Dessert Today: Vegan Chickpea Blondies

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chickpea-blondiesI am always trying to sneak beans and legumes into dishes to get a nutritional boost in food, as well as trying to get more chickpeas and lentils into my kids. This recipe allows them to think they are having a treat (which is true), but at the same time adds some protein and fiber to their diet.  Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are an economical way to add flavor and nutrition to stews, soups and salads, and even desserts!

Chickpeas are legumes and research has shown that people who consume legumes regularly have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Aside from fiber and protein, chickpeas also offer calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium, all of which are cardio protective nutrients.  Combined with sweet dates and yummy nut butter, this blondie recipe will be a hit with your whole family.

Vegan Chickpea Blondies

• 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
• 1/4 cup boiling water
• 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water (they will become gelatinous)
• 1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350 F. Soak dates in boiling water and let them sit for at least 15 minutes. Then add dates, their soaking water, and all remaining ingredients, except chocolate, to a high-speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Once smooth, stir in chocolate, then spread the mixture into your prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

Cool completely, then cut into squares (whatever size you want). Place in the fridge and serve cool.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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