A sinfully raw chocolate brownie that is gluten-free, vegan and only takes 10 minutes to make!
The month of love is finally here! ♥ ♥ ♥
There can never be too much love in the world and it should be celebrated. Not only on Valentine’s Day but any day in February, or all year! Yes, Valentine’s Day has become the cheesiest day of the year – but it’s still the perfect opportunity to show your love. And I truly believe that the deepest expression of love is more than store bought candy, roses, and jewellery. It’s the thoughts and gestures that come straight from the heart, like making yummy treats like these Chocolate Raw Brownie Hearts. I’m pretty sure they will get you in the mood for love (wink wink).
Not only are these brownies packed with nutrition, they are packed with flavour and can be whipped up in no time at all. And the best part… they have aphrodisiac properties. Okay, maybe aphrodisiacs really haven’t been proven to exist but we are going to pretend they do and have some fun this month. Are you in? Great, grab your sweetums and some sexy ingredients and let’s get ready for some lovin’…
Walnuts – arginine, the active ingredient in walnuts, is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric acid known to enlarge blood vessels and enhance blood flow to the genital region.
Cacao – the mood booster thanks to feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and phenethylamine. It also releases dopamine and can induce feelings of attraction, excitement, and euphoria.
Dates – jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that energize and boost sexual stamina.
Vanilla – taste and smell are both important components when it comes to love and romance, that’s why there is a strong connection between the sweet, alluring aroma of vanilla and sexual arousal. And if consumed, it has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, increasing energy and improving circulation.
Combine all of these ingredients together and you are ready for business. That’s right, say goodbye to a low libido 😉 😉
Along with all the wonderful aphrodisiac benefits, these brownies are void of any processed sugar, flour, or dairy that will make you fell sluggish or weigh you down. Packed with protein, fiber, omega-3, magnesium, and copper they can also be eaten as a perfect little afternoon or pre-workout snack. Just roll them into balls and store in the fridge. They make a perfect snack or treat for the kids too!
Relationship warning! The most valuable presents don’t come from the store, they come from the heart and are offered as a reflection of the care and appreciation you feel for your partner.
I’m not a love expert by profession but I am from experience. I’ve been in three long-term relationships and have learned something new from each and every one. My current long-term relationship has been the most successful. Even though we have been living in different countries for over a year we still manage to keep the love alive! And just so you know, we are not in the honeymoon stage; we will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary this summer!
So since it’s the month of love I decided not to go into detail about the health benefits of the brownie ingredients but to share some relationship tips that have gotten Chris and I this far without wanting to kill each other. Even though there might be days when he wants to light me on fire or push me out of the car door (kidding kidding) we have managed to strengthen our relationship by incorporating most of the tips below.
Learning your partners love language – Have you ever read Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages? If you haven’t, then I would highly recommend it. He talks about the 5 different love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch), and has you take a test at the end of the book to see if you and your partner are speaking the same love language. Because the way you want to give and receive love may be different than your partner, it’s important to be able to understand and act on each other’s love language. When Chris and I took the test our love languages basically matched up so that could be one reason we fell in love so hard.
Not skimping out on time together – Spending some time away from your partner is healthy but spending too much time apart can weaken a relationship by creating separate spheres of interest, which can result in couples having less in common over time. One reason Chris and I have a great relationship is because we do the things we enjoy most together. Has our long distance relationship taken a toll on our relationship? Absolutely. But it just means that when we do get together we works twice as hard to have fun. You know when they say opposites attract? Well this may be true in the beginning, but in the end I believe it’s a relationship killer. Having different interests are good but you also need to have things in common. Chris and I have a lot in common so we are able to be best friends and lovers.
Actively listening to your partner – This one can be challenging for some people because most people will say they are listening but are they actively listening? In the beginning of a relationship (honeymoon phase) it’s easy to hang on to every last word from your sweetie because at that moment they are your feel-good pill and you don’t want to let that go, but as time goes on we tend to ignore the needs and wants of the person we are supposed to love the most. Be honest with one another and make sure you understand what the other person says. Nothing is more frustrating than being in a relationship and discovering that the person you are with doesn’t care about your needs or wants. Can you say divorce?
Along with those three important gifts, we believe it’s also the little things that count, like:
Write little love notes, send flirty text messages, exercise together, give compliments and praise, always hold hands, say “I love you” with actions, set goals often to make sure you are moving in the same direction, snuggle up at night, dance while we are cooking together, stretch and try couple yoga poses together (always good for a laugh), randomly give each other hugs, appreciate each other and always say THANK YOU.
Most people get comfortable with each other and just expect them to meet your needs. Too often a simple thanks is forgotten and the other person feels like they have been taken for granted. It’s sometimes the little things that matter the most.
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 24 regular dates (or 12 madjool dates)
- 6 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place walnuts in a food processor and blend until walnuts are a flour.
Add dates, cacao powder, vanilla extract, vanilla powder, and salt. Process until blended well and are able to form into a ball. If batter is too dry add a small amount of maple syrup.
Form into balls, press flat (about ½ inch thick) and take a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts.
Place on parchment paper.
Top brownies with chocolate frosting and toppings of choice (see notes).
Place cacao powder, maple syrup and salt into a bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy.
Serving size: 1
Calories 185 / Fat 12g / Carbs 20g / Protein 4g / Fiber 4g / Sodium 31mg / Sugars 13.8g