These Raw Hazelnut Brownies Have A Secret Protein-Packed Ingredient

Quinoa is a versatile little grain. It can be rolled into sushi and mixed into salads for lunch; it can crumb chicken parmigiana or be brewed in a soup for dinner; it can even be puffed into porridge for a gluten-free breakfast treat. But whisked into your brownie batter for a tasty dessert?
We’d understand if you were skeptical. But if we’ve learnt anything from culinary goddess Donna Hay, it’s that she can make anything taste good. So, in celebration of her magazine’s sweet sixteenth, like any know-it-all teenager, she had to prove it to us. She’s made a ridiculously delicious dessert with (yep, you guessed it) quinoa.
Courtesy of donna hay magazine issue *Sweet* 16, is this raw hazelnut brownie recipe. It’s packed full of protein and sweetened with dates, and it’s finger lickin’ good.

Raw hazelnut brownies with date ganache icing

Makes 20
12 fresh dates (180g), pitted
⅔ cup (70g) raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup (160g) raw almonds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup (25g) puffed quinoa
½ cup (125ml) water
1½ cups (225g) raisins
½ cup (70g) hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Date ganache icing
12 fresh dates (180g), pitted
½ cup (50g) raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ cup (125ml) warm water


  1. Place the dates, cacao powder, maple syrup, almonds, vanilla, coconut oil, quinoa, water and 1 cup (150g) of the raisins in a food processor and process for 2 minutes or until finely chopped and well combined.
  2. Add the hazelnuts and remaining raisins and pulse until roughly chopped.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Using a small palette knife, spread the mixture into an even layer.
  4. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
  5. To make the date ganache icing, place the dates, cacao, coconut oil and water in a medium bowl. Using a hand-held blender, blend until very smooth.
  6. Remove the brownie from the tin, spoon over the date ganache icing and sprinkle with the cacao nibs. Slice to serve.

Want more delicious recipes from Donna Hay? Check out her archive here or pick up a copy of donna hay magazine.
Recipes and images from donna hay magazine Sweet 16 edition.

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