When I describe these to people who aren’t vegan, their usual response is “So what’s in them then?” because they are not only vegan (so, no eggs, no butter, no milk etc) but also gluten free. My response is usually: “Just the good stuff”.
A bit dry and short, perhaps, but it’s true: these little protein pumpkin blondies are packed full of macronutrients!
I’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin spree at the lately – if you read my post about pumpkin & cranberry muffins, you’ll know I went from having a single tin of pumpkin in the cupboards for years, to being a bit obsessed with the stuff. These blondies are the continuation of that obsession, but in a slightly more rounded result than those, granted delicious, cinnamon-sugar topped beauties.
What’s a blondie?
Perhaps, before I digress into the awesomeness that is pumpkin, I should first spend a moment explaining a blondie. American friends, you probably already know. Everyone else: a blondie is like a brownie, but without cocoa. It is defined as: “a small square of dense, pale-coloured cake, typically of a butterscotch or vanilla flavour.”
Well, these are pumpkin spice flavoured blondies but you guys will let me off, right? I don’t think there is a word for those.
So, a vegetable? In a blondie?
Move that cursor away from the close button and hear me out: yes, a vegetable in a cake. It’s kind of uncommon, but not unheard of! It’s a great way to reduce sugar or to substitute flour, or even just to sneak in more of your daily fruit & vegetable requirements. The good news is that my pumpkin blondies don’t taste like pumpkin. That would be weird. They do taste like pumpkin spice though, so if you like your Pumpkin Spice Latte, or my pumpkin spice energy balls, then these will be right up your street!
Did you know that during the week I take a packed lunch to work every day, without fail? It’s true! There is a canteen and not one, but two coffee shops in the building but I prefer to bring my own. It’s better for my budget and my tastebuds, if past experience is anything to go by! Everyday I toddle in with my lunch and also snacks. Often, a Nakd bar. I love the Crunch ones at the moment and my OH even got me some of the new apricot ones for my birthday, after I couldn’t find them in any shops. He’s a sweetie! Of course, he also got me Carrot Cake ones, despite me telling him I couldn’t eat them when we saw them in the supermarket (they contain walnuts). I think he just wanted them for himself!
But yes, back to my packed lunch I’ll chuck in a snack bar, but I wanted to switch things up a bit. I think my Nakd bar obsession is coming to an end. Rather than making more energy balls, I decided I wanted something that would be more like a treat, y’know? Sometimes you just want cake. And that’s all there is to it. So I made up these little protein-packed pumpkin blondies with some of my pumpkin puree left from the muffin development.
I added vanilla protein powder for satiety and almond butter for texture and well, yums. Instead of sugar I added vitafiber powder, which is like the lower carb alternative. The result was a combination of cake and fudge that’s just about perfect in my book. No mess, easy to cut up and pop in a lunchbox and all round delicious! Plus, if divided into 10 squares as suggested, each square has just 96 calories, with a whopping 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats which means just one square is a great snack to fill you up a little. I like to enjoy one after my lunch as a mini “dessert”.
Vegan Pumpkin Protein Blondies (gluten free)
Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
- Prep: 5 minutes
- Cook: 25 minutes
- Total: 16 minutes
- Serves 10
- Calories 96
- 220g pumpkin puree
- 45g vanilla soy protein
- 90g smooth almond butter
- 30g vitafiber powder
- 20g coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C (fan).
- Mix everything together in a bowl until well combined.
- Press into a lined baking tin and bake until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean - mine took 25 minutes.