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Feb 24, 2015

Almost Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies + Cocozia Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil Review

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Cocozia Coconut Oil was provided to me for free from Cocozia. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own. Links to their Amazon page are provided in this post per their request.



I'm not even almost a raw foodist, but I can always get behind eating some raw food - especially in the form of cookie dough or brownies! My first experience with raw cuisine was when the Whole Foods flagship (which those in the know call "Whole Foods Disneyland") opened in 2005. One of the first specialty food bars they had was the raw food bar which used to sit where the juice bar is now.



I was living in south Austin, and was poorer than dirt. Still, a few times a month I would take the bus down to Whole Foods Disneyland just to visit the raw food bar. I ordered the same thing every time: a tiny amount of pumpkin seed cheese, a few flax seed crackers, and one or two lemon bliss balls. It was a luxury I coveted. I was in my first year of veganism, and these new-to-me treats tasted so rich and lush that for the duration of my snacking I could forget about how much I was struggling. 


These Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies have that luxe that I associate with raw treats, and they taste as advertised. The chocolate chip cookie dough tastes like vanilla-y, brown sugar-y chocolate chip cookie dough while the brownies are just as rich and fudgey as you'd expect a brownie to be. These really are incredible little sweets!

I don't often make raw (or almost raw) treats, but I was inspired when Cocozia asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing their 100% Organic, Unrefined, Cold-pressed Extra-Virgin Coconut oil. I had a great time with their coconut water so I believe my answer was something sophisticated like "Uh....yahHUH! I would love to pleaseandthankyou!"

This coconut oil, y'all. Short review: It's really good.


Long review: I love this coconut oil. I've tried quite a few coconut oils, and there are some really great ones out there. However, this one might be my favorite. Here's my breakdown:

Kitchen
Texture: Soft in the best way. This coconut oil works as any coconut oil would - melting at very low temps and blending well. 
Taste: It's so fresh and actually decently mild. It tastes like coconut, but not overwhelmingly. Aside from raw snacks and cooking I've also been using it as a popcorn topper. It's buttery and perfect!

Beauty Routine
This is where this coconut oil might really be my favorite. Beauty bloggers love to suggest coconut oil as a skin and lip moisturizer, but I never had any luck with that until now. Past coconut oils have either been a little too greasy, or just not moisturizing at all. I'm sure as with most things you just need to find the best brand for your skin, and this has by far been the best brand for my skin. Cocozia's is the first truly moisturizing coconut oil I've used. I've been applying it to my legs after shaving, and it's been great.

I know this all sounds pretty gushy for a sponsored review, but I'm really into this coconut oil. Plus, I have it to thank for inspiring these incredible almost raw brownies.
At this point you may be wondering why they're "almost" raw. Well, I really want to respect the guidelines of what makes something "raw". Like, I get an unattractive eye twitch when something containing honey is labeled vegan, and I don't want to incite that reaction in someone else. These contain both maple syrup and cocoa powder which I'm not sure always qualify as raw. So I'm playing it safe.

All I need now is to recreate those lemon bliss balls. I haven't had one in I don't know....10 years?

Almost Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup raw oats
  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 4 fresh, pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Directions
1. Add the oats, cashews, and dates to a food processor, and pulse just until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, and process until the mixture comes together. If you squeeze a little in your palm it should hold together perfectly. 
3. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and stir in the cacao nibs. Set aside while you make your brownies. Be sure to wash and dry your food processor bowl before moving on.

Brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 5-6 fresh dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions
1. Line an 8X8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside. Add the almonds, walnuts, and 5 dates to your food processor, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Add in the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, and process until the mixture comes together. If you squeeze a little in your palm it should hold together perfectly. If it doesn't come together add the 6th date, and give it a few pulses until it comes together.
3. Pour the mixture into your lined baking pan, and push it down with your hands to get it flat and even. Pour the chocolate chip cookie dough over the brownies, and repeat the pushing and flattening maneuver. Cover and refrigerate the brownies to set. They should be sufficiently set in 10-15 minutes. Cut into you favorite brownie shapes and eat.


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