Today I share with you a guest post and recipe from one of the Vanderbilt Dietetic Interns who is training with me, Brooke Capritto. It is always a pleasure to work with the bright and enthusiastic dietetic interns at my alma mater! I was a little skeptical about the ingredients of this recipe, but when I tried the finished product I was sold! My Little Farmers gave their stamp of approval to this Wholesome Indulgence. I think you will agree that it is a delightful twist on a traditional favorite!
With summer coming to an end, I try to test and tweak nutritious dessert ideas that are quick and easy, especially for an intern. Typically, I go for a gluten-free take on desserts and other bread products because I tend to have more energy when I leave out gluten.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love all gluten-filled products and consume them when I can, but I try to exclude them in my recipes and things I make at home. I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Spondyloarthropathy a few years ago, and eliminating gluten also helps lessen my current inflammation and increases my energy, especially when I wake up in the morning.
While I love the typical brownie or cakes mixes that are quick, easy, and full of gluten, they come up short on my imaginary nutritious checklist.
In my household, I tend to have a lot of legumes on hand because they’re easy to prepare, go with anything, and are inexpensive! So, as I was rummaging through my various canned legumes in my pantry, I came across a can of chickpeas.
Now, I had to check my imaginary nutritious food checklist. Excitingly enough, chickpeas passed the test!
Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) contain a large amount of insoluble fiber, which aid in cleaning out the colon, like a chimney sweep. Plus, insoluble fiber is metabolized by the bacteria in the colon. The product of this metabolism is Short Chain Fatty Acids, such as acetic, propionic, and butyric acid, which are reported to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. They are also known to provide an inimitable supply of antioxidants, which protects our bodies from oxidative stress.
Chickpeas provide protection against cardiovascular disease. Like most legumes, they help lower LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Lastly, due to their ample amounts of protein and fiber, chickpeas help to regulate blood sugar, appetite, and satiety.
After this nutritious realization, I stumbled upon this quick, easy dessert idea starring this unique, cream-colored legume. I like to make these bad boys when I’m short on time and my sweet tooth is on the verge of exploding out of my mouth.
These Grain Free Chocolate Chip Blondies are
…And full of nutrients!
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup all-natural almond butter or peanut butter (any nut butter)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (homemade is fine)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup vegan (or regular) chocolate chips + 2 tablespoons (Enjoy Life Brand works well!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F° and coat 8x8 inch pan with the nonstick LEAP friendly oil.
- In a food processor, add the drained/rinsed chickpeas, nut butter, sweetener of choice and vanilla; process until the batter is a smooth consistency. Then, mix in optional cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder (in the food processor or in a separate bowl). Fold in ⅓ cup of chocolate chips, I like to use dark chocolate because it has a lower sugar content.
- (Side Note: Batter is known for being thick and super delicious, so you could just eat it on its own like cookie dough!)
- Once all the ingredients are combined, spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top. (You can spray your spatula to prevent batter from sticking.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown. The batter may look underdone, but you want to avoid drying them out.
- Cool in pan for 20 minutes on wire rack.
Customize with your choice of nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, or sweeteners to fit your food sensitivity diet!
Recipe adapted from: http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2013/04/flourless-chocolate-chip-chickpea-blondies-with-sea-salt-vegan-gluten-free-healthy/
This recipe is packed with simple, wholesome ingredients like nut butter, honey, and, of course—chickpeas! I love using a smoother almond butter for a fudgier texture, like the Trader Joe’s Brand.
My favorite honey is Bernard’s Acadiana Honey. I am originally from Louisiana, where Bernard’s is produced. I recently moved to Nashville for my Dietetic Internship, so this honey really hits home; I try to use it whenever I can!
Also, Bernard’s honey tastes amazing. It is a pure, unpasteurized honey from Certified Cajun Louisiana.
Try this recipe and let me know how it goes in the comments!
Here’s to Wholesome!
Guest Post by Brooke Capritto, Dietetic Intern at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Brooke is from St. Martinville, Louisiana and completed her B.S. in Dietetics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is currently living in Nashville, while completing her Dietetic Internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.