Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chocolate Blackberry Protein Bars

I'm writing this from the throes of a gluten reaction, so this post will be pretty short and sweet.  I've been meaning to post about these for a while now, though, and since I've been otherwise terrifically unproductive today, I'll feel better if I've at least been able to share the recipe with you. 

You may be wondering why I've classified a protein bar as a dessert.  But these are switch hitters.  They strike that delicate balance between being healthy and being, well, dessert-y.  But trust me, they are as delicious as they are easy to make.  You can decide for yourself just how healthy they are, but my own opinion is that the sugar from the jam and chocolate chips is more or less canceled out by the dense, protein-filled, plain chickpea flour base.  I'm convinced that it all has to do with some complex mathematical culinary equation.  Which, of course, means that you can eat way more of them under the guise of their being secretly healthy.  If my friends and I are any indication, it will just take one bite for you and your friends to be hooked.

Chocolate Blackberry Protein Bars
Makes one 8 x 8 pan

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
4 - 6 tbsp. blackberry jam
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Spray a nonstick 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray.

Combine the chickpea flour, water and salt in a small bowl and mix until all clumps are gone.  Pour into the pan and spread evenly.

Sprinkle in the chocolate chips evenly over the whole pan.  Microwave the jam for 20 - 30 seconds until softened, then drizzle it over the batter.  Use a fork or knife to swirl it in evenly.  If desired, sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the batter.

Bake at 425 F for 15 - 20 minutes, or just until slightly browned at the edges and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.  Cut into pieces and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  They are best if warmed slightly before eating.

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