Healthy Caramel chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies – Nut-free

Nadia Bars, dairy free, Desserts, gluten free, nut free, sugar free, Sugar-free, Sweet Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Video 24 Comments

Healthy Caramel chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

healthy caramel 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:

  1. It replaces flour so your desserts can be grain free and gluten free.
  2. Higher in protein compared to regular flour
  3. High in fibre
  4. Has a lower IG number compared to flour – doesn’t cause spikes in your blood glucose.
  5. Doesn’t have a strong flavour so it can easily be masked
  6. Gives desserts and baked goods a dense texture, perfect for blondies/brownies!
  7. 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!

healthy caramel blondies


Healthy Caramel Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies
Serves 16
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  1. 1 can (400g) chickpeas
  2. 1 cup (165g) soft dates
  3. 1/4 (4 tbsp) cup coconut oil
  4. 1/2 (55g) cup oat flour
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  8. 1/3 cup (55g) chocolate chips
  9. 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)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted)/ 350°F
  2. Drain and rinse your chickpeas well.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Now add in your dry ingredients - the flour, salt and baking powder.
  6. Turn on your blender again and blend until everything is well distributed.
  7. At this point, I would suggest you give the batter a taste, if it's not sweet enough for your liking add more sweetener.
  8. Transfer your dough into a bowl then fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Line am 8" cake tin with parchment paper then transfer and press down the dough until you have one even layer.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  1. Nutritional information (estimated per blondie)
  2. Calories: 110 calories
  3. Protein: 2g
  4. Carbs: 15g
  5. Fat: 5.1g
UK Health Blog - Nadia's Healthy Kitchen

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 🙂

Nadia x

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Comments 24

  1. I don’t know if I would bother if you aren’t planning on the caramel sauce. They weren’t sweet enough to my taste and the chick pea flavour was noticeable

    1. You could always add more sweetener if it wasn’t sweet enough for you. I’ve made it many times and everyone who tried them said they loved them and couldn’t tell there were chickpeas in there 🙂

  2. Oh YUM! I made these yesterday for me and my sister but.. they never made it into Blondies as two blondies ate the batter before that haha! I added bit more vanilla extract but otherwise I thought the recipe was quite perfect, we devoured the batter with some berries just the two of us (whooops but we couldn’t resist..)! Next time I’ll (try to) make it into blondies and share a pic in instagram 😉 Thanks for the recipe!♥

    1. Haha! The batter is pretty amazing as well, but you really must trythem baked, so gooey and delicious 😀 Hope you like them! I’ll be waiting for that pic on Instagram 😉 x

  3. I’d love to see the caramel sauce as well! I tried making it and couldn’t get the consistency right.

    I’ve made this twice, first time I added too many choc chips, which made it into a delicious brownie. Second time I added less and then found that it wasn’t sweet enough, thankfully couldn’t taste the chickpeas though.

    I love the recipe but definitely recommend more sweetener.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Sarah 🙂 I thought it was sweet enough for me but you’re the second person who said it wasn’t sweet enough. I have added a note in the video and the blog recipe to add extra sweetener if the batter is not sweet enough.

  4. Hi Nadia,

    I’ve just recently discovered your great blog!

    I want to try this recipe and I would like you to do a separate post for the caramel sauce please.

    Thank you

  5. Making these at the moment ☺ the batter tastes amazing! Only problem is they are taking forever to cook. Been in 50mins now. Hopefully its not to much longer, they look & smell amazing!

  6. hi nadia,
    just wondering what would an alternative for oat flour be please? I don’t react very well to oats..or nuts !
    thanks! jade xx

    1. You can try another flour that you can eat, I don’t see why it shouldn’t work; however, I haven’t tried using any other flour myself. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  7. Bless your soul, Nadia! I just tried these, but with rice flour (I didn’t have any oats), and they were beyond amazing! I could’ve easily eaten the whole thing if I had not promised my sister some.

  8. I have made these a few times but added slightly more chocolate. They are truly amazing and I can’t get enough of them.

  9. I made it as a treat for my last workday. Already tried a small small piece and it is sooo good! I’m curious for what my colleguas think about it

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      I haven’t tried honey myself. The dates add a lot of volume and texture so substituting it with a liquid would change the outcome.

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          I would suggest adding a granulated sweetener like brown sugar, stevia etc. Adding more liquid might affect the texture.

  10. Soooo good! It doesn’t need caramel on top or anything. It’s perfectly sweet as it is. It’s so hard to find healthy desserts using dates. I’m glad I found this one and I’ll look around your blog.
    Thank you!

  11. I am going to try this, I am trying to cut out all added sugar for health reasons.
    Thank you for this recipe, will let you know ow how it goes!

  12. I made these this morning and ate 3 right after I pulled them out of the over! They are delicious. I used my Instant Pot to pressure cook dried, unsoaked chick peas (set at 25 minutes with 6 minutes of natural pressure release). I followed the recipe exactly but added lots of chocolate chips and salted caramel chocolate chips.

    I had seen Blondies with the same ingredients as these in an upscale store in my town. They are expensive. I thought I could find a recipe and give them a try. So happy I did. Great recipe.

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