Healthy Caramel chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies
I’ve never actually tried ‘real’ blondies, it’s not a familiar concept here in the UK and whenever I mention blondies, no one ever seems to know what they are. If you’re wondering yourself what blondies are, they’re basically brownies without the chocolate! So they’re dense, rich vanilla squares with white chocolate chips or chunks.
Even though I’ve never tried a blondie myself, I have tried this healthy version many times. In fact, they’re probably one of my favourite go-to desserts to make and everyone who’s tried them, loves them!
The secret ingredient that makes them healthy is – you’ve probably already guessed it – CHICKPEAS! Unfortunately I didn’t come up with the idea of using chickpeas in desserts, although I really wish I had! It’s such a great idea and once you’ve tried it you’ll know why!
Benefits of using chickpeas in desserts/baking:
- It replaces flour so your desserts can be grain free and gluten free.
- Higher in protein compared to regular flour
- High in fibre
- Has a lower IG number compared to flour – doesn’t cause spikes in your blood glucose.
- Doesn’t have a strong flavour so it can easily be masked
- Gives desserts and baked goods a dense texture, perfect for blondies/brownies!
- High in vitamins (A, K, C, B6) and minerals (potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium)
All the chickpea blondie recipes that I’ve seen use some sort of nut butter, usually peanut butter. I wanted to make a nut-free version for those of you with a nut allergy. These healthy caramel chocolate chip chickpea blondies are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and contain no refined sugars! For the caramel part, I’m simply using some delicious soft dates. Dates are naturally extremely sweet with a hint of caramel and they have a fudgy texture, making them perfect for this recipe! And since we’re using dates, we don’t need to add any other form of sweetener. The only ‘naughty’ thing in this recipe is the chocolate chips, but I wouldn’t leave them out as they make these blondies so gooey and delicious! You can use any type of chocolate chips you prefer, you can even use cacao nibs but the blondies will be drier and less tasty in my opinion.
Dates are definitely one of my favourite ways to sweeten desserts. They’re high in vitamins and minerals and also high in fibre, so unlike sugar and other sweeteners, they are digested and broken down slowly (they have a low GI number) so you won’t get that sugar rush followed by that dreaded sugar crash!
- 1 can (400g) chickpeas
- 1 cup (165g) soft dates
- 1/4 (4 tbsp) cup coconut oil
- 1/2 (55g) cup oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/3 cup (55g) chocolate chips
- NOTE - a few people who made this recipe said it wasn't sweet enough for them. I would suggest you try the batter before transferring into the cake tin, if it's not sweet enough for your liking, add some sweetener (stevia, xylitol, sugar...etc)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted)/ 350°F
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas well.
- Medjool dates would work best for this recipe but since they're quite expensive I tend to use cheaper varieties. If they're more on the drier side, soak your dates in a bowl of boiling water for around 10 minutes to soften them up. After 10 minutes, drain and rinse them.
- In a food processor (I used my Optimum 9400 powerful blender) add the chickpeas, dates, coconut oil and vanilla paste. Blend for a minute or so until you have a smooth cookie dough like consistency.
- Now add in your dry ingredients - the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Turn on your blender again and blend until everything is well distributed.
- At this point, I would suggest you give the batter a taste, if it's not sweet enough for your liking add more sweetener.
- Transfer your dough into a bowl then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Line am 8" cake tin with parchment paper then transfer and press down the dough until you have one even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Nutritional information (estimated per blondie)
- Calories: 110 calories
- Protein: 2g
- Carbs: 15g
- Fat: 5.1g
I also made a ‘caramel sauce’ to drizzle on top of my blondies by blending dates, water, vanilla and a little bit of salt. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like. I love adding this homemade healthy caramel to my oatmeal/porridge and overnight oats. If you would like a separate post showing you how to make it, let me know by leaving me a comment below 🙂
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