Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Healthy No-Bake Thin Mint Brownies for Vivica (Desserts for the Deserving)

One of the blogs that I follow is i am baker. Amanda is most famous for her gorgeous cakes, and I even made my own version of her rose cake for a coworker's bridal shower. Amanda started a campaign last year called Desserts for the Deserving where she asked her readers to nominate someone who deserved a package of freshly baked goods. She received over 170 gut-wrenching stories of people across the country who truly sounded like they could use a bit of sunshine in their lives. The next part of Amanda's challenge was to pair these nominees up with people who would volunteer to bake and ship something for these individuals.

I nominated a coworker's husband, Mike, who is currently dealing with chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Mike's battle has been difficult at times, but he does have his good days. You can read about Mike's journey at his CaringBridge website. In turn, I volunteered to bake for another deserving individual and was ultimately given Vivica's name.

Vivica is a courageous 12 year-old girl who was diagnosed with kidney and heart failure at a young age. She had the first of many kidney transplants when she was just seven days old and has already undergone 3 heart surgeries and is currently on the waiting list for a 4th transplant. My life was truly touched when I read about her story, and I definitely wanted to do something for this brave young woman who has faced so many hardships than I will ever have.

As you all know, I love making desserts, but I had a feeling that I probably needed to alter my recipe for Vivica since she's had multiple surgeries. I went online and looked for recipes that were kidney and heart friendly and then remembered that a blog that I follow, Chocolate-Covered Katie, features tons of healthy desserts that I could pick from.

I settled on these thin mint brownies because chocolate and mint is one of my all-time favorite dessert flavor combinations. Plus, the instructions seemed pretty similar to the blueberry muffin Lärabars that I posted recently.

I sent Vivica a batch of these brownies and hope that it brightens up her day.

If you would like to know more about Vivica's story or even make a small donation to help her single mother, please consider going to her Facebook page or CaringBridge site. Thank you!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup walnuts (I used lightly salted cashews)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups pitted dates (I used Dole)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • A few drops of pure peppermint extract (depending on how minty you want them… Start with less; you can always add more.)
  • Chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
  • Dash of salt (optional but recommended; I omitted since the cashews I used were already slightly salted)
Directions
Combine all ingredients, using a food processor or blender. Form into brownies, balls or bars.

Yield: One 8x8 inch pan

3 comments:

  1. What a wonderful cause Eva. My heart breaks for Mike and Vivica. :( These brownies look delicious. I have never cooked with dates before. I think I have only had them in a granola mix.

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  2. Sounds like an amazing cause Eva, these brownies look so delicious! What a great way to brighten some one's day :)

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  3. What a wonderful cause. I am going to her facebook page right now! I'm so honored that my recipe was used, and I hope she liked them. She is in my thoughts and prayers.

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