Sunday, 3 August 2014

RECIPE: Skinny Nutella-swirled peanut butter banana blondies

That was a bit of a mouthful, wasn't it?

Well, ma friends, you're going to want multiple massive mouthfuls of these babies!

Let's just take a second to let all that sink in, shall we....?

  • Nutella
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana
  • Blondie
  • SKINNY?!

I kid you not.

A few nights ago, while trying to go to bed at a decent hour (as I fail to do every blimmin' night), I was recipe browsing on Instagram. As ya do.

You know how it is: you see one thing, you see another thing, a concept from here inspires you, you think of a twist you'd prefer, and before you know it, BOOM! You've concocted an epic recipe in your head. And all you want to do is run to the kitchen and get your bake on.

But then you remember you have work tomorrow and it's already nearly 1am. Bums.

You even had all the ingredients to hand too - I hate recipes with obscure, hard-to-find, often expensive ingredients. They tend to appear in healthy recipes too. It's such a disappointment when I get really excited about a new recipe then read the ingredients and see things like flax seeds, maca, coconut oil, protein powders blah blah blah. Like, what even is all that?

Well you don't need any of that shizzle for these AMAZING blondies, ma friends!

The secret ingredient? Chickpeas. Now just hold your horses before running away scared - they're an unconventional baking ingredient, I know, but you can't taste them, they create a wonderful squidgy texture, they're a great source of protein and, along with the oats, they do away with the need for white flour. In short, they are WONDERFUL!

So that's the main source of the skinny nature of these babies.

Sure, Nutella ain't the healthiest of all the foods in the world, but it's basically just cocoa, hazelnuts and milk so I refuse to feel bad about it.

What's more, Nutella = God. It melts and swirls into the peanut buttery, banana-y goodness of these blondies like a dream, creating a heavenly texture sensation.

I mean, the flavour combo is just unbeatable in my books! I'm not going to harp on YET AGAIN about my love of peanut butter, banana and Nutella, because I know you've heard it all before.

Oh, and make sure your bananas are really ripe (preferably turning brown and speckly) so you get all that natural sweetness, thus reducing the need for lots of sugar.

Oats + banana + chickpeas + peanut butter = INSANE ENERGY BOOST! Are these an acceptable breakfast food? HELLS YES! In my opinion, anyway.

This was legit my breakfast the morning after making them.

To be fair three may have been a little ambitious - these babies are filling! They're also amazingly squidgy and dense, like a moist banana cake crossed with peanut butter fudge. AND THEN topped with Nutella! I know.

The texture of the Nutella top marries perfectly with the underneath layer, and don't worry, there's no sign of the oats or chickpeas, neither in taste nor texture.

If you use GF oats, these blondies are totally gluten-free, by the way. If you use almond milk they're also vegan-friendly. I think. Sometimes I get confused about what veganism is so do tell me if I'm wrong.

What's more, they could not be simpler to make. Just whack it all in a blender, baby!

Ideally you probably want to make these in a 9x9 inch tin and make 16 blondies, but I didn't have one of them so had to make do. I effectively built a smaller tin from a huge baking dish and made 15 blondies - worked a treat!

My make-shift tin
I also don't have scales in my current flat so couldn't weigh anything. A gal's gotta improvise eh? I don't really know how big an American 'cup' is, but this is the one I used for my measurements.

I don't think it matters for these blondies if your quantities aren't super precise so don't worry.

Usually, I don't keep cake in the fridge. Who wants chilled cake? Not me. However, I do advise you store these blondies in the fridge to keep their texture.

Who needs Friday night plans when you've got skinny Nutella-swirled peanut butter banana blondies? Exactly.

Feedback from readers who've made them:
  • Rachel C says they work beautifully using coconut milk instead of regular.
  • Rachael B says you can't taste the chickpeas at all, and they're "Very yummy, very gooey... @rachel_hosie is a genius!!" [Hey, I'm not going to argue.]
  • emho27 says "They were very popular! And no one guessed about the chickpeas."
  • Rosie made them without Nutella because she didn't have any but said they were still "absolutely wonderful."


1 cup milk (see note above for cup-size)
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
2 cups oats
2 very ripe medium-sized bananas, broken into chunks
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Nutella


1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 9x9 inch baking tin with foil. Put all the ingredients except the Nutella into a blender, starting with the liquid ones for ease of mixing.

2. Blend! You might have to stop and mix it all up with a spoon or scrape down the sides but persevere until you have a thick, gloopy, smooth batter. Make sure your blender doesn't overheat though!

3. Pour/scrape the batter into the tin and smooth the top as best you can.

4. Slightly melt the Nutella in the microwave to make it runnier (I did this in a little teacup), then dollop and drizzle it over the batter.

Swirl around with a knife until evenly spread out.

5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle come out cleanish - the Nutella will stick to the knife, but the layer underneath shouldn't do. Don't overbake these - you want squidgy not dry!

6. Leave to cool fully in the tin before slicing into squares. Yum yum yum!

Have you ever baked with chickpeas?

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  1. THIS is why I voted for you in the Cosomo thing. Truly excellent recipe, Rachel!

    Sadly almond milk wouldn't make these vegan because of the milk in it, but I'm sure there are substitutes :)

  2. Oh dear, my spelling! I meant Cosmo, and the milk in Nutella making these non vegan :p

    1. Ha ha thanks Lydia, that's so kind of you. And ahhh you're very right re the milk in Nutella. I hadn't thought of that. Poor vegans. Thanks! x

  3. Do you think this recipe could work in the microwave? My oven dosn't work where I'm living in Italy (so sad because I love baking!). I've done flapjacks in the microwave before and it was yummy... not sure if it would work the same with this though?

    1. Oh gosh, Julie, I really couldn't say, sorry. I've never baked in a microwave so I don't know how it works, I'm afraid. I feel you pain though so let me know how it goes if you try it. Sorry!

  4. haha might just have to be a bit of an experiment then :)

  5. These are incredible! Hoping if you eat enough its a portion of fruit/veg

    1. Ha ha that's my thinking too, Katherine. So glad you like them! X


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