Time for the love in the air to ascend on this heart, and sweets filled holiday. Valentines Day is celebrated world wide, and with that comes a slew of wonderful (and mostly) unhealthy desserts. It’s very easy to over indulge on these holiday treats, and feel guilty, and sugar shocked afterwards. Is it possible for us as a society to have a delicious holiday dessert without the guilt? Um… yeah! And these Cinnamon Chickpea Blondies topped with a fantastical and creamy Strawberry and Avocado Moose are the perfect addition to any Valentines Day treat.
I’m not a big holiday person. I could care less about gifts, and toys, flowers and candies.. But the memories I associate with these items are precious to me. I can still remember back when I was in 1st. grade, receiving boatloads of sweethearts and lollipops taped to store bought cards with images of Scooby-Doo and Barbie. That feeling of someone taking the time to sit down, write my name, and tape a piece of sweet to it and then give it to me? I felt loved!
Now that I’m grown I realize that it is not things that make me feel “happy”, but the appreciation of the time and effort someone put in to make my day that much more special. So, as Valentines Day vastly approaches, I haven’t written a single card, nor bought a flower. Instead, I am preparing to make individual phone calls, or little notes to express how thankful I am for that person, and deeply love them for who they are, and not what they give.
But onto the important topic, DESSERT!!!! At my house, I am the only one who appreciates chocolate (and even then it needs to be a higher percentage). So when thinking of different recipes I could do, chocolate covered anything was off the list. So what now? For a family in itself that is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, making them anything can be a challenge.
Bit of a bunny trail, my brother recently went into a holistic clinic I attend, and he was encouraged to remove dairy from his diet to improve his skin and reduce inflammation in his body (Isn’t it funny when someone with a professional title tells you something, it immediately holds weight? Even though his lovely and caring sister has been telling him that for months. 😉 ). So now my brother is trying his hardest to remove dairy and refined sugars from his diet! I’m so proud of him.
Anyway back on track. I though that blondies would be a lovely addition after dinner. And since I know cinnamon is a flavor that everyone in my household enjoys, I decided to take a crack at it! The result, yummy!! A nice consistency, and comforting nutty cinnamon aroma. Not to sweet, but just enough to make even the pickiest of eaters rejoice.
And the moose is so simple it still blows my mind. Simply avocado, strawberry, and a touch of acid and cinnamon. DONE! Speaking of done, my Father polished off the entire glass of it before I could frost the blondies. Oh well, glad he enjoyed it. 🙂
A couple of pro tips before we get onto the recipe. I found all these make for heads and tails better blondies. So I cannot force you to follow, but I highly encourage you.
- LET THE BLONDIES COOL FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR BEFORE EATING: I found that the texture became smoother, and gave it a much more enjoyable mouthfeel.
- LINE YOUR BAKING PAN WITH PARCHMENT PAPER: It makes for much easier transference onto a cooling rack, and it keeps the integrity of the structure intact.
- WHEN BLENDING THE MOOSE, MAKE SURE YOU TAKE EXTRA CARE: Because nobody likes chunks of avocado in their moose. The more it becomes air-filled, the better it becomes.
- CINNAMON CHICKPEA BLONDIES:
- 1 15oz, can chickpeas (drained, rinsed)
- ¼c. nut butter
- ¼c. + 2T. rolled oats
- ⅓c. coconut sugar
- 2T. maple syrup
- 2t. baking powder
- ½t. baking soda
- STRAWBERRY AVOCADO MOOSE:
- 1c. avocado (1 large avocado)
- 1c. frozen strawberries (thawed, and excess liquid drained)
- ¼t. citrus juice (lime or lemon)
- ¼t. cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a blender (I used my Vitamix) add all the blondie ingredients and blend until smooth and combined. Scraping down the sides when necessary. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, and top is set.
- Transfer on a cooling rack and lightly sprinkle with coconut sugar. (For best results, let rest for at least 1 hour.)
- While the blondies are resting, add the moose ingredients into a container and (using an immersion blender) blend until smooth, creamy, and air-filled.
- Top blondies with moose. Serve!
2. Store Moose in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.