Healthier Vegan Cookie Bars!
Enjoy this healthier version of a vegan cookies as bars. This is not an April Fools prank & you won’t be FOOL-ed by these cookies. They are an easy alternative to traditional chocolate chip cookies or pre-made package cookies because of the difference in nutrients. If you haven’t caught on yet, dessert is one of my favorite things. I was stoked when originally finding a recipe for cookie bars on Confessions of a Dietitians Instagram page. I’ve whipped them up a few times since then. The first time making cookies I used all the ingredients she called for. When I tried to recreate it for the second time I was missing half the ingredients, oops! Peanut butter is a staple in the cookie bar recipe and sadly I was all out of PB. How can you make a cookie bar recipe with peanut butter and not have any peanut butter? This is a question I asked myself and somehow managed to come up with a spin-off recipe. You’ll be surprised how good these taste even if they are missing a few original ingredients.
There wasn’t even any peanut butter I could scrape down from the sides of the container. That’s how much peanut butter I had. Of course, I was home for the night and I did not feel like running out to the store. After rummaging around the cupboards I came across some peanut butter powder. It’s nothing like peanut butter but I thought it just might work.
The difference between peanut butter and peanut butter powder is the fat content.
Per 2 Tbsp;
Peanut butter has 16 g fat (2 g saturated)
Peanut butter powder has 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
Another adjustment made was less sugar. Instead of honey or maple syrup, I used agave. You could use maple syrup instead, but agave is what I had on hand. It turns out that missing half the original ingredients created a bar that was lower in sugar and still equally as fiber-rich as the original cookie bar. Using chickpeas (garbanzo beans) is the source of fiber in this recipe.
In America fiber is underappreciated and under-consumed. Often times the benefits of fiber are forgotten or overlooked. It’s recommendation that women eat 25 g/day and men eat 38 g/day. Only ~5% of Americans meet the intake goal for fiber. If you’re reading this it’s not too late. Grab some fiber-rich foods and help yourself out. Fiber doesn’t only help with digestive function but fiber has other benefits too. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted a position paper that found populations who consume more dietary fiber are less likely to develop chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Regular fiber consumption has even been associated with lower body weight. How FIBER-ing cool! Increasing the amount of plant-based foods you eat every day can help you eat more fiber each day. These healthier cookie bars are a great way to sneak in additional fiber.
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter powder mixed with 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp water it should look like peanut butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 small banana
4 Tbsp Enjoy Life chocolate chips
St. Patrick’s Day Mix Up!
Add ONE Ingredient
1 tsp matcha powder for that beautiful GREEN color!
Matcha is ground up whole green tea leaves ground up into a fine powder. This powder is full of the antioxidant catechin. Catechin is up to 137 times greater than in other types of green tea.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix together all ingredients except chocolate chips (if making chocolate chip version) in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour cookie bar batter into 8 x 8 pan. *top with chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookie bar version.
Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Then let cool for 5 minutes, cut, eat and enjoy!