Two fun facts about me:
1. I love eating healthy
2. I love sweets (especially chocolate)
What we have here, my friends, is a constant battle of sheer willpower. But, the fact of the matter is…sometimes you just have to find a way to treat yourself. Naturally, I stick to my necessary gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian lifestyle…however, this doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy some of the finer things in life.
That being said, 2016 is a year of change for me. I’m trying to improve myself, my body, my soul, my mindset…I’m trying to reach both long-term and short-term goals. And part of that is definitely making certain tweaks to the diet.
I’m not saying I am cutting out sweets and desserts entirely. That’s inhuman. But, I am cutting back on them. And once the current ones in the pantry are moved out…they aren’t coming back in. I buy gluten-free…so I’m too cheap to just toss the stuff away.
That being said, I’m always game for trying new ways to make an indulgence healthier. And awhile back, the amazing Lottie Bildirici, better known in the social media world as “Running on Veggies” posted about the treat she made for Kara Goucher (yes…THE Kara Goucher) when she was coming to NYC to run the NYC Marathon. Kara chose blondies as her treat and Bildirici got to work researching and coming up with a recipe that would not only seem like a treat, but be made with real ingredients, nothing processed, and be healthy. When the recipe posted, I was beyond intrigued. Granted, my foray into baking using beans as a base resulted in brownies that tasted like black beans, so I did have my reservations going into this…but I decided to give it a try.
Blondies made without flour…and by using garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and dates as the sweetener. Well…there was only one way to find out how this would turn out. I hoped for the best, since Kara Goucher was a fan…but…hey…some things you have to try yourself.
So this was what I put into my food processor this past Sunday afternoon:
Everything but the dairy-free dark chocolate chips, that is. Any nut butter (or nut-free butter) will work, but I’m a huge fan, and an ambassador, for NuttZo…and it really is the best stuff on the market. Find it. Trust me…it’s worth the price!
After giving everything a whirl in the food processor, I was left with a light and fluffy fatter. I folded in the chocolate chips, sprayed down some muffin tins and began to evenly distribute the batter into 24 muffin tins.
After baking for around 40 minutes, I removed the pans from the oven and let everything sit, untouched for over an hour. At that point, I moved everything to a sheet pan (carefully) and then into the freezer. But not without trying one.
First of all, they don’t taste bean-y…and they don’t taste like dates either. They actually taste like a decadent little dessert or muffin. Especially when warmed up in the microwave for about 30 seconds or longer. Although, I love them frozen too…but I’m weird like that. These are an amazing treat and one that I don’t feel bad about eating because…it was made from real food.
I know a lot of people look down on those who enjoy a treat every now and again…but the fact of the matter is…we’ve got it all wrong. Not all calories are created equal. Just like now not all carbohydrates and fats are either. That’s the being said, I am a firm believer in counting nutrition, not calories. And that’s what making something like this is all about.
And trust me…they are SO good.
If you want to give them a try…you can get the recipe here! They are easy to make, and delicious. Trust me…you’ll want to keep these on hand! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack or dessert…these are truly a delicious and healthy treat.
Eat real food. These treats are more like a healthy choice than an indulgence. And what’s not to love about that?!