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Coffee and chocolate is a classic and decadent combination so what could be better than a raw mocha dessert? But if you are sensitive to caffeine and don’t tolerate the stimulants in raw cacao this is the perfect recipe for you to indulge your sweet tooth in a healthy way!
Mocha brownies without coffee or chocolate? You might wonder how this could be possible. The chocolate part is easy. Carob powder makes a good substitute and satisfies the desire for a chocolatey flavor but oftentimes it can taste a bit too sweet as it lacks the bitter element found in raw cacao.
That’s why this recipe is so great. It includes a secret ingredient that tastes like coffee and provides a perfect balance to the carob. It’s called the Ramon nut and you might not have heard of it yet but it is certainly worth getting acquainted with this up-and-coming superfood.
What Are Ramon Nuts?
Ramon Nuts are also known as Maya nuts, Breadnuts or Capomo, however, they are not really nuts but are actually seeds. This nourishing food is native to Central America, growing wild in the forest, and is completely caffeine-free and naturally high in potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber, amino acids and antioxidants.
When the seeds are roasted they can be brewed to make a delicious coffee substitute. In fact, they are one of the ingredients in one of my favorite coffee replacements called Teeccino.
I also really enjoy brewed roasted capomo with coconut sugar or raw honey. Even though it is caffeine-free it provides a subtle energy boost but at the same time it has stress-relieving properties so is also perfect to drink in the evening.
However, Ramon nuts can be fantastic when used raw after being ground into a powder and in this form, they make a great addition to smoothies and raw dessert recipes.
I first learned about the Ramon nut when traveling in Belize many years ago where a local healthy restaurant included it in their spirulina pudding recipe. I still remember how it added a really unique earthy and nutty flavor. So I was excited when I discovered raw Ramon powder was available.
You can use Ramon to provide a coffee-like flavor but without any stimulating effect. The brand that I used for this recipe is no longer in production but I found a similar product on Amazon produced by Worldwide Botanicals.
Raw Vegan Mocha Brownies
Brownies seemed like the perfect way to take advantage of the coffee-like flavor of Ramon nuts and combining them with walnuts enhances their nuttiness. This recipe is super-easy to prepare and is suitable for anyone with very limited experience in the kitchen. All you will need is a food processor.
Dates and walnuts are combined together with the carob powder and Ramon nut powder, along with vanilla, coconut oil, and a dash of Himalayan salt. You might be tempted to omit the salt but I strongly recommend you keep it in as it is quite amazing how just a touch of salt can really enhance the sweetness. Salted caramel anyone?
The coconut oil could be left out so long as your dates are nice and moist. When I made this recipe I only had access to regular dried dates but if you have some prime Medjools you could certainly do without the oil.
This would also be a perfect recipe for the holidays as just about everyone loves raw brownies, no matter what dietary philosophy they follow.
If you don’t have access to Ramon nuts you could substitute with raw cacao powder as long as you tolerate it. Additional carob powder is also an option but this would make the recipe taste a bit sweeter so you might need to use fewer dates in that case.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cups dates
- 2 tablespoons ramon nut powder
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Place walnuts and dates in the food processor and pulse until they combine together.
- Then add the carob and ramon nut powder and pulse until the mixture forms into a dough. Be careful not to grind too finely. You should still be able to see small chunks of walnuts.
- Add the optional coconut oil if you prefer or if the mixture is too dry and pulse once again.
- Press the mixture evenly into an 8 by 8 inch baking tray and place into the fridge to set for at least one or two hours.
- Cut evenly into 16 squares. You might need to wait a little while for it to soften to cut easily.
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