Raw Brownie Bites

*This post for Raw Brownie Bites first appeared on March 2, 2012. The recipe has been slightly edited (like to include a chocolate peppermint drizzle option perfect for St. Paddy’s Day!) and the photographs updated. I totally remember making these raw brownie bites for the first time 5+ years ago, throwing a bunch of random healthy things in the food process and being blown away at how “brownie-like” they ended up being. They’ve been made many times since and each time I would say to myself, “you really should update that post because those things literally look like shit cookies, Gina”. Well, it finally happened. Gave me a great excuse to use the cute biscuit cutter I found at an antique shop and the chocolate peppermint drizzle definitely helped to pretty things up in the looks department. If you’re not as concerned with how they look, know that they taste just as good rolled into balls instead (which will also save you about 10 minutes of prep time). I couldn’t resist a little peppermint addition to the chocolate drizzle mainly because I adore mint + chocolate but it also coincidentally just happens to be all festive and stuff too given the time of year. Enjoy! FYI – text below is original (which basically means it makes no sense 5 years later).

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Raw brownie bites are a healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving. Made with nuts, dried fruit and a chocolate drizzle, they’re paleo, gluten-free and vegan dessert you can feel good about eating.

Raw brownie bites are a healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving. Made with nuts, dried fruit and a chocolate drizzle, they're paleo, gluten-free and vegan dessert you can feel good about eating.

I’m deeming March the month of clean eating. Granted, I eat pretty “clean” to begin with but I’m just kind of curious what positive effects I’ll see if I make my normal 80/20 rule when it comes to food closer to a 95/5 kind of rule.

Raw brownie bites made with nuts, dried fruit and maple syrup are topped with a mint chocolate drizzle perfect for a healthy St. Patty's Day treat! Satisfy that chocolate craving with these healthy, raw brownie bites. Packed with superfoods and a fun chocolate drizzle topping!

99% of the time that 20% haunts me immediately after dinner as I plop myself on the couch for an episode of whatever we’re watching and my brain just starts screaming CHOCOLATE! GIVE IT TO ME! I really have no problem keeping it clean for the entire day leading up until that point. In fact, I enjoy eating healthily all day. But there’s a switch and it gets flipped right around 8pm.

Want to know what happens when you try to satisfy a chocolate craving with some fruit, coconut & cacao nibs? You fail. Epically. And then the chocolate craving just intensifies, you go to bed mad and have really weird dreams about ex-boyfriends. At least that’s what I’m chalking the dreams up to. Otherwise, I have no excuse and I’m not really sure how I feel about them if that’s the case. It’s weird waking up to your husband when you’ve been dreaming about another guy all night…

These raw brownie bites are paleo, gluten-free and vegan. Kick that chocolate craving with these healthy bites!

So I made balls. Because that’s what I do best.

Except this time I froze them and then smashed them down with a fork because I think those little lines are pretty and because I’m fresh out of ball jokes. (edited to add: this was the old version of this recipe, I used a biscuit cutter for these updated pictures)

Raw brownies are a healthy dessert that will satisfy that chocolate craving without ruining your diet.

These balls (that aren’t really balls) are anything but a brownie actually. But somehow they sure as heck almost taste like one.

I almost don’t even want to tell you they’re made with prunes because I’m sure you just read that and laughed. Or worse, clicked out of here instantly at the ridiculousness of me trying to convince you that a dried fruit used to keep you “regular” tastes like a brownie.

Packed with nuts, fruit and of course, a bit of chocolate, these raw brownie bites are a healthy way to indulge.

BUT IT DOES! Swear.

So, knowing that Ulysses might be asking for a divorce if he had to suffer through 29 more days of unsatisfied 8pm chocolate cravings, these raw brownie bites came to be.

Now that I think of it, maybe the dream was some weird foreshadowing that I needed a solution to the 8pm crazies…

That makes sense, right?

Raw Brownie Bites

Prep Time
Preparation 40 mins Cook Time
Total Time 40 mins Total Time

Raw brownie bites are a healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving made with nuts and dried fruit and topped with an optional chocolate drizzle.

Ingredients

For brownie bites

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews (or macadamia nuts)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 prunes
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1/4 banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

For chocolate drizzle

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (*see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract (*optional for mint flavor)

Instructions

  1. Combine nuts and flax seed in a food processor and process until finely ground.

  2. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until the dough just starts to come together into a ball.

  3. Transfer dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper and form into a ball. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and gently roll out into a disc shape about 1/4-1/3" thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out small circles in the dough, re-rolling as necessary to use up all the dough. Arrange the brownie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate drizzle by melting all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Remove the brownie bites from the freezer and drizzle with the chocolate mixture (you can garnish with additional cacao nibs here too if you'd like). Allow the chocolate to set. Keep brownie bites refrigerated in an airtight container to store.

Recipe Notes

Recipe Notes

For vegan and paleo option, make sure to use dairy and sugar free chocolate chips like these Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

58 Comments

  1. Julie @ Table for Two

    I’d like to think they’re balls ;) you’re a pro at balls apparently, haha..i like this healthy spin on brownie bites. They look really good! You wouldn’t even know they’re healthy for ya unless you told me! The brownie part of the title masks it!

    Reply
  2. Em (Wine and Butter)

    Cute post!!

