food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

raw red velvet brownies // food to glowRaw food seems a bit of a faff, doesn’t it? I mean, all that soaking, sprouting, chopping, dehydrating,…waiting. Not to mention a heck of a lot of shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, many of the raw recipes I see on Instagram, Pinterest and other blogs do look amazing. And, a quick eyeball of my occasionally filled in food diary would reveal that a goodly amount of what I eat is raw. You will see quite a few ‘accidentally raw’ recipes in my Index too. But I could never go the whole enchilada and forsake the comfort and ease of at least lightly cooked foods. Even for this raw enchilada, delicious as it sounds.

raw red velvet brownies // food to glowHowever, my fabulously low-tech spiraliser, my whiz-bang blender and my new slow juicer have made my raw meals and snacks SO much easier to prepare, and actually kind of fun. I am still getting a kick out of watching noodles spool out of my spiraliser where an unpromising chunk of courgette used to be. Hand on heart I use the spiraliser and blender at least once a day. And the slow juicer? Well, with various colds and ailments doing the rounds the juicer barely gets a chance to dry before it is back on duty. I’ve got fresh turmeric stashed in the freezer just to fling into it for ultra-immune boosting juices. Basically turmeric, or a great knob of fresh ginger root, goes into all of our juices right now, whether they ‘go’ or not. Last post’s juice? Now with added ginger!

But brownies… Brownies are supposed to be baked.

By common consensus the genesis of brownie production is as follows: the raw batter is to be licked from the mixing spoon, a volcanically hot and crusted corner sampled, and then they are to be eaten warm, with barely any manners. And certainly not a fork and plate. This isn’t dinner after all. But a raw brownie? That goes against the laws of nature, surely. Like giving cats driver’s licenses, or putting salt in your coffee. Capital W, Wrong.

Many would postulate that a bunch of mushed up nuts, natural sweetener and cocoa powder do not a brownie make. I would have thought so too had I not been intrigued enough by the various Internet recipes to want to riff on this recent one, from Monica at smarter fitter. And blimey if Kate didn’t post a raw red velvet one yesterday. *crestfallen face* It seems everyone I know is craving raw brownies!

Over the past couple of months I have tried out these raw red velvet brownies on various nutrition groups, and even a group of nutritionists and a professor of public health nutrition {how scary is that!}. All batches got the proverbial thumbs up from everyone.

I hope they get the thumbs up from you too. 🙂

Do you have a favourite raw recipe? If so, leave a link in the comments. I would love to have more delicious raw food ideas to try, and I’m sure others would as well. 

raw red velvet brownies // food to glow

Red Velvet Raw Brownies

  • Servings: 10-16 small pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I love using beet powder and raspberry powder to add not only colour, but also intriguing taste and a few extra nutrients. Beetroot powder can be purchased from most good health food stores, but the raspberry powder may be trickier. If you see freeze-dried raspberries, whiz some up to make raspberry powder. I’ve spoiled myself with a bag of both.

I realise these ingredients aren’t quite store cupboard for most of us, so do leave them out if you don’t wish to get them. You could also use cooked beet puree in place of the applesauce if you want the red velvet look. A couple of teaspoons of raspberry liqueur might be a sub for the taste of the raspberry powder. I add fruit and vegetable powders to smoothies, baking, and green tea concoctions {the raspberry}. Whole freeze-dried berries are brilliant to add to granola and other natural snack mixes after baking, although they go sticky when in contact with liquids.

50g {1/2 cup} cacao** or best quality cocoa

115g {1/2 cup} applesauce or puree {I used Clearspring pear-blueberry puree}

50g {1/2 cup} oat flour {oats whizzed to flour in your blender} or coconut flour

50g {1/2 cup} ground almonds or cashews

pinch of fine salt

1 heaped tbsp beet powder – optional

1 heaped tbsp raspberry powder – optional (but can double up on either if you have one of these handy}

3-4 tbsp date syrup, maple syrup or honey {Rowse do a raspberry honey!}

1 ½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

50g {1/2 cup} pecans, lightly toasted and broken/rough chopped


150g {1 cup} cashews

100ml {just under 1/2 cup} hot water

1 ½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil

Enough liquid sweetener – like maple or date syrup – to sweeten

Pinch of fine salt

Crumbled freeze-dried raspberries, to garnish – optional

Special equipment needed: heavy-duty blender {I use my Froothie Optimum 9400 blender} or food processor; 1 lb loaf tin or similar; cling wrap

1. Make the frosting by placing all of the ingredients in the blender and processing until very smooth and spreadable. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. This is a soft frosting. Firm it up some more if you like by adding a little more coconut oil.

2. Clean and dry the blender or processor. Place all of the brownie ingredients, except the pecans, into the jug/processor bowl. Blend until you get a thick batter. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice.

3. Line the loaf tin with cling wrap/film, with some overhanging the sides. Press the brownie mixture into the tin, using wet fingers or a large, wet metal spoon. raw red velvet brownies // food to glowLay the overhanging cling wrap over the brownies and press firmly to get it all into the corners. If you have another loaf tin, press this into the first tin to get a really smooth top. Make sure the cling wrap is covering the brownie then place into the freezer for about an hour before serving. Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

4. To serve, use a wet knife to cut into small pieces {I aim for about 16} then spread or pipe the frosting on to each piece to be served. Top with crushed freeze-dried raspberries. This is also lovely with fresh berries on the side.

