When blondies spring to mind, I think rich, sweet, decadent. These blondies break the rules.
1) They are gluten-free
2) They contain no butter
3) They are nutritious
4) They happen to be vegan
Don’t let this dissuade you, they’re still scrumptious!
The blondies contain a surprising base ingredient; it transpires that the humble chickpea can also steal the show. They provide substance and moisture. I made these last week for a dinner party and they were blind taste-tested. Not one person guessed they contained chickpeas. Instead, it’s the almond butter, maple syrup and dark chocolate that sing through.
After exercise, our bodies need to be replenished. Whether you exercise to lose weight, gain muscle mass or maintain your current build, your muscles require fuel in order to reap the benefits of your exercise. Exercise depletes muscle glycogen and because of their high protein content, unrefined sugar and whole grains, the blondies make a perfect post-gym snack. They are substantial, nutritious and contain all the right ingredients to replenish glycogen lost through intense exercise. I hope you give them a try!
An ode to chickpeas
Chickpeas are often limited to hummus, falafels and maybe the odd curry. Evidently, they are far more versatile than we once thought. Besides being an excellent gluten-free and vegan source of protein, chickpeas are also rich in iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. They are also a good source of dietary fibre.
Makes 16 small blondies
1 240g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50g gluten-free rolled oats
135g nut butter (I used a combination of peanut and almond)
110ml maple syrup
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
60ml unsweetened almond milk (or dairy milk if preferred)
85g (vegan) chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Line an 8x8inch cake tin with parchment paper.
- Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips to your food processor and pulse until smooth. Scrape down the edges of the food processor and pulse again for a couple of minutes until even smoother.
- Add half of the chocolate chips to the food processor and stir in by hand.
- Using a silicone spatula if available, transfer the mixture to the lined tin.
- Top the mixture with the rest of the chocolate chips and gently shake the tin so that the surface of the mixture is level.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the blondies comes out clean.
- The blondies will firm up as they cool so don’t be alarmed if they look too moist when you remove them.
- Once cool, use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.