Baking with gluten-free, refined sugar-free ingredients can get really expensive. This chickpea blondies recipe is aimed at bringing the cost down a little. Because the food processor is out anyway, why not make your own almond meal? Scroll down for lots of tips and tricks to bring the price down.
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How to Save Money on Ingredients
Most chickpea blondie recipes call for almond meal or almond flour but if you’re using a food processor anyway, you might as well save a few bucks and make the almond meal yourself. Raw whole almonds can be found for $5/lb at stores like Aldi. This is less than half the price of almond flour in my local supermarket.
Chickpeas are very affordable from a can but if you want to save even more you can buy dried chickpeas and cook them yourself. It sounds like a lot but it’s actually very minimal effort. Just cover them with water and soak them in the fridge overnight, then boil them for about 45 minutes the next day and you’re done! If you make extra, then you can also make Quick and Easy Chickpea Dip.
Peanut butter is generally the cheapest of nut butters and works perfectly. Look for ‘peanut butter’ and not ‘peanut butter spread’ which contains other ingredients like hydrogenated fats and sugar. If you don’t want to or can’t use peanut butter, you can make Homemade Almond Butter.
Honey is generally more affordable than pure maple syrup. This can vary depending on the source though. Raw, locally sourced honey can be on the pricier side so feel free to substitute maple syrup for the honey depending on what you have access to.
Tips for Making Chickpea Blondies
- My favorite baking tip is to put a loaf pan inside a roasting pan to make the perfect brownie pan! I love multi-functional items and this trick is especially useful in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen.
- Pulse the almonds until they reach the consistency of coarse sand. It’s easier to control the consistency by pulsing the nuts. Almond meal can turn to almond butter very quickly if you’re not careful. It’s not too important if there are a few lumps left because the batter is processed until smooth later in the recipe.
- Mix the melted chocolate with coconut oil. This makes the chocolate set with a nice glossy finish. If you melt chocolate and don’t cool it at exactly the right temperature it can set with a matte finish. It’ll still taste good but you eat with your eyes first!
- Don’t eat the batter raw. It’s tempting but it does have a raw egg in it. Also, include the cinnamon if you have it. I’ve tried these blondies with and without cinnamon and they are definitely better with it.
I used a Kitchen Aid 7-cup food processor to make this recipe. It’s a perfect size and doesn’t take up too much space. The great thing about a good food processor is that it can save you money in the long run. It can be used to make things like almond butter and olive oil mayonnaise which are pretty pricey in the store!
I use Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, 6 Piece Set. A neat trick with this bakeware is that if you need an 8″ x 8″ pan, the loaf pan fits in the roasting pan and the resulting space is 8″ x 8″!
These chickpea blondies are perfect for an afternoon snack. Blood sugar naturally dips in the late afternoon (3 pm slump anyone?). For women with insulin-resistant PCOS it’s really important to have a snack at this time that is high in healthy fats and protein. Simple carbohydrates should be avoided because they will cause a spike and crash in blood sugar. Chickpea blondies meet both requirements due to the healthy fats and protein found in almonds and chickpeas! Win! They also make a great breakfast or as a little after-dinner treat.
On the subject of chickpeas… There was a really interesting study done on the effects of eating chickpeas before a meal. A group of women ate a cup (200g) of chickpeas before one meal and two slices of white bread before another. The study found that the women experienced a significant reduction in appetite, calorie intake, and blood sugar levels after the chickpea meal, compared to the white bread meal. By eating chickpea blondies as a snack, they could help suppress appetite until it’s time for dinner.
Love this healthy dessert recipe? Try these…
- Edible Chopped Chocolate Cookie Dough
- Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Almond Muffins
- Sea Salt Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
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If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @lemonandsophia! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make.
Inexpensive Chickpea Blondies
- Food processor
- 8" x 8" baking pan
- ⅓ cup whole raw almonds
- 16 oz cooked chickpeas canned or homemade
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon optional
- 4 tbsp melted 85% chocolate
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add the raw almonds to the food processor. Pulse until it forms a fine meal, about 2 minutes. Stop when it reaches the right consistency or you'll end up with almond butter.
- Add the chickpeas, peanut butter, honey, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Process on high until it forms a smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for 22-25 minutes. They're ready when they spring back when pressed gently and they're golden brown around the edges.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of dark chocolate with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Drizzle over the top of the blondies. Slice into 16 squares.