Suitable for soft food and easy to chew diets.

** NOTE: there is a risk of bacterial contamination in raw products like cacao and cacao nibs, although organic processes may eliminate some of this risk. If you have compromised immune function, are pregnant, elderly or are feeding young children, please consider using best equality cocoa powder instead as the heat involved in processing destroys harmful pathogens. Read here for more information. The risk is very small, but for some it may be dangerous.

raw red velvet brownies // food to glow



66 thoughts on “Red Velvet Raw Brownies

  1. Susan says:

    Gorgeous! I’ve been making raw hummus lately after having it at my favorite restaurant (R Thomas Atlanta). Instead of cooking the garbanzos, you just soak them overnight. Everything else is the same. I’ll bet you already have a raw hummus recipe, don’t you….

    1. I can’t eat chickpeas! I have a hummus recipe that I take a spoonful of but I havent the heart to make things I can’t eat. If you have a link for it, do pop it in. Thanks, Susan! PS I’m seeing a truncated version of your comment on my phone, so apologies if you have put in a link. 😉

  2. Ooh, these look luscious Kellie. Raw food certainly has it’s place in a balanced diet, and I enjoy a raw dessert here and there. (This one fits the bill for sure). But I agree, I think we can overdo it on the raw nuts and seeds sometimes. In the summer I love making this raw oatmeal – flavor possibilities are endless.

    1. Too many nuts make me feel a bit icky and bloated. Less so if soaked but still a bit heavy. Any raw ‘baking’ like this I will cut small portions as it can be quite rich. Thanks for popping in your link to your no-cook oatmeal. I will have to check that out. 🙂

  3. Hagen Reedy says:

    These look absolutely delicious!!

  4. AEB says:

    A) I have put salt in my coffee. Works nicely with Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt (which is also to die for on top of vanilla ice cream).

    B) Let’s give cat’s driver’s licenses! Love this thought!

    C) These are gorgeous, and I can’t wait to make them. Thank you so much for gifting us (yet again!) with your culinary warmth and creativity. Do you think pomegranate molasses would work here instead of date syrup, or do you suppose it would just be too tangy? I’m not great at flavor-matching…

    1. Hmm, as much as I love pomegranate molasses I do think it would be a tad tangy for this. I bet you already know this but Halen Mon have a salt with Tahitian vanilla added! Thank you for your very kind – and funny – comment. Much appreciated. 🙂

      1. AEB says:

        Oh, Lord — thanks for this salt tip! Will definitely be a stocking stuffer now.

  5. I’m like you, I know the advantages of raw food and do incorporate them into my diet (I love my spiralizer too!) but cooked food still draws me in, especially when it’s so cold and gloomy like it is here in the UK at the moment! But I do like a raw brownie and this recipes looks amazing. Thank you for sharing, I will definitely be giving these a go!

    1. Great stuff. I hope you like them. 🙂

  6. narf77 says:

    Veggie desserts did beat you to the punch line but yours look better :). Cheers for the walnut vegan raw brownie link as well. They look really scrumptious. Not sure if you know Amy’s blog but if you don’t check out her raw gorgeousness…

    1. I think my daughter follows Amy’s blog! She certainly shoves pictures of her gorgeous food in my face. 🙂

      1. narf77 says:

        Amy makes gorgeous food BUT who has access to a regular supply of young coconuts?! Most of her “cheesecakes” contain at least 4 cups of young coconut meat. I would have to hock Steve to be able to afford to make one! 😉

  7. Yum, these look fabulous!

  8. milktherapy says:

    beet powder? i havent heard about it before, but i think it s nice idea to put a little bit more colour in the desserts 🙂

  9. Looks like raw brownies are the in thing at the moment so I’m going to have to give these and Kate’s version a go and see which I like best (this may just be an excuse to eat more brownies!) 😀

  10. lizzygoodthings says:

    Love this one, Kellie… have sent it to my daughter, who is currently doing the ‘clean eating’ thing for her health’s sake. I did not know about the risk of bacterial contamination in raw products like cacao and cacao nibs, so thanks for sharing that information… with my immune system, I need to take care. Happy baking, lovely one.

    1. Yeah Liz, I would stick to pasteurised things and heat-treated cocoa. It’s a shame but sometimes the most natural foods aren’t always the best for some people. I do hope your daughter gives these little treats a go. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

  11. I much prefer raw brownies to cooked ones. I really love the sound of this frosting too.

  12. I’ll admit I’m totally intimidated by raw food – but these look really easy to make! And delicious too! 🙂

  13. Wow, they look absolutely amazing and so fresh& colorful aswell! I have recently read about some people eating only raw foods. I’m not sure if just raw ingredients can give you enough nutrients. What do you think about that kind of diet? Anyways, very interesting&nice blogpost Kellie! Have a good day <3

    1. I think you have to work pretty hard (and the body too) to get all you need from a completely raw diet. And some peoples’ digestion cannot cope with a raw diet. It is possoble but expert advice is always needed. I’m glad you like the look of this easy recipe. 🙂

      1. Oh yeah, I totally agree with that! Those people say, that with the cooking progress nutrients get even lost, but I don’t really believe that.

