Anyone who suffers from chronic pain, knows how debilitating, frustrating and even depressing it can be. Let's face it, chronic pain can be the pits. It can genuinely affect daily activities- stifling your energy, affecting your mood and leaving you feeling drained. Like many things in life, it is sometimes HOW we handle the pain that makes the difference between feeling miserable and moving through it-not skipping a beat. In this case, I’d like to share a fun and decadent way to ease the pain with a mouthful of ooey-gooey chocolate topped with a spark of sweetness. I am calling this The (Almost) Raw Fudge Brownie with Turmeric Ginger drizzle. Deep rich cacao and nuts topped with a honey based syrup all infused with pain fighting plants like White Willow Bark, Flax seed, Turmeric and Ginger. You won’t need more than one (but more is just fine ;) to feel better and keep your body flowing smoothly… Here are a few stars of the pain fighting elements of your tasty treat… White Willow Bark-Willow bark has been used for thousands of years to ease pain and reduce inflammation. An active ingredient- salicin, found inside, is responsible for these effects. Also, there are other components of willow bark, including plant chemicals polyphenols and flavonoids, that have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. Flax Seed- Omega 3 powerhouse. Also, packed with dietary fiber to keep digestion smooth. This can be a godsend for people with chronic diseases like Ulcerative Colitis or Chron’s disease where digestion can be sluggish. Keeps blood circulation flowing smoothly which can be a challenge for people with conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Walnuts: Omega 6 and 3! Helps keeps joints nice and lubricated, keeping your mobility top notch and inflammation at bay Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory! Help fight the inflammation that is a result of chronic aliments such as Rhumetism and Colitis. The active ingredient curcumin is the prime fighter here, helping to reduce enzymes in the body that promote inflammation. Ginger-increases circulation, and again helps fight inflammation that can be the cause of stiffness and pain. Amazing remedy for menstral cramps, chronic and or acute stomach pains, helps with digestion and nausea as well. Cacao- rich in antioxidents that help fight heart disease, taking in reasonable amounts has been shown to help keep arteries free and clear Raw Brownie with Turmeric Ginger Drizzle *yield- 16 fudgey brownies For the Brownie: 1 cup walnuts 1 ¼ cup almonds *Note: it may make your life easier if you purchase almond pieces, or already chopped almonds (you can find almond pieces packaged or in the bulk section of most health food stores) as this will save you time using the processor to break down the almonds…. 2 1/4 cup pitted dates 1 cup cacao or roasted cacao powder 2 ½ tbsp flax seed meal 1 tablespoon coconut shreds 1 tsp White Willow Bark Powder (use dry herb and grind at home or purchase pre-powdered) 1 tablespoon honey (you can sub. maple syrup for Vegan) ¼ cup coconut oil ¼ cup warm water ¼ teaspoon sea salt * To top your brownie: - gather a handful or two of loosely chopped walnuts and almonds and or chocolate shavings/chips if you are getting wild. Method: *Take pitted dates and put them in a bowl of warm water to cover-set aside. Grab an 8x8 pan or something similar, line it with parchment paper, and grease with coconut oil-set aside. *Pour walnuts into food processor and pulse until minced fine. Empty walnuts into large bowl and set aside. Add Almonds to processor and pulse until minced, (these may be slightly chunkier than the walnuts and that’s just fine!). Pour into same bowl as walnuts. In the food processor, add coconut oil, water, honey and pulse a couple times to blend. Add in cacao or cocoa powder, White Willow powder, flax seed meal, and sea salt. Pulse to combine. *Grab your dates. Discard the water they have been soaking in. Slowly add in your dates in small batches to your mixture. If this seems to be too much for your food processor, you can take half the batch out, and do this in two batches. Once it feels like a dough-like consistency, scrape into your 8x8 pan. Sprinkle your topping mixture of choice over surface of brownies and press mixture into pan as evenly as you can. Place in fridge for 1 hour. For the Turmeric Ginger Drizzle: (yields ½ cup drizzle) ½ cup honey ¼ teaspoon turmeric ½ inch chunk of fresh ginger 1/8 teaspoon sea salt Method: Load the bottom bottom of a double boiler with and inch or two of water. Set top pot in place over bottom pot. Turn burner on to high. Add all ingredients to top pot. Once water in bottom pot starts to boil, turn heat to low and keep an eye on your honey drizzle, stirring every few minutes. Keep on heat for at least 10 minutes, and up to 45 if you like a super spicy gingery drizzle. Remove from heat and pour into jar or directly onto a brownie if those are already cooled. Once cooled, store in tightly sealed jar in fridge- keeps for 2 weeks.