Beyond Healthy Blondies ie Vegan Protein-Packed Cookie Bars!

I owe this recipe and blogpost to my girlfriend Korrin who shared the recipe with me a few months back. I’ve tweaked it just slightly but we literally make it once or twice a week! My husband and stepson request this more than anything else! And I must admit–they are absolutely mind-blowing! Nobody would ever guess that the secret ingredient in these Cookie Bars is Chick Peas…that’s right, legumes!

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free. It is sweetened with liquid stevia and maple syrup. I do use natural peanut butter or almond butter, but in the case of allergies, I suspect you could replace with sunbutter. I have not tried that yet.

This would be a fantastic way to sneak protein into your picky kiddo’s diet–they will be pleading for more!

Ingredients:
~1 can of organic garbanzo beans aka chick peas, strained and rinsed
~1/2 cup of natural peanut butter or almond butter (we like the grind-your-own one ingredient style from HEB or Whole Foods)
~1/8 cup of 100% Maple Syrup
~15 drops of Liquid Stevia–I prefer the Sweet Leaf Stevia Clear brand.
~2 tsp Vanilla
~1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
~1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
~1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
~1/4 cup of Enjoy Life Allergy-free, Dairy-free Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips– they are $4.91 a bag at HEB but I keep them in the freezer and they last us a good while! Perfect for these bars or chocolate chip pancakes or over some Nada Moo Dairy Free Ice Cream!

Instructions:

~Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
~Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor–I prefer my Kitchen Ninja!
~Blend well.
~Add half of the chocolate chips and pulse to combine.
~Spread the “batter” into a brownie pan spritzed with olive oil or coconut oil–I like to use my pre-divided brownie pan. This recipe makes 9 bars, or half of the pan, while doubling this recipe would fill up the pan with 18 brownie-sized bars!
~Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes and serve with a cold glass of Almond Milk! Don’t forget to let them cool for 15 minutes or more so they retain their bar form as they get dunked into that almond milk!

Thank you so much Korrin for turning me on to this amazing treat! Enjoy!