Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Bars (vegan, gluten-free, and healthy!)


Whenever I make a sneakily healthy dessert I always have friends and family try it before telling them what the secret ingredients are just to see their unbiased reactions. I brought these into work and the ladies in my office ate them up and loved them - one even went back for a second helping right away! These bars really are delicious and super moist without added fats or oils. They are made using chickpeas, so they are a great source of protein, and the addition of ground flax adds fibre as well. Overall, they're a healthy, energy-packed snack or sweet treat that happen to be gluten-free and vegan as well!

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed - You can substitute with white beans as well; they will have a smoother texture.
3 Tbsp. nut butter - I used almond butter for a more neutral flavour, but you could use peanut butter if that's all you have. You could also substitute margarine or coconut oil.
1/4 cup ground flax
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
Turbinado sugar for garnish (optional) - Turbinado is a sugar that has a larger granule and is less refined than regular white sugar. A little sprinkle on top of these bars will add a bit of crunch, sweetness, and sparkle.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan with aluminum foil.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or high power blender, and blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. If you do use a blender then you may have to blend this in a couple batches instead of all at once.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan and evenly smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the top of the bars lightly with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 35-38 minutes. They may look slightly underdone when you take them out, but they will firm up as they cool. Don't overcook them otherwise they will become hard. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then cover and place in the refrigerator to continue cooling completely before slicing into bars.

These bars get better the day after you make them because they have time to set and firm up. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator; freeze for longer storage.


*Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

No comments:

Post a Comment