I share my recipe for No-Bake VEGAN Peanut Butter Blondies with Caramel Peanut Popcorn for a healthy easy gluten free dessert.
You know what a pregnant chick craves BIG TIME mid-way through her baby baking? Popcorn, Caramel and Peanut Butter. Individually, definitely, and all together, OBVIOUSLY. Okay, so I would be lying big time if I said I didn’t crave this combo without a baby growing in me, but hey, I have to use this pregnancy as an excuse for something. So, I decided to combine all of my go-to cravings into a better for you treat: my No-Bake VEGAN Peanut Butter Blondies with Caramel Peanut Popcorn! Yep. These babies are sweet, and salty, crunchy and smooth- totally ticking all the boxes right now.
How to Make No-Bake VEGAN Peanut Butter Blondies with Caramel Peanut Popcorn
First, we make blondies. Now I have nothing against a good brownie- in fact I’m a crazy big fan of them. But I’m definitely a peanut butter girl first so these are vegan peanut butter blondies are absolutely my style. I puree together some dates, almond flour, peanut butter, and super ripe banana until you get a soft fudge-like texture. Honestly, I typically eat like half of this stuff before it even comes out of the food processor, so consider that you might need to make a bigger batch if that sounds like you too.
Next, we make the Caramel Peanut Popcorn!! Honestly, this stuff is worth a recipe all on its own and it starts with a microwavable pack of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop. Popcorn has gotten a bad reputation (and unnecessarily so), probably because it’s just so tasty it’s hard to believe it’s good. But tasty food can be healthy for you too (proven by this recipe for no-bake vegan peanut butter blondies). Plus, Orville Redenbacher’s microwavable popcorn is made with 100% whole-grain non-GMO popcorn, like all popcorn, without any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It’s also high in fibre, gluten free and surprisingly low in calories. Their Smart Pop variety has just 120 calories, plus 4 grams each of fibre and protein per 6.5 cups! Totally leaves some wiggle room for caramel, peanuts and chocolate, don’t you think?
I then pack that caramel peanut popcorn onto the no-bake vegan peanut butter blondies and slice into small squares (or big ones, I don’t judge). Trust me, you don’t have to have a baby growing inside you to appreciate these (but I’ll use that excuse to justify me eating half the pan for as long as I can!).
Now let me know, what are some of your favourite ways to eat popcorn?
Have you tried making these no-bake vegan peanut butter blondies?
What are some of your favourite vegan and gluten free healthy treats?
Leave me a comment below with your ideas and thoughts and be sure to share this recipe with a mama-to-be in your life (or better yet – make it for them!!).
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in paid partnership with Orville Redenbacher, however, all opinions are genuine.
No-Bake VEGAN Peanut Butter Blondies with Caramel Peanut Popcorn
- In a food processor, puree the dates until grainy, then add in the almond flour, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and banana. Puree until very smooth.
- Line a 8” square baking dish with parchment paper on both sides and press firmly into the dish. Place in freezer to set.
- Meanwhile, to make the popcorn, puree the dates in the food processor until fairly smooth, then add in the coconut milk, maple and peanut butter. Transfer to a stovetop and heat until bubbling and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla and remove from the heat. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes so it’s still warm and still pliable but not scalding.
- Spread out the popcorn and peanuts on a baking sheet lined with a silpat and coat with the caramel. Allow to set until firm, then top with a drizzle of melted chocolate and a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel.
- Remove the blondies from the freezer and pack the popcorn firmly on top. Slice into squares and enjoy!
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.