These healthy, vegan blondies are made with creamy peanut butter, Great Northern beans, and shredded carrots! Sneak in a few extra veggies with these gluten free treats.
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I know what you’re thinking. Wait a minute…white beans? Blondies? How do those two things go together?
Well, the answer is…REALLY WELL. They go together, like, really well!
I first heard about using beans in desserts when black bean brownies started to become a trend a few years ago. The concept behind this trend is that beans add some extra fiber, a little protein, and lots of other beneficial nutrients.
AND they do all this without drastically changing the final product’s taste or texture. Talk about a win-win, right?
I’ve always wanted to try making a vegan dessert with beans for the blog (with veggies too, of course!). So when I saw the Recipe Redux theme for this month, Bars and Bites, I knew that this was my chance.
As you probably know, I love adding carrots to sweet treats (see: Classic Thumbprint Cookies with Carrot Jam, Healthy Carrot Cake Bites, or Parsnip Carrot Cake Granola!), mainly because they are already naturally sweet.
So after I settled on making some type of bean-based bar with carrots, I figured I’d try a blondie instead of a brownie! That way, you get a pop of color from the carrots.
The ingredients in this white bean dessert are SO simple and make for a delicious blondie:
- Great Northern beans (they have a less strong taste than cannellini beans)
- Peanut butter
- Shredded carrots
- Dry baking ingredients: old fashioned oats (be sure to get certified gluten free oats if you want these to be gluten free), baking powder, salt
- Wet baking ingredients: maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips (yummmm!!!)
And the process is a breeze!
How to Make White Bean Vegan Blondies
Once you gather your ingredients, there are just a few steps!
Using a food processor or high-powered blender (like the Vitamix), grind up the oats into flour. Then, add all of the other ingredients (besides the choc chips) and process/blend until you get a thick, smooth batter.
Since the batter is pretty thick, you may want to turn off the blender/processor and use a rubber spatula to help promote even blending from time to time.
Transfer the batter to a greased 8×8 baking dish, top with shredded carrots and chocolate chips, and bake for 21-24 minutes at 350. That’s it!
FYI – The bars are dense and chewy, due to the peanut butter and white beans, and they don’t have a cake-like texture. So don’t expect them to look “finished” on top like brownies or other bars do. You’ll know they’re finished when they brown up around the edges.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions for Vegan Blondies
Like I said, Great Northern beans seem to have a more subtle taste than chickpeas or cannellini beans. However, you can definitely use either of these beans instead if that’s all you have on hand.
If you can’t do peanut butter, feel free to sub almond or cashew butter, or any other nut butter under the sun.
To prevent these vegan blondies from going bad, I’d recommend slicing them into pieces and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge.
We took about five days to eat all of them, and they kept great in our fridge without going bad.
If you want some more ideas for healthy bars, be sure to check out the other recipes in this month’s Recipe Redux!
Carrot and White Bean Vegan Blondies
- ½ cup old fashioned oats - ground into a powder; be sure to get gluten free oats if needed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 15.5 oz can Great Northern beans - ~1.5 cups, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup shredded carrots - more for topping
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
- In a high-powered blender or food processor, process/grind the old fashioned oats into a flour. Add the salt, baking powder, Great Northern beans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and shredded carrots. Blend/process at high speed for 1-2 minutes, or until you get a thick, smooth batter. You may need to stop the blender or food processor from time to time and use a rubber spatula to promote blending.
- Transfer the batter to the baking dish and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula. Top with more shredded carrots and the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 21 to 24 minutes or until the edges of the bars get slightly brown. Remove from oven and let them sit for a few minutes before slicing them into 9 squares.
- Store the squares in an airtight refrigerator in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.