      2. Some are enhanced and some are lessened (not lost). I recommend mixing it up with cooking methods as most plant foods we eat will have many nutrients, some of which are best cooked at least a little and some are best raw.

      3. You are totally right! I think in most cases or maybe all, it is the best to mix it up.

  14. sianjulian says:

    These do look lovely…but my issue with a lot of raw recipes is a lot of them include nuts in some form, nut butters, milks etc. What would be the alternative for those who can’t eat nuts?

    1. Can you eat seeds? Yeah, you’re right, a lot do call for nuts, and mostly there is no non-nut or seed alternative as it will be integral to the recipe. Sometimes one can cut back and replace with sprouted grain but of course this isn’t an option for those with allergies or severe intolerance.

      1. sianjulian says:

        Yes seeds are fine… I will investigate further, I am often looking for alternatives as my cousin is coeliac and mum allergic to nuts!

      2. Oh gosh, that *is* tricky. well done for trying to accommodate their issues. For this recipe pine nuts would be a good sub for the cashews, and just drop the icing and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, pearled sugar (nice crunch) or just some freeze-dried raspberries. 🙂

  15. citycalm says:

    Just found your blog and wow those look yum! I will have to have a go at this 🙂

  16. pinkiebag says:

    Oh they look yummy, I would never have thought of raw brownies.

  17. V 8 Mile says:

    I share the same thoughts about raw food— love the pictures and buying it in a restaurant, but seems so time consuming. But your post makes me want to try my hand at making raw food, the photos are just wonderful!

    1. Aw thanks so much. *blush*

  18. Deena Kakaya says:

    Kellie that picture is WOW, I am thoroughly taken away with the art…seriously! And I have never eaten a raw brownie but you make it look so easy…and beautiful. x

    1. Thank you, lovely lady x

  19. I would love to try these out. You have made them look so good and I imagine they would be more filing than a regular brownie. I wonder if any bakeries/food shops sell them or whether they will become the next big thing? You would hope so!

    1. They are very filling, Laura, and quite a few calories too, which often surprises people. We cut them small and savour them!

  20. You know I’m all about balance and I make room in my life for good quality baked goods from time to time. You’ve made these raw brownies look just as delectable and squidgy as the ‘real’ thing, I really must try these out. The husband has been on a beet kick for the nitrates and their supposed ability to improve athletic performance, so I know if I get my hands on some beet powder and make these he’ll be on board. Another winner, Kellie!

    1. Ww are keen on beets for many reasons but the studies over the past few years about beets enhancing stamina really stand out. We recommend people with fatigue problems during and after chemo to drink fresh beet juice (not too much though!) to help with energy. If beets help elite athletes work longer, it should help ‘regular’ people too.

  21. This is too much for me to handle! I’m making these this weekend!

    1. You are too funny! Thanks for the sweet comment

  22. thespicyrd says:

    And just when I thought I had overdosed on desserts recently with my pre-BDay cupcakes, then all the a Thanksgiving pies, then my real B-day birthday cake, you give me THESE luscious brownies. Life is not fair! 🙂 But seriously, they look divine, and I will definitely be making them soon! I don’t have a lot of raw desserts on my blog, but these Raw Chai Spiced Pear Tarts are one of my favorites 🙂

    1. Yes, I know your chai pear tarts – gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the link. 🙂

  23. This is genius, must try! Love the sound of it and I adore the photos too. We love raw fresh cranberries mixed with lime, dates, pomegranate juice red onions and coriander leaf 🙂

    1. well, you know I nicked your idea (with attribution!) ages ago for the blog. It is a brilliant little relishy/salsa-y thing to eat at this time of year. Nice with Peters Yard crisp breads too.

  24. Who knew the raw diet could be so much fun?! I love the look of these brownies and am very curious about how they taste… I may have to try making them for myself to find out!

    1. Let me know if you get around to them, Katie. They are so easy to whip up. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment I appreciate it.

  25. Sally says:

    Just wow Kellie – a raw showstopper.

  26. Anita Menon says:

    These look like they are baked! Gorgeous and so Christmas like ! Beautiful

    1. Thanks so much, Anita!

  27. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  28. Ish says:

    Love the recipe…will have try…

  29. sakinah30 says:

    Reblogged this on Cappuccino.

  30. I’m all up for raw baking Kellie. Love these – very festive!

  31. Hhgoo says:

    That is so great!! Captivating red velvet, it must be tasty and healthy ! must have a try !

  32. strawberryem says:

    Wow it looks great, but complicated from my now, living simply in central america days! Some of my favourite raw recipes –, & an experiment of my own –
    Glad to have found your site!

    1. Thanks for the links!

  33. Reblogged this on pranakitchen.

  34. I might just leave everything I was meant to do today so that I can make these!! They look amazing 😀 And I’m a huge fan of cashew frostings!

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