I have been thinking about recipes to help target inflammation. This is because inflammation is one of the biggest root causes of hormonal imbalance. While most chronic inflammation is related to gut health, it can be useful to target inflammation at the circulation level too. This is when omega 3’s come in. It’s no secret that omega-3 fatty acids have become very popular for their ability to lower inflammation, especially for things like cardiovascular disease and also things like Alzheimer’s disease. When I think of omega 3, my thoughts immediately go to walnuts. Walnuts are very high in omega 3. Just a small 1/4 cup serving gives more omega 3 than is required in a day. Walnuts contain plant-based omega 3 in the form of ALA. While ALA has anti-inflammatory effects on its own, it is not considered the most absorbable form of omega 3. ALA must be converted into EPA and then DHA to exhibit most of the positive effects on the body. In most people, conversion rates are low, which is why the recommendation is to consume foods that already contain EPA and DHA. Most commonly this is found in fish and other seafood but also in algae and seaweeds. As far as I know, it is unclear from the research if eating a large amount of plant omega 3 (ALA) leads to an increase in EPA and DHA levels. We simply do not have the data to answer this question, however walnuts themselves have data to support their inflammation-lowering effect and also their beneficial effect on the brain, so they are perfect for inflammation regardless of the omega 3 content.
This recipe is no bake and uses a combo of walnuts, dates and cacao powder. I recommend processing the walnuts in the food processor first and getting them very fine, close to a nut butter consistency before adding the rest of the ingredients. The smoother the texture the fudgier the brownies become and the more they resemble a fudgy baked brownie. The recipe is very simple, only using a handful of ingredients. It is naturally gluten-free and refined sugar-free. The icing uses coconut cream and melted dark chocolate. When eaten straight away the icing resembles more of a thick sauce but once set in the fridge it hardens and resembles more of a buttercream icing texture. Both versions are delicious although once the icing sets it loses some of its shine. The brownies store very well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks ( if they last that long).
This recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
|Raw Walnut Brownies with Coconut Cream Frosting
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 1½ cups pitted dates (soaked in water for 10 minutes to hydrate then drained)
- ⅔ cups cacao powder
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 80g dark chocolate ( I use 85%)
- ⅙ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup nut butter of choice ( I used almond and pecan blend)
- In a food processor, blitz the walnuts until finely ground and almost resembling nut butter. This can take a few minutes. Add all remaining brownie ingredients and blitz again until sticky.
- Press down evenly onto the base of a lined square 10cm baking dish and set aside.
- For the frosting, add all ingredients into a saucepan and melt over low heat until a smooth thick sauce forms. Pour over brownies and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
- Place in the fridge to set for about an hour.
- Once set, slice into squares and enjoy.