You reckon you’ve officially gone woo woo when your idea of a sweet treat, an indulgent one at that, is a squidgy medjool date stuffed with some dark tahini and a sprinkle of cinnamon? I would believe so.
This my friends is me. I have become that lentil eating, hippie-dip person, who sprinkles turmeric in everything within reach and always has snacks in my bag for those often moments when nothing except crisps is available. You’d wish you were my friend when it comes to those desperate times!
Snacks! That is what we’re all here for.
Something high in protein, full of healthy fats, a hint of sweetness, nourishing and well and truly tasty. Come the 3/4pm afternoon slump the biscuit tin sure becomes appealing. A Digestive, Custard Cream, Chocolate Hobnob, ooh perhaps even a Fruit Shortcake (dead fly biscuit anyone?) or a Nice, always a good pairing to that brew. It’s true, but biscuits aren’t necessarily going to keep you powering on till the end of the work day or your commute home, and stopping at just one isn’t even an option.
So, bring on the blondies.
I’m a fan of a homemade snack. Putting aside an hour at the weekends to mash, pour and mix up the ingredients, not only is it preparing you for the week ahead for those busy work days and long commutes, think of it as an act of self care. Doing something for yourself, with the knowledge that your emergency snack stash is nourishing and will prevent you prowling the kitchen come 8pm eating anything and everything you can lay your hands on.
These blondies don’t contain the expected ingredients, a blondie is the blonde sister to the chocolate brownie. No chocolate or cocoa powder, think a brownie/cookie hybrid sometimes studded with addins like pecans, cranberries and white chocolate. Sounds pretty scrum right? Ok that is not what I have for you today, and there is one particular ingredient maybe you weren’t expecting?
The beauty that is the chickpea. The versatile legume made famous for its use in hummus, high in protein and low in fat, lending it’s qualities to create a dense and gooey blondie. I’ve been thinking recently about making a sweet hummus, a dip to eat with apple or carrots, spread on toast for breakfast or a snack. A change up from the regular peanut or almond butter, as there can be too much of a good thing (even peanut butter!). Tahini, dates and chickpeas along with some almond flour, coconut oil, and a flax egg in there too to help stick it all together. You can adjust the amount of dates depending on how sweet you would like, but there is no added sugars. That’s no maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar etc. just dates for some of that HELLA fibre action. And talk about the caramelly toffee flavour!
Tahini is, as you well know if you’ve read my blog before, one of my desert island foods. There’s something about its bitter depth that lends itself to all manner of foods and I honestly cannot get enough. However if you are averse to the stuff (seriously?how?) add any other nut butter you like. If you don’t have any dates available switch them out for other dried fruits, figs and cashew butter, apricots and almond butter or even raisins and peanut butter.
Date and tahini blondies
Makes 12 bars
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed/linseeds
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/3 cup dairy free milk (I used almond)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup tahini (light or dark, my favourite is dark)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp of almond flour
- 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (depending how much you like it)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
- Mix the ground flax/linseeds in a small bowl with 3 tbsp. of water. Leave to gel for 10-15 mins. This makes a ‘flax egg’.
- Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Meanwhile add the chickpeas and the dates to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small pan, add to the food processor along with all the other ingredients including the ‘flax egg’.
- Blend well, scraping down the sides if necessary, until everything is combined. Tip into the tin and spread out until level.
- Bake in the oven 25-30 mins until firm. Leave until cool and store in the fridge in a Tupperware for up to 1 week.
Beans, not just for hummus!
Let me know what you think, and if you have any other sweet ways with lovely legumes I’d love to hear!
Love and hugs