Raw Hazelnut Brownies

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Who else gets excited at the idea of RAW food? I definitely do. I love when I can recreate a sweet treat (God knows I have a massive sweet tooth), while still incorporating amazing nutritional benefits and never sacrificing delicious chocolatey flavour. Ladies, when it’s that time of the month these little squares will definitely come in handy.

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I can remember back in early high school and middle school, I was going to Burger King and A&W every day after school, eating a cheeseburger and fries as a snack. Without a care in the world, still slightly prepubescent, a stick figure. I thought… how could this ever catch up to me? If I could go back in time and tell my 14 year old self to stop gorging on fatty, processed foods and nom hard on some baby carrots and fresh fruit. I would be doing myself the greatest favour I could ever do for myself. Looking at my diet now and the effects my 14 year old self’s diet would have on my body… it would be tremendous. Not only do I notice it right away in my belly, I would be greasy, my face would break out, I would literally be sick to my stomach the moment after eating it. 14 year old Casey…. how could you have been so bad to your body????

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These “brownies” literally taste like a fudgey, raw bar made of Nutella  I honestly almost ate the entire bowl before refrigerating it. There is just something about chocolate and hazelnuts. Add some coconut in there, maybe some cinnamon and vanilla. I’m drooling at the thought of it.

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Brownies:
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or you can use unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups pitted medjool dates (soaked in hot water for a few minutes to soften)

Topping:
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut
2 tsp coconut oil, melted

1. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts, coconut, cacao, and cinnamon until finely ground.
2. Drain the dates well, and add to mixture. Pulse until evenly combined and blended. Add vanilla and pulse to combine.
3. Line a 9″x9″ brownie pan with parchment leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal. Press brownie mixture into prepared pan.
4. In food processor, pulse together coconut oil, hazelnuts, and coconut. Top brownies and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove and cut into 16 squares.

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