In response to those of you who asked for a good recipe or two, this one is phenomenal. We are ten days into the new year, and maybe your resolve to eat better is starting to crumble. Want a healthy, yummy sweet treat? Try these blondie brownies. (Let's face it - blondes do have more fun. Cocoa powder can stay in the cabinet). Just whip up a batch and you'll satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining nutritionally on track.
I wish I could say I've been making it for years, but it actually just came to me yesterday. My friend Jen (also blond, btw) made them after discovering the recipe in Shape magazine, and then brought me a tiny sample at boot camp this morning. (I love it when she brings me food.) I had it with my coffee at 7:45am and by 8:30, all of the ingredients were lined up on my counter, ready to be mixed. Mind you, I didn't even get to eat all of my tiny sample ('tiny' because her husband did not want to part with too many of them; unwillingness to share is always a sign of a good recipe!). Contingent upon finishing his scrambled eggs, Scott got the last 1/3 of it. Lucky kid.
Let's be upfront, however: this is not low-cal. With a 1/2 cup of nut butter and 1/3 cup of maple syrup (or agave), both are high in calories and/or fat. I mean, just 2 tablespoons of almond butter packs 180 calories and 16 grams of fat. Eating this will not make you skinny and eating a whole pan (which I am trying very hard not to do right now...) may actually put pounds on. The difference, however, is that these brownies are much healthier than brownies loaded with saturated fat, processed sugar, and refined flour. (I know, the jury is still out regarding the use of maple syrup versus white sugar; does the body process sugar, regardless of its origin, the same? I don't know. If you do, let me know.)
While the brownies may be dense and high in calories, their secret ingredient is...garbanzo beans. Yup, beans for the win. Again. Because of those magical little suckers, one serving offers a nice serving of fiber and protein, something completely absent in a traditional brownie. Pick the nut butter of your choice (Jen used cashew butter; I opted for almond), and you've added some heart-healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fat. And no eggs mean you can lick the spoon with reckless abandon, you crazy baker!
I'll post another favorite recipe next week, but right now, this one is too good not to share. Bake it this weekend!
Vegan Blondie Brownies
by Jen B and Shape Magazine
Coconut cooking spray or vegan buttery spread (this is just to grease the
pan; don't freak out if you don't have these)
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup almond, cashew or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. In a food processor, pulse chickpeas, nut butter, sweetener, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda until smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
3. Bake for 25 minutes or toothpick comes out clean. Edges should be slightly browned.
4. Cool pan for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt.
5. Try to prevent you or your family members from eating all of them in one sitting.
Yields: not enough