Chocolate Protein Brownies

I’m waving the white flag of defeat! After over a year of trying to resist, I finally broke down and purchased protein powder—ugh. A little background for my readers… I’ve been working with a personal trainer doing strength training for a little over a year. I always had the mindset that lifting heavy weights was taboo for women, so it’s been exciting to feel (and see) myself getting stronger. I usually try to aim for getting about 30% of my calories from protein and I recently increased the amount of calories I’m eating each day. Although eating more food is always exciting, I’ve been struggling to get enough protein each day. A girl can only eat so much baked chicken and black beans.

Back to the protein powder. I’ve always had this mental stigma that only ginormous body builders use protein powder. I also like to try and get most of my nutrients from “real” foods. Regardless, I decided that I’d give it a chance. So I did what I always do when I’m faced with purchasing something new—I headed to Amazon. After a good hour of research, I settled on what looked like a reasonably priced option that several reviewers promised tasted just like chocolate milk. I was skeptical. Two days later (thank you Amazon Prime) my protein powder arrived and I was excited to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that it was fairly tasty when mixed with soy milk. Was it as good as chocolate milk? Not quite.

Can you see where my story is going? The next logical step for me was to try baking some desserts with my newly acquired protein powder. Over the years I’ve managed to make my desserts low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sugar. However, I’ve never been able to make them high-protein. After researching tips and tricks for baking with protein powder, I assembled my own recipe for chocolate brownies. This recipe has another secret ingredient—black beans—which I promise you can’t even taste in the final product. As always, Matthew is the brutally honest taste tester of all my baked goods. Although he doesn’t like chocolate (blasphemy in my opinion) he told me this was the best healthy dessert I’ve ever baked—which I consider a definite win.

Chocolate Protein Brownies

Servings: 12 • Calories: 124 • Fat: 4 g • Carbs: 14 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 9 g • Sugar: 3 g • Sodium: 152 g

Ingredients
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 large eggs
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
15 ounce can black beans, drained
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter flavored candy melts, optional

Directions
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and grease. Set aside for later use.

In a food processor, mix together all ingredients (except candy melts) until batter is smooth. Pour batter into greased pan. If you want some peanut butter flavor, warm candy melts in microwave and drizzle over top of dessert. Use a toothpick to create swirls in the batter.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You want the brownies to look a little underdone, as they will firm up once cool. Cool brownies on a baking rack for about 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Heather’s Helpful Hints
Keep in mind that protein powders tend to toughen baked goods. That’s why it’s nice to have a very moist batter, which this recipe does. As a result, make sure you do a good job of thoroughly greasing your pan so the brownies don’t stick to the edge and are easy to remove.

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17 thoughts on “Chocolate Protein Brownies

  1. These look delicious Heather! How creative to use protein powder in brownies! I bet you were thrilled that your husband liked them. I love that you included black beans and apple sauce. You can’t beat healthy brownies! Happy Friday 😄

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  2. These look really really good. I’m a traditional kind of a baker and always make the original recipes with butter and all that jazz. I’m tempted to try this out because of the black beans, thanks for sharing. Oh and do share your body transformation pictures:) I’d love to see those

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  3. WOW!! I was riveted to this post. …read every word. I am totally impressed with the ingredients and with the fat, sugar, fiber etc.counts. You will have to tell me more about your protein power search. These sound and look delicious and I’m totally excited to try them.

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  4. Heather these sound and look so good – the second picture looks like a painting. I am tempted to make them as they seem to be healthy – do you thinks the recipe would work if I substituted extra cocoa for the protein powder?

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  5. Isn’t Amazon Prime great? And what a great idea to incorporate protein powder into brownies…and with your hubby’s thumb’s up approval! You amaze me Heather with the way you experiment and come up with such yummy and healthy goodies. And I’ve loved seeing your pics on FB…all the best with the training…now if only I could do the same, ha! Have a wonderful weekend my friend :-) <3 xo

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    • Oh goodness, I absolutely love shopping on Amazon these days! I often favor getting something online rather than trying to find it in the store! Thank you for the well wishes in the gym Sherri. I’ve found that my baking and blogging has been a little less frequent as of late but sometimes things just ebb and flow in that way :) Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

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