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Fairtrade Brownies | World Chocolate Day

It's World Chocolate Day and we have taken this as an opportunity to focus on the importance of Fairtrade and what it means to those it directly involves. It also provides us with a reminder to review our shopping habits and prioritise ethical purchases when we are able to do so.

We spoke to Gem of @gemswholesomekitchen who shared her favourite brownie recipe with us using Fairtrade products wherever possible.

Fairtrade is such an important principle because it ensures that businesses pay a fair price for the products they purchase from developing countries. The principle seeks to protect the rights and working environments of workers in developing countries – championing people over profit. This, in turn, promotes sustainable business models.

1 Jul 2021

Gem says ...

When you’re feeling a bit low, something sweet can be a real cure-all. These brownies are so delicious, you will not believe they are such a healthy snack. They will give you all the TLC you need, as cacao is full of minerals and vitamins to boost your mood and energy levels, dates are a wonderful natural sweetener and the nuts add protein. These also make a great gift for a friend who might be feeling under the weather.

You will need:

For the brownies:
- 150g pecans or walnuts
- 150g dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 6 tbsp Fairtrade cacao powder
- 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- a pinch of sea salt

For the icing:
- 150g dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (save the water after soaking)
- 4 tbsp Fairtrade cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Optional toppings:
- chopped walnuts and slivered almonds
- freeze-dried raspberries
- edible rose petals

How to make your Fairtrade Brownies:

- Blitz the nuts in a food processor until crumbly. Add the dates and blitz again until the mixture sticks together.

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture turns a lovely dark brown. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop the nuts and dates finely and combine with the rest of the ingredients to make a fairly firm brownie mixture.)

Line a small cake tin with baking paper and spoon the mixture into it, pressing down firmly.

- Now make the icing. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender with 50ml of the reserved date-soaking liquid, and blitz for a few minutes until smooth and velvety. Add a little more water if needed.

Using a spatula, spread the icing on top of the brownie mix. Top with any decorations you are using, then chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

- I usually slice the brownies before putting in the fridge to chill as they are easier to cut before they have been chilled.

My top 5 products to buy Fairtrade:

1. Chocolate

When you choose Fairtrade chocolate, you know that the farmers and workers who produced the cocoa in it received an additional Fairtrade Premium on top of the price of their crop which they can invest in their communities and use to fight the effects of climate change.

2. Bananas

One in three bananas bought in the UK is Fairtrade, making a huge difference to thousands of farmers, workers and their families.

The price of a banana bought in a UK supermarket has dropped from around 18p a decade ago to just 11p now. The result is that for farmers and workers in countries like Colombia and the Dominican Republic, growing bananas for a living is becoming unsustainable.

Buying Fairtrade bananas means that producers are guaranteed a minimum price, get an extra premium to invest and have improved workplace conditions and protection.

3. Tea

Not all tea is created equal. Behind your cup of tea, real people face low wages and discrimination. Whether farmers working their own land, or workers on big estates, the people who grow and pick our tea often don’t earn enough to even feed their families.

When you buy Fairtrade tea, farmers and workers can bring greater security, equality and opportunity to the lives of their families and communities.

Through Fairtrade, they can improve their working conditions and learn how to improve the way they farm and manage their environment. They can make sure their children are fed and can go to school. Communities can invest in clean water and clinics, improving everyone’s health.

4. Beauty Products

Make Fairtrade part of your beauty routine by choosing from a wide selection of products from toothpaste to body butter which you can find on the high street and online.

So much cocoa and shea butter is used when making beauty products and this means small-scale farmers in over 50 countries, including Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Dominican Republic produce ingredients such as coconut, argan, apricot and brazil nut oils for beauty products.

When you choose Fairtrade, they get a fair price and support to invest in community projects, from clean drinking water to improving their local healthcare.

5. Herbs and Spices

Whether you’re cooking, baking, or even mulling wine, look for the Fairtrade Mark on a brilliant and varied range of herbs and spices.

Next time you’re shopping, look out for the Fairtrade mark on store cupboard staples such as pepper and cinnamon. If you’re after something a bit more special, try high-quality Fairtrade saffron and Madagascan vanilla pods. 

When you choose Fairtrade, farmers and workers get a fair price and support to invest in community projects, from clean drinking water to improving their local healthcare.


Images by @gemswholesomekitchen

Follow Gem | Instagram

Final image by Fairtrade

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