Raw Hemp Seed Brownies
These no-bake hemp brownies are easy to make with just a few ingredients and are topped with the most delicious chocolate ganache!
These delicious and nutritious brownies are a fun twist on baked brownies but are completely vegan and gluten-free with no baking required!
To make the brownie “batter”, you’ll blend up dates, walnuts, hemp seeds and cocoa powder. A little salt and vanilla are added to enhance the brownie flavour. The dough is then pressed into a pan and topped with a layer of simple but decadent chocolate ganache.
These brownies are delicious any time of day for a snack or dessert. You can skip the chocolate layer for a healthier snack option but it’s definitely recommended to take these tasty treats to the next level!
- No-bake recipe! All you’ll need is a food processor.
- Amazing, rich, decadent chocolate flavour.
- Made with just a few simple, healthier ingredients.
- Store well in the freezer so you’ve always got a delicious treat ready to enjoy.
- This recipe is vegan, oil-free, gluten-free and has no added sugar (date-sweetened).
Ingredients & Substitutions
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Dates: You can use any variety of dates as long as they’re not too dry. If they’re overly dry, you can soak them in hot water before using them in the recipe.
- Hemp Seeds: These may be labelled hemp hearts or hulled hemp seeds and are fairly common in well-stocked grocery stores, otherwise they’re readily available online. These can be substituted with additional walnuts.
- Walnuts: Use raw walnuts with no added oil or salt. You could toast them first for extra flavour if you like! Pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts or a mixture of any of the 4 work as a substitute. For nut-free brownies, you can use raw sunflower seeds.
- Cocoa Powder: You can use raw cacao powder, dark cocoa powder or regular cocoa powder. Dark cocoa powder will give you the richest chocolate flavour.
- Salt: A pinch of good sea salt helps to enhance the chocolate flavour.
- Vanilla: Vanilla is optional but also helps enhance the chocolate brownie flavour.
If you want to top them with chocolate ganache, you’ll need chocolate chips and coconut milk, coconut cream, or for an alternative ganache recipe, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and coconut oil.
Step 1: Blend the walnuts.
Start by adding the walnuts to a food processor and pulsing a few times or blending briefly to break them down into grainy flour.
It’s ok if there are some large pieces left but they should be fairly broken down.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add the dates, cocoa powder, hemp seeds, vanilla, salt and water and blend it up until you have a thick, sticky dough.
You should be able to press the dough into a little ball between your fingers.
Water or maple syrup? You’ll need 2 tbsp of liquid to add moisture to the dough. Water works great but if you want the brownies to be a bit sweeter, you can use maple syrup. You could also do 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp maple syrup for just a touch of extra sweetness!
Step 3: Press the dough into a pan.
Line a 7 or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper then firmly press the dough into the pan.
Step 4: Make the chocolate ganache.
The chocolate ganache layer is optional but it really takes the brownies to the next level!
If you’re making the brownies for more of a healthy snack, you may want to skip it but if they’re for dessert, I’d say go for it!
You have two options to make the ganache. You can use chocolate chips and coconut milk or cream, or follow this recipe for chocolate ganache made from coconut oil, cocoa powder and maple syrup.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or by using a double boiler.
If using the microwave, stirring every 15-20-seconds until they’re mostly melted and you can mix to melt in any remaining chocolate chips. Add the coconut milk or cream and stir until fully combined and smooth.
Step 4: Top with chocolate ganache.
Spread the ganache over the brownies, smoothing with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon then place the entire pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until the chocolate ganache is firm.
Step 4: Slice and enjoy!
Lift the brownies out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper, slice into 16 squares and enjoy.
- Dates: It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are overly dry, soak them (pitted) in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before use. In this case, you can omit the water in the recipe.
- Measuring: For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients for accuracy.
Yes. To make raw brownies without hemp seeds, replace the hemp seed with additional walnuts or use pecans, almonds or cashews.
Yes. For nut-free brownies, replace the walnuts with raw sunflower seeds.
Yes. The coconut milk can be substituted with almond butter, peanut butter or melted butter.
For another option, you can make this chocolate ganache from coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder.
- Raw brownies are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.
- It is recommended to store them in the freezer for a firmer brownie.
- They can be enjoyed straight from the freezer as they do not freeze solid.
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These delicious, vegan and no-bake hemp brownies can be enjoyed as an energy bar or decadent dessert!
For the Brownies
- 2 cups (440 g) packed, soft pitted dates
- 1 cup (140 g) hemp seeds
- 1 cup (110 g) raw walnuts
- 1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp water or maple syrup
For the Chocolate Ganache
- Blend Walnuts: Add the walnuts to a food processor and blend into a grainy consistency. It’s ok if there are some larger pieces left behind but they should be mostly broken down.
- Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the rest of the brownie ingredients and blend again, starting with 2 tbsp of water, until you have a thick sticky dough. You should be able to press it together into a ball between your fingers. If needed, add the additional tablespoon of water and blend again.
- Press into Pan: Line a 7 or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so it sticks out over the edges of the pan. This will make it easy to lift the finished brownies from the pan. Firmly press the dough into the pan, taking time to work it into all the corners and even the surface.
- Make Chocolate Ganache: Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or by using a double boiler. If using the microwave, stir every 15-20-seconds until they’re mostly melted and you can mix to melt in any remaining chocolate chips. Add the coconut milk or cream and stir until fully combined and smooth.
- Top Brownies with Ganache: Spread the ganache over the brownies, smoothing with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon.
- Freeze: Place the pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until the ganache is firm.
- Slice: Lift the brownies out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper. Slice into 16 squares and enjoy. Store remaining brownies are best stored in the freezer.
Chocolate ganache is optional but makes them more of a decadent dessert!
Water adds moisture to help make the brownie “dough” but maple syrup can be used as an alternative if you’d like the brownies to be a bit sweeter.
Without the chocolate ganache, the brownies are 183 calories each with 10 g fat, 23 g carb and 5 g protein.
- Serving Size: 1 brownie
- Calories: 241
- Sugar: 24 g
- Sodium: 74 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 6 g
Keywords: hemp seed brownies
Originally published September 13, 2017.