    And I know exactly what you mean about those 8pm cravings! Then or first thing in the morning when I see lemon poppyseed iced muffins in Starbucks. Why am I so obsessed?! I also love eating healthily. Anyway – I dont know what I’ll do about the muffin cravings… but Im definitely up for giving these a try for the PM ones!!

    Plus, they;re really pretty!!

    Reply
  3. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau

    So, just yesterday I was cleaning out the pantry and I came across an unopened bag of prunes, to which I said, “WHAT am I supposed to do with these?” You must of heard me. So, I’ll be making raw brownie bites today.

    Reply
    1. Gina

      Ulysses bought a 3lb bag of them from Sam’s Club like 5 months ago…we’re still working our way through it. 3lbs is a lot of prunes!

      Reply
  4. katie @KatieDid

    Oh yes I have the same exact cravings (don’t all women?). Last week it was so bad I was litterally digging around our entire apartment for anything resembling chocolate because I was out of my beloved dark chocolate bars. Thankfully my roommates weren’t home at the time they would have though I had gone crazy. Need to try making something like this to have on hand for those desperate moments.

    Reply
  5. Adrienne @ Boysenberries

    I went hardcore 95/5 in the month of Jan. Kind of like you, taking an already pretty healthy diet and making it healthier. The one thing I really noticed was how I felt more satisfied from eating less food. Just by eating better quality grains, tonnes of green leafy veggies, and beans I felt so full. It was also the catylst for me to start experimenting with different recipes and flavours. That experience was the reason I started my blog actually. Good luck and looking forward to more recipes. My tip for avoiding the late night snack, have a super yummy breakfast planned and think about how good it will taste in the morning!

    Reply
    1. Gina

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I like the breakfast tip. Since I am the queen of laziness in the morning, I should give a little more effort at night to prep something delicious that way I can enjoy something other than a quick cereal or oatmeal bowl!

      Reply
  6. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    I love your smashed balls! :) I need to make these. I bought dates that I have to use, and this recipe is healthy and will satsify my cookie cravings. I love placing these type of treats in the freezer, and pop in my mouth when the sugar craving hits, which is all the time!! Wonderful recipe!!

    Reply
  7. Margarita

    I am so with you on the 8:00 PM craving… mine starts at about 9… I attribute it to early evening workouts. There’s also something about eating something sweet about 30 minutes after dinner. It’s a good closure to a day, I guess… end on a good note.

    Reply
    1. Margarita

      Whoa, that “something about” twice up there sounds weird… sorry, too early in the morning for me to write with grammatical precision. LOL! Your brownie bites look divine. I love cacao nibs!

      Reply
    1. Gina

      My mom was too. I still tell her to this day how we were deprived kids with no poptarts, cheese dip things and white bread in our house. ;)

      Reply
  8. BertiesBakery

    This is like a double whammy of goodness! First they are brownies… good… then they are quick because I don’t have to wait for them to bake!… goodness :)

    Reply
  9. Ashlae

    Ooh, I never thought of using prunes in my raw desserts. But the last time I ate prunes, I had a terrible stomach ache. Probably because I ate the entire bag? ;)

    Reply
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  11. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama

    So true! I have the same thing happen around 8pm. I crave chocolate and salty snacks like crazy. These look great. I think I will try them with dates since I don’t have prunes but have a 5lb box of dates in my fridge.

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      if you do, let me know how they turn out with dates. I assume they’d work well (hence the note in the recipe) but just curious!

      Reply
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  13. Alicia

    Hi Gina. I’ve been following for about a month now (subscribed via Google Reader) – love your blog – and finally attempted a recipe (this one!!) last night.

    They were delicious and easy to make – but my mini food processor (I’m talking like 3-4 cup little tiny cheap one from Target) was screaming like a banshee just to make it through step 1.

    I need to upgrade and was wondering if the one in your “store” is the one you use. I know you “endorse” it and probably get a small commission (which I’m fine with, so I hope you don’t read that as being snarky)… but I was just curious if that’s the actual model you cook with.

    Keep up the good work!! Someday I’ll sneak some of these recipes past my boyfriend’s healthy food radar :)

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Hi Alicia- I can relate to the mini food processor screaming, up until this past Christmas I had a mini one too that was horribly pathetic with more than 3 cups of anything. To answer your question, yes, the one in the Amazon store is the one I have. All the stuff in there is stuff I own, I wouldn’t put anything that wasn’t. I’m in love with the food processor, it’s seriously night and day from the mini ones. And yeah, if you purchase anything from clicking through my site to the Amazon store it does generate a small (like pennies, seriously ;)) revenue for me. But regardless, it’s a great model no matter how you purchase it :)

      Reply
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  22. Mary

    I’ve never seen a raw recipe with prunes and I am glad I’ve found one! I love prunes but I am not a fan of dates.
    Have you ever tried other raw recipes with prunes?

    Can we omit the banana and add more prunes? Do you think that prunes can always be a substitute for dates in raw recipes? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I wouldn’t omit the banana entirely as it provides some sweetness. Not sure about always subbing prunes for dates, but I bet you can in many recipes.

      Reply
  23. Catherine

    Dear Gina, I love that you decided to remake these! Sometimes our really old recipes not only need a refresh but also need to be re-shared. I know my daughter will love this recipe and will want to try it ASAP and I am all for healthy desserts! Pinning for later. xo, Catherine

    Reply

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