These delicious, chewy, ooey-gooey, can’t stop at one, chickpea, chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal bars are absolutely to die for, DIE for!
I first started making chickpea chocolate chip cookies about 4 years ago (when they were still just cookies and not transformed into blondies or bars) after I saw them on Ambitious Kitchen and I don’t actually think I have made a regular chocolate chip cookie since they are just that good. Who knew a mashed up chickpea would be the most yummy dessert option and healthy ta boot!?
Chickpeas are packed full of protein and fiber and they also have a low glycemic index rating, which can actually help you control weight. So these bars are like a cholesterol lowering (another benefit of the little pea) protein bar! Ok maybe not quite but I think it is fair to say they are much better for you than a regular chocolate chip cookie.
Ps. To get all the actual benefits of chickpeas start throwing them on your salads, mix up some hummus, throw them in a Buddha bowl, chili, even your favourite pasta dish!
To make these a little extra scrumptious and plump I add two cans of chickpea along with some rolled oats and walnuts. You could really throw any nut in, macadamia, almonds or pecans, they would all work great and give the bars that crunch factor.
I have updated the recipe to include a couple of substitutions. I have made them both ways, one with honey and one with maple syrup and both are delicious so if you are vegan you can definitely omit the honey and use a good pure, high grade maple syrup instead.
My most recent substitution was instead of using rolled oats I used coconut flour and it was divine. The coconut flour made the bars ultra smooth and creamy and coconut flour is packed with extra protein so not only are you getting it from the chickpeas you are also getting it from the coconut flour. It also still keeps the bars gluten free but makes them better if you are following a paleo diet, coconut flour is paleo approved.
chickpea + chocolate + peanut butter bars
2 cans of chickpeas
1 cups of rolled oats or 3/4 cup of coconut flour
1 ½ cups of all natural peanut butter
1 cup of honey or maple syrup
3 tsp of vanilla
1 ½ tsp of baking soda
1 ½ tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
1 ½ cups of mini dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 or 11x15 (depending on how thick you want the bars) with parchment paper.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a food processor blend the chickpeas along with the peanut butter, honey and vanilla until smooth. You can add a little water as needed to blend easier and it will also help get a really smooth consistency.
In a large bowl whisk together the rolled oats/coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour the chickpea mixture into the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated.
Spread mixture into the baking pan with a spatula (you can put a little olive oil on the spatula to spread it easier, or wet your hands and use those too). Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (just make sure not to overcook or they can get dry). The sides will have a nice golden hue to them and will have a fudgy like consistency. Cool before cutting.
Rolled oats give the bars a bit more of a texture if you are looking for some added protein and a really smooth, creamy bar the coconut flour is delicious to use instead of the rolled oats. Because coconut flour soaks up any liquids a lot more than rolled oats I would only use 3/4 cup instead of the full cup like with the rolled oats.
Honey and maple syrup can be used 1:1 in this recipe depending on which you prefer. I have never made it with any other kind of sugar so I am not sure how others will fair.
You could also use 100 grams of chopped dark chocolate instead of the chocolate chips.