CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

With all the buttery richness of the classic for 75% less sat fat and double the gut-healthy fiber, these treats are a sweet success.

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD
May 04, 2018

Blondies may be lighter in color than their cocoa-based counterparts, but they’re not lighter in heft: The classic clocks in at 300 calories and 10g sat fat (55% of your daily recommended limit) per square. Luckily, you don’t need 11/2 cups of brown sugar and a stick and a half of butter to achieve the coveted chewy texture and crisp, golden edges. We look to the humble chickpea to replace some of the butter, which saves you 3g sat fat per serving (and leaves minimal trace of any beany flavor). White whole-wheat flour’s light texture and mild flavor work well with the buttery-sweet profile of these bars, and it yields a tender crumb while adding a few whole grains. With 120 fewer calories and 50% less added sugar than the original, enjoy these for dessert or a midday pick-me-up.

RELATED: 5 Brilliant Ways to Use Chickpeas (That Aren't Hummus)

We opt for an unlikely substitute:

 

What We Used

CHICKPEAS
This pantry staple blends into a silky-smooth base, boasting protein and fiber and adding moisture, which lessens the need for lots of butter.

TAHINI
Nutty with nuanced sweetness, this sesame seed paste lends depth, complexity, and extra hits of fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fat.

RELATED: 7 Tasty Ways to Enjoy Tahini

BROWNED BUTTER
Browning produces rich, butterscotch-like flavor reminiscent of the classic blondie, letting us dial down the butter to just 3 tablespoons.

Chickpea-Tahini Blondies 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

View the recipe: Chickpea-Tahini Blondies

The rich nuttiness of the tahini is amplified in the blondie and matched by the whole-wheat flour. We like Soom brand tahini; it’s unctuous and creamy with no oil slick on top (perfect for stirring into batters). Pecans contribute natural sweetness and indulgent crunch, but feel free to sub in an equal amount of another nut or a few chocolate or butterscotch chips.

Healthy Supermarket Pick

PURELY ELIZABETH VIBRANT OAT CUPS
Single-serve oatmeal cups packed with whole-grain oats and quinoa, plus flax and chia, are a low- sugar, high-fiber breakfast option. A crunchy granola topper is the perfect complement to the creamy oats and makes for the ultimate texture win. We loved the Blueberry Lemon flavor, which gets a super-food boost from antioxidant-rich spirulina. A handy cup makes it portable and mess-free.