Chickpea and Almond Butter Blondies

You have got to try these! Chickpeas - rich in fibre, and healthy source of protein and an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defences.

An Indulgent treat, great Christmas treat!

Ingredients (makes about 28 blondies):

Base:
1 cup soaked and boiled chickpeas (equivalent to 1 store-bought can, drained and rinsed)
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp organic vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla pod, pulverised
1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Icing:
1 ripe avocado
3 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup deglet noir or medjool dates
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
Sea salt to season
Cinnamon to sprinkle

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease or line a baking tray with parchment. If you’re using canned chickpeas, be sure to rinse them thoroughly first. Place the chickpeas in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until  mixture is a thick doughy consistency. Have a taste and see if you want a little more maple, cinnamon or salt. Remember the flavours will mellow with cooking so don’t be afraid to add more.
Pour mixture into the baking dish and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your tray). They are ready when they are a little golden on top and you can stick a knife in and bring it out clean. Leave them to cool while you prepare the icing.
In a blender, whizz all the ingredients except the cinnamon until smooth and creamy. Once the base has cooled, spread it thickly over the top and dust with cinnamon. Cut into squares and keep in the fridge until serving.
Keeps for one day.

Thanks to Xochi Balfour for this delicious recipe: http://www.thenaturalista.co.uk/chickpea-blondies-recipe/