Making sweet treats and desserts which are also loaded with goodness is one of my favourite ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. It’s also the only way I can get my 3 boys to eat any kind of bean without complaining! The chickpeas in these blondies provide a perfect, cake-like texture without using any flour or oil. It’s quite a revelation that you can put 2 tins of chickpeas and some peanut butter in a food processor and it comes out tasting quite so delicious!
Aquafaba is the liquid you drain off after opening a can of chickpeas. It’s quite thick and acts like eggs in baking for binding. It won’t help your baking rise like eggs do and that’s why I have added some baking powder to give the bake a little oomph. If you don’t have aquafaba because you cooked the chickpeas yourself, you could try leaving this ingredient out. It just means it won’t be as moist but it will still hold together.
I am always conscious of cost when making food as I try to stay within a budget when cooking for a family of 5. Sweet treats always push that budget to its limits as they do tend to use quite a lot of ingredients such as Maple syrup which can be quite expensive. If you do not have the budget for something like coconut sugar or pure Maple syrup, sub it for the best quality dark brown sugar you can buy. Dark brown sugar will add the sweetness and it will still be far better than adding white, refined sugar. Also, treats should be just that – a treat! I make something like this one or two times a week which really helps to keep costs down too, plus, you enjoy things much more if you don’t have them too often – don’t you agree? 😉
The chia seeds work to hold the blondies together and when you grind them, they allow more of their omega 3’s to be absorbed by the body. If you do not have a coffee/spice grinder to grind them in, you can add them to the food processor whole as the food processor blade will help to break up the seeds too – just not as effectively as the coffee/spice grinder would. My coffee/spice grinder cost about £20 and I use it a lot for 3 things – grinding toasted spices, flax, and chia. It’s been worth buying just for those 3 items because it enables me to make my own curry powders and pastes, and it allows me to break open the linseeds/flax and chia to release the all-important omega 3’s and allow for absorption as the body is not efficient at breaking these little but mighty nutritious powerhouses down, and if you’re not careful you can ingest them and they pass right through your body without you gaining any nutrients from them! So I would recommend getting a grinder if you can.
I really hope you enjoy these chocolate chip blondies as much as we do in our house!
Enjoy! Joanne x
Vegan Chocolate Chip, Chickpea & Peanut Butter Blondies
- 2 tins chickpeas 450g - RESERVE THE LIQUID rinsed and drained
- 140 g smooth or crunchy peanut butter
- 4 tbsp aquafaba this is the reserved liquid from the tin of chickpeas which acts as a binder/egg replacement
- 2 tbsp ground chia seeds or whole if you cannot grind them
- 100 mls maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch sea salt - I use Celtic sea salt
- 100 g dark chocolate chips
- You will need a 20cmx20cm loose bottomed brownie tin and a preheated oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place all ingredients - excluding the chocolate chips into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Remove the food processing jug and carefully remove the blade. Stir through almost all of the chocolate chips (reserve a few for adding to the top after cooking).
- Bake the mixture in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees C. Check it has cooked through by placing a skewer into the blondie and checking it comes out clean. If not, return to the oven for another few minutes.
- Once it is cooked, allow cooling for 5 minutes before releasing the blondies from the tin and allowing to cool for a further 30 minutes on a cooling rack.
- If you reserved some of the chocolate chips, add them now to the top so they melt into the blondies.
- Cut into 9 equal pieces and serve or store in a lidded, airtight container with a piece of paper towel in the bottom, for up to 3 days in the fridge.