Vegan Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Blondies
Hi friends! The holidays have come and gone and I’m sitting over here with my head spinning a little trying to get back to a “normal” routine (whatever that even is haha) and get started on projects in the new year. December was a super busy month both personally and professionally and left me pretty burnt out and drained. I had one last big work project due before Christmas (with a super tight timeline) and literally finished in the 11th hour. Nothing like working until the very last minute….whew!
We spent the holiday down in Florida with Scott’s family and being outside and seeing the sun shine every day was exactly what I needed to recharge. There really is something about the sunshine! It makes a world of difference for me.
But here we are in the new year, back to “real life”, back to our normal routines and schedules, and ready to tackle the new year! Most people are posting plans to detox, cleanse, and “get back on track”….and here I am posting a dessert recipe! ;)
Do you set goals or resolutions for the new year? Personally, I don’t tend to set huge goals specifically for the new year, but I do like to try to take a step back to reflect, brainstorm, and create. I know a lot of people use the beginning of the year to set health goals. Which I think is great! What I encourage all my clients to do is work on shifting goals from things like “I am going to lose 20# by March” to behavior oriented goals like “I will drink 20 oz of water first thing in the morning” (anyone remember this water challenge from last year?! It’s something I still do and love!) or “I will spend 15 minutes on Sunday to plan 3-4 dinner meals that my family and I will make and eat at home during the week”. By focusing on positive behavior changes that are realistic and attainable but also push and challenge us a bit, we are building the foundation to create lasting change. Because that’s what we really want, right? Lasting change so that we don’t feel the need to make drastic changes at the beginning of the year. I know, easier said than done…but it can be done! We all tend to fall into a trap where things become black and white, all or nothing. Maybe instead of eating alllllll the treats during the holiday season just because they are there and we know that come January 1st, we are starting a strict new diet, we check in with ourselves to see if:
1.) We are really even hungry.
2.) We are tasting and liking the treats.
3.) How we are feeling before and after eating.
…And reminding ourselves that it doesn’t need to be “all or nothing”. So you ate more than usual and feel stuffed and bloated? Recognize how you feel, give yourself some grace, and remember that change doesn’t need to start in the new year, new month, or even tomorrow. It can start right away with your attitude, mentality, and your next meal. And speaking on checking in with yourself, if you want your favorite cookie or meal or dessert that your mom makes every Christmas, I want you to eat it!! I repeat, I WANT YOU TO EAT IT! Eat it, savor it, taste it, and enjoy it! When we slow down a little and actually taste things, you might find you need less to feel satisfied.
In the spirit of thriving and enjoying all foods this new year, I want to share a recipe that we have absolutely been loving lately! I planned to share this in December before the holidays but for reasons mentioned above (busiest month ever!), I’m sharing it now! It’s too good to wait to share until a time of year when desserts are popular again ;)
These chocolate chip almond butter blondies use simple ingredients, can be made in one bowl, and require no additional cooking tools. They cook quickly….and are usually gone pretty quickly too! They have a really nice hint of sweetness but aren’t too sweet which I really appreciate. They are crispy on the outside but gooey on the inside. A delicious and harmonious union between a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie. Is there anything better than that??
No. The answer to that rhetorical question is no.
It’s official….these blondies are here to stay…any time of year!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Blondies
| Makes 9 squares |
3/4 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar or sugar of choice
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 - 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips, or brand of choice (I use Enjoy Life brand)
1/4 - 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chunks, or brand of choice (I use Enjoy Life brand)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch pan or line with parchment paper (my preferred method!).
In a large bowl, mix the almond butter, almond milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and well combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt OR sift these ingredients directly into the large bowl with the wet mixture. It’s important that the dry ingredients mix together well so that they are evenly distributed in the wet mixture.
Combine the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Drop the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula or your hands to press down the batter. For a little bit of extra chocolate, sprinkle a tablespoon or few pinches of chocolate chips and press in the batter.
Bake for 20-24 minutes. Let the blondies cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into them. It might not look done when you initially take them out of the oven, but it will set beautifully as it cools! The less you cook it, the more gooey it is ;)