These “blondies” are dairy free, soy free, packed with nutrients, easy to make, delicious and free of added sugar - and their secret ingredient is a can of white beans, so they make an incredibly healthy snack for adults and kids alike!
I’m always looking for new ways to get more natural calcium into our diets. Many of the go-to foods for vegans and other adults on dairy free diets are things like kale, broccoli and watercress. With the brief exception of about 2 weeks when he was 7 months old, when Little Goat was willing to put anything in his mouth and try to eat it, he will not touch any of those, so we need to be a bit more inventive with our calcium sources.
We, like many families with dairy allergies, are also restricted by a soy-free diet, so tofu is out for us too.
There are a lot of recipes out there for chickpea blondies. I’ve tried many of them and experimented with my own, but just don’t feel that chickpeas lend themselves well to these treats - the texture is wrong and their flavour is too powerful. Butter beans (lima beans in the US), or any other white beans, work incredibly well though. They blend more easily so you get a smooth batter and they take on the flavours of the nut butters and tahini so make a brilliant base for guilt-free treats.
I’ve designed this recipe to pack a calcium-powered punch. One of my most popular recipes on the site are these multi-seed calcium bars, so I wanted to share some other high calcium snack ideas. These have been particularly useful recently as Little Goat hasn’t been interested in drinking any oat milk, so he hasn’t been getting the added calcium from that. This is something that’s very normal and kids often go through a stage of not wanting to drink milk - whether cow’s or alternative! However, when you’re on a dairy free diet you can’t make up for it with yoghurts!
I make a batch of these at least once a month and freeze them so I can quickly pack one for a snack when we’re on the go, or just use them on the days when we haven’t been eating much in the way of calcium-rich foods.
For a child aged 1-3, they should be getting around 350mg of calcium a day (that increases to 450mg by 4-6). These treats have over 90mg of calcium per blondie, so two of these provide over half of a toddler’s daily calcium needs. You don’t want a snack that provides all of the calcium in one go however as the body can only absorb about half of your daily needs at once (for more information on calcium you can read my other blog post here).
In addition to being dairy-free, by using white beans instead of flour, they are also gluten-free (and no eggs means they’re vegan too), so they’re good for just about anyone - but especially for dairy-free picky eaters!
Makes: ~ 12 blondies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 can white beans (I use butter beans), drained (400g can, 240g drained)
4 heaped Tablespoons tahini (~100g)
4 heaped Tablespoons almond butter
¾ cup maple syrup (~150g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
Handful of pecan nuts for on top
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F)
Put all of the ingredients except the pecan nuts in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a well lined baking tin (the mixture is very gooey so I recommend a spatula / scraper to get it all out)
Break or cut the pecan nuts into decent sized chunks and sprinkle evenly over the top
Bake for 25 minutes - the top and edges should be baked but the middle should still be a bit gooey
These freeze really well. I wrap mine individually in the baking parchment I use to line the baking tin and then put them in a freezer-proof container or bag