Happy New Year babes! 2017 is here and it’s time to shed the burden of last year and drape ourselves in the brilliance and warmth of a clean start. I’m not setting “Resolutions” this year (as usual) but have decided to make this a year of intentions. Today I intend to eat an entire pan of Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.
As a co-chair of my work’s Wellness Committee I’m leading a session this month called Undercover Veggies. I’ll be bringing in an array of foods packed with vegetables that can go undetected. All of the recipes will be posted here so that my coworkers, regular readers, and anyone else can make their own versions of the recipes they taste at our in-office session. This recipe is the first in that series of treats and eats!
Eating a crowd’s worth of dessert in one sitting might sound like a pretty unproductive way to kick off the New Year. After all, we all want to start the year off on a healthy note to set the tone for 365 days of wellness. But what if I told you that you could eat more than your fair share of these “cookies” and not feel the slightest bit bad about it?
Is guilt-free too strong of a statement for something with chocolate chips in it? Maybe.
But are these bars way healthier that the Christmas cookies lurking on the picked-over dessert table in the dining room? Absolutely.
When glancing through the ingredients below, don’t get confused and think I accidentally pasted in the recipe for a green salad. Spinach is supposed to be there. WAIT- DON’T RUN AWAY!
One goal I’ve heard from a lot of people is to incorporate more fresh veggies into their diet. And I love that. It has nothing to do with losing weight, “toning” (gag), cutting carbs, cleansing, detoxes, or any other extreme fad sure to fade into disappointment by February. So let’s add more veggies! To dessert…? Hear me out.
Black bean brownies have had their day in the sun. So it’s no surprise that using a light colored bean works brilliantly to make a lighter colored dessert. When I decided I wanted a mint-flavored bar, I thought long and hard about how to make it green. You won’t find any artificial food coloring in this household so I turned to my favorite green vegetable, spinach.
Just like in a green smoothie, mild-flavored spinach adds vitamins and color without tainting the sweet flavor of mint cookies. Ditto, avocados. And chickpeas. So basically, I found a way to pack a whole punch of phytonutrients, fiber, and healthy fats into dessert. WIN.
Give these seemingly strange Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars a try. Isn’t that what the New Year is all about anyways?
A dessert that won't break your New Years resolutions! Think it's too good to be true? Think again! Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are hear to prove you wrong!
- 1 can chickpeas, drained but liquid reserved
- 1 avocado
- 1 packed cup spinach
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 Tbs. reserved liquid from beans
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. mint
- 2 cup oats, ground into flour (or sub 2 scant cups oat flour)
- ¼ tsp. each baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life minis)
- If not using oat flour, add oats to a high-speed blender and blend until completely broken down and a flour is formed. Add the flour to a bowl and stir in coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Add chickpeas, avocado, spinach, maple syrup, liquid from beans, and extracts to the blender and blend until completely smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides multiple times.
- Scrape the wet ingredients from the blender into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to form a stiff dough. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, lightly spraying the pan and the parchment with cooking spray.
- When the dough is cool, stir in chocolate chips and scrape into lined pan. Smooth out the top well and sprinkle with additional chips, if desired.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the edges become slightly brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing, otherwise the bars may fall apart.