of oat milk, that sounds interesting. On the subject of oats, in fact, I’d be tempted to try replacing the nuts with oats. The dryness should provide enough body, I think. It wouldn’t be as crunchy, but I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing.

  3. Mmm, I like the idea of raw brownies. I’ve read quite a few recipes recently that combine dates and cocoa so I can understand why they would be so tasty. I know you say to put them in the fridge or freezer, but I don’t think I would be able to wait!

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