Recipe and photography by Renee Kohlman

Gluten free and vegan, these brownies also taste delicious. A little heat from ground chipotle pepper adds a pop of flavour, and the smooth, chocolatey glaze makes them ever so pretty. Great for after school snacks, these are a tasty and healthy alternative to the buttery, rich brownies we’re so acquainted with.

Walnut and Date Lentil Brownies


1¾ cups walnut pieces, toasted

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground chipotle pepper (optional)

pinch salt

½ cup cooked whole green lentils

2 cups pitted Medjool dates

½ cup (125 mL) plus 1 Tbs (15 mL) maple syrup, divided

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

¼ cup (60 mL) melted coconut oil

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Flaky salt, optional


  1. Lightly grease a 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with canola oil, and line it with parchment paper, leaving overhanging sides.
  2. In a food processor, add the walnuts, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle pepper, and salt. Pulse until the nuts are coarse and the cocoa is incorporated. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the lentils and dates, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the bowl of the food processor after each addition. Add 1 Tbs (15 mL) of maple syrup and the vanilla and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add water 1 Tbs (15 mL) at a time. The mixture should be soft and smooth. Pat the brownie dough into the prepared dish, using damp hands. Smooth the top evenly with your hands or an offset spatula. Place the brownies in the freezer while you prepare the ganache.
  4. Whisk together the melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and ½ cup (125 mL) maple syrup until very smooth. Pour the ganache evenly over the brownies. Place the brownies in the freezer for 30 minutes until set. Sprinkle with salt, if using.
  5. Use a hot knife to cut the brownies into 16 pieces.

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