Monday, June 9, 2014

Gluten-Free Quinoa Blondies

It's a well known fact that I'm a chocoholic. Give me the dark stuff in any form and I'm a happy girl. But for some reason, I also have a soft spot for blondies. There's something about their unfailing rich flavour, the chewiness from the brown sugar and the ever-so-slightly browned butter nuances that come through in each bite.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Blondies

These bars are unlike any other blondies I've had - ever. Yes, they have a wonderful rich flavour, a hint of nuttiness and even a bit of chew. But there's no butter - not even any added oil - and the majority of the ingredients list is actually healthy. It's an all-star cast of superfoods: there's quinoa, chia, flax, soy, chickpeas and dark chocolate! Really, the only thing on the semi-naughty list is the brown sugar, but even that has a few more nutrients than it's white counterpart. I think the secret to getting the right texture and chewiness that I love so much in regular bar cookies is the merest hint of chia seed combining with the ground flax, my twist on the original.

If you need an excuse to get any of those superfoods in (or more fibre in your diet), these are sure a tasty way to do it that even the kids will lap up! I'm the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of quinoa in it's savoury form, but like I said before, add chocolate and I'm in!The quinoa fades into a deliciously "toasty" background note that adds a little pep to an otherwise sweet recipe.

The best part is, though, that these are way easier to make than the traditional blondie. If you have cooked quinoa leftover from last night's dinner, it's ready and waiting in under an hour, and even if you have to cook the pseudograin you save on cleanup time by being able to mix the batter in the quinoa pot! 

Gluten-Free Quinoa Blondies
Makes 12
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (about 6 tbsp raw)
1 tbsp white chia (Salba) seeds
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup chickpea flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9” square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the quinoa, chia, sugar, soy milk and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add the chickpea flour and the flaxseed and mix well. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake 26-28 minutes. Cool in the pan before cutting. 
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 150.8
Total Fat: 4.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 16.7 mg
Total Carbs: 28.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 4.3 g