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High Protein Blondies

High Protein Blondies

I have to admit, I have been skeptical of this whole beans-in-treats phenomenon for a while. After a bad experience with a black bean brownie that tasted terrifyingly hummus-esque, I was adamant: treats are supposed to be treats. Why try to turn them into something else? At a vegan potluck not too long ago, though, the absence of any other treats meant that I allowed a bean-based blondie to slip past my guard. It was surprisingly good as a treat on its own merits, not just a more wholesome one. Was I imagining things, though? After encouraging my son to try one (without telling him about the beans in it) and getting a “It’s delicious!” response that no 11-year-old would give unless he really meant it or Legos were on the line, I knew that this was something I would have to tinker with on my own. I think I’ve come up with something that works well, with a chewy, soft texture and richness reminiscent of traditional blondies. With a better nutritional profile (higher in protein, low in refined carbs), these treats are the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. They come together really quickly with the help of a food processor and create a minimal mess. If you’re on the fence about beans in desserts, trust me: these are worth a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. (If you are still doubting me, have you ever had silken tofu in a dessert, like a cheesecake or pudding? Guess what: beans!)

High Protein Blondies
Makes 16

1/4 cup quick oats
3 big medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water
15 oz. chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup smooth almond butter
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 T. Fair Trade, vegan chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8-X-8 pan with parchment paper. You can also use cooking spray instead of parchment paper.

Whiz the oats in your food processor for a minute, until finely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Process for two minutes, until smooth. Let it cool for about five minutes because sometimes processing it warms the batter up and this will pre-melt the chocolate chips, which won’t effect the taste but it won’t look as pretty. After cool, add the 1/2 cup chocolate chips, reserving 1 T. Mix together with a spoon right in the food processor container.

Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading until flat. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 14 minutes, turn 180 degrees, and then bake for 14 more minutes. Let cool  in the pan for 20 minutes and then cut into squares. Enjoy!

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