Monday, December 23, 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Blondies (grain-free too!)

It's been nearly a year since I last updated this blog. It's not that I haven't been cooking and baking a lot -- I have. And, it's not for lack of inspiration about vegan and gluten-free things to make. It's that I've been deciding the personality overhaul of this blog. I'm not "flexitarian" anymore, but it's not wholly accurate to call myself vegan.
A lava flow?! That has nothing to do with this post!
Taken at Craters of the Moon National Park, ID
Summer 2013

I eat vegan, most of the time. But, if a non-meat or cheese (cause I really dislike the taste of meat and most cheeses) happens to have egg in it and it's gluten-free and it's chewy (because omg, chewy not-like-bricks gluten-free items are quite the find), I'll probably make it/eat it (shhh, don't tell), if it's free and going to go to waste otherwise -- so, for instance, if it's free at the soup kitchen or another place my roommates and I can glean from. I recently learned that vitamin D3 comes from an animal source most of the time (industrially, it's apparently produced by exposing lanolin to sun) and that it's in a lot of my cereal and I'm okay with that too, cause cereal is easy when I feel like I'm already out of the house a lot / not cooking much.

I'm still not sure what this will mean for the blog. I won't be removing recipes and I'm not set (yet) on changing the name of the blog. If I do, I'll try to create a fair amount of advance notice.

This recipe is something I recently made, a veganized version of a recipe I posted a few years ago. It uses lentils (?!?) which gives the bars a consistency a little like they have chunky PB in them, and they're super-moist. I didn't get pictures before my housemates inhaled them, but if you make them and want to send me pics, that would be great (and I'm happy to give you photo credit of course!). Otherwise, next time I make these, I'll try to get pictures as soon as I pull them from the oven.

The lentils used in this recipe are brown lentils. They'll hold up better when cooked and are definitely still evident when you eat the blondies.

Peanut Butter Blondies (vegan, grain-free)
1 cup cooked brown lentils (salted)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons garbanzo (or oat*) flour
¼ cup ground flaxseed mixed with ½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Puree lentils and granulated sugar in a food processor, until moderately smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in remaining ingredients. Stir well and allow to rest for at least half an hour to give the flaxseed and garbanzo flour time to hydrate.

About ten minutes before you want to put the blondies in the oven, begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the batter into a greased 11x7 pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes (I'm now baking at high altitude and still learning how to convert back down for baking times!), or until the center feels moderately firm to the touch.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

*If you use oats, this is no longer grain free. You could also use coconut flour if you had it on hand. Resist the urge to add any extra water with coconut flour. It's very absorbent. 

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