Anyone else wonder where the time goes? I mean winter drags on and on, and while I’m seriously longing for summer, I have no idea where January went. It felt like 5 minutes. Time flies. My parents always say “wait until you’re our age, it goes by even faster.” But I seriously have a hard time believing time can go faster than it already does. On the bright side, we’re halfway through winter, and that excites me. I’m noticing the days are getting longer. For someone like me, who is extremely active, sitting around inside my house all winter is torture.
So, I have a confession. I have become a sugar fiend over the last month. Let me tell you. I am not a sweets person. While I do like dessert, I rarely crave sugar. It takes me forever to eat a chocolate bar, usually I throw it out before I finish it, I prefer to order appetizers over dessert at restaurants, I’m a salt fiend. If you put a greasy box of fries or a slice of cheesecake in front of me, I’ll take the fries every time. Except for the last month. I have been craving dessert non-stop for the past three weeks. The bad part is, I’ve been giving into these cravings. A lot. Self control – out the window… thanks to chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
So, this weekend I was having one of my very good friends over for dinner. Like me, she has a whole list of food intolerances, and she’s had to follow the Paleo diet for quite some time. She avoids dairy, sugar and wheat. Since I’ve been working on a healthy brownie recipe for a while, I thought this recipe would be perfect for her dietary needs, and would satisfy my non-stop desire for sugary things (namely peanut butter ice cream).
I bring to you… Dark chocolate chickpea brownies!
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten excited over a healthy dessert. I mean, dessert isn’t supposed to be healthy. It’s supposed to be indulgent, rich, sweet, delicious, and a guilty pleasure that may expand the waistline a bit.
But if a thick fudgy brownie tastes amazing, is good for you, and is guilt-free, you can sign me up!
My challenge for you: make them, and feed them to everyone you know. But don’t tell them that they’re chickpeas. And when they drool over them and ask for the recipe, then you can tell them.
I had to do a few trial runs with these brownies, and I learned a lot along the way. One of the biggest things I found out is that cheap cocoa powder makes cheap, crappy tasting brownies. I’m converted to Dutch-processed now, and it’s the way to go. I had to go on the hunt for chocolate chips that have no refined sugar in them. It’s easy to find dairy free, nut free, wheat free chocolate chips, but chocolate chips with no refined sugar, that’s a whole new challenge. But I did find organic, bittersweet chocolate chips with a very small amount of cane sugar in them. It’s the best I can do. I thought about putting 90% dark chocolate in there instead, but I really love chocolate chips in my brownies.
The best way to sweeten these babies up: maple syrup. I was worried you’d be able to taste it, but you can’t. These have so much chocolate in them, and that’s all you’ll be able to taste.
Oh… did I mention that these are blender brownies? So all you do is dump all the ingredients in a blender/food processor and let it work its magic. My clean up crew, the senior dishwasher, aka husband, aka Jordan, loves this part.
First tip: buy chickpeas with no salt added. This is a sweet treat; they aren’t being used for savoury purposes…
Open the can and dump the chickpeas into a strainer. Give them a good rinse under the tap.
These babies need to be well rinsed and dried off. The last thing we want is watery brownies. You don’t have to worry about removing the skins on the chickpeas, cause it’s literally all going in the blender! Again… easiest dessert recipe ever.
Grab your blender at this point, and dump all the ingredients in!
I always start the blender on low just to give it a chance to start mixing the ingredients, then gradually turn it to high. I do have a very powerful blender though. If you want great, powerful blender, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a Vitamix, go buy a Ninja. That’s what I have, and it’s the next best thing, for $550 less.
If you have a cheap small blender, you may blow out the motor with this batter. Because it’s thick. A food processor would work well too.
Mm… that looks like brownie batter to me. When I say blend until smooth, I mean it. You might be blending for a good 3-4 minutes, but you really don’t want chunks of chickpeas in the brownies. Unless the chunk part is nuts and chocolate chips. Chunky chickpeas = not good.
Disclaimer: I know we’re already halfway through, but honestly, I went picture happy today. The light was so perfect, I was having so much fun taking different shots, I still have more pictures that I’m not adding.
I always scrape the sides a couple of times too just to make sure there’s no chunks hanging around the sides or the bottom.
Once the batter is nice and smooth, you can put it in a mixing bowl and add the chocolate chips. I left mine in the blender because it’s easy for me to pull out the blades and use it as a makeshift mixing bowl, without batter spilling everywhere.
As previously mentioned, I needed to find a chocolate chip that had no refined sugar in it. So I went with these 71% organic bittersweet chocolate chips. They have a small amount of cane sugar in them, but that’s it. After putting these in my brownies, I don’t think I’ll really be able to go back to regular chocolate chips.
If you don’t have to worry about refined sugar, any kind of dark chocolate chips will work just fine. But the chocolate chips are what make the brownies very rich and decadent, so semi-sweet won’t work in this recipe.
I’m so in love with any dark chocolate. The darker and more bitter, the better in my opinion. I think I ate a quarter of the bag before I measured for the recipe.
Once the chocolate chips are mixed into the batter, pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish. I used coconut oil to grease. You could use butter, but I am keeping this recipe dairy free.
Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 24-26 minutes, and watch the magic happen!
Pull them out and stick a toothpick in to check doneness. If it comes out clean, then they’re done.
A brownie to me should be thick, cakey and dense. And when I cut into these babies and see how big and dense they are, it makes me happy.
Let them cool in the pan for a few hours after baking. They are easier to cut out of the pan at room temperature. I have put them in the fridge to make them cool faster, but they don’t come out of the pan as nicely.
And now… la piece de resistance! (Or in English… the masterpiece!)
I made these after lunch. The taste test happened before dinner… twice. Then I had two more after dinner.
I sent some home with my friend Michelle, but the next day I had two for breakfast, and another one for dessert after dinner. Then they were gone… 🙁
See?! ^^^^ I wasn’t lying when I said dense and thick. And melt in your mouth. A glass of milk is a perfect way to wash these down.
Dark Chocolate Chickpea Brownies
Free of wheat, gluten, dairy, refined sugar
- 1 can Chickpeas (540 ml) drained, rinsed and dried
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 cup Dutch-process cacao powder
- 1/2 cup Maple syrup
- 3 tbsp Coconut Milk (NOT lite)
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 cup Dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil
Add the first 6 ingredients to a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.
Mix the chocolate chips into the batter, and pour into the baking dish
Bake for 24-26 minutes
Let cool for at least one hour before serving
If you like nuts in your brownies, add ½ cup walnuts or pecans in with the chocolate chips. I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure it would be delicious.
If you make the recipe, leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!