Yes, protein brownies. Why? Why not! Sure, you can save these for dessert just because, but won’t you feel a little less guilty knowing they have a healthy dose of protein and veggies? Oh, wait. I forgot to mention the veggies part. Please keep reading. I hope I didn’t scare you away. The batter alone is worth sticking around for–I promise!
I made this on Saturday night for two reasons: 1. I wanted dessert BADLY. 2. My kids were sleeping so I could eat said dessert peacefully. Moms, you know what I mean. There is nothing like hiding by the garbage can or–true confession here–sneaking into the bathroom just to eat a cookie or spoonful of Nutella in hopes of snagging a sweet snack without your kids being aware. They are always aware. They will always find you. They will always throw an accusatory “What are you doing?” at you that makes you choke on your secret treat and to simply reply with a grumbly, mouth-full, “Nothing!” that sounds more guilty than your toddler does when you actually see him punch his sister. So alas, when my husband arrived back home on Saturday night from his quick kids-are-in-bed trip to Dunkin Donuts for our coffees (see, Dads hide treats, too!), he was surprised to find me mixing up some brownies. He was even more surprised to see half a zucchini on the counter.
Don’t be alarmed. These are good. Plus, they are dairy- and gluten-free and flourless. I did use peanut butter, but if allergens are an issue, you can easily sub in sunflower seed butter. You could also throw in the nut of your choice if you are a nutty-brownie kind of family. We aren’t, so I left these to their fudgey goodness on their own. You can hardly detect, let alone taste, the zucchini in the final product.
I did make it up to my kids, though. On a Sunday morning, I served these as breakfast. Can you say #momguilt? But really, it was the only way I could keep from eating them all myself! Besides, there is no better way to treat yourself and your family than to a yummy, warm, wholesome breakfast on a Sunday. I served them with some watermelon, scrambled eggs (for the kids–not me!), and yogurt. Bed-and-breakfast worthy, if I do say so myself.
I have to give a shout-out to Cleanfoodcrush.com for this recipe idea. I made some changes to better fit my family’s needs and also to fit the ingredients I had on hand and the end result was so yummy, I just had to share!
Double Chocolate Protein Brownies
A fudgey, healthy treat good enough for breakfast!
I adapted this recipe from Cleanfoodcrush.com to fit my family’s needs.
- 1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
- 1/4 pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup all-natural unsweetened applesauce (I made my own.)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder (I used vegan chocolate Shakeology)
- 1/2 cup certified gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (do not drain/remove excess water)
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, reserving half (I use Enjoy Life brand, which are dairy- and soy-free)
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray 8×8 glass baking dish or brownie pan with non-stick coconut oil spray.
- In your blender or food processor, blend rolled oats until a fine powder forms. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, use a mixer to blend together peanut butter, maple syrup, apple sauce, extract, and protein powder. Gently stir in remaining ingredients, minus half of the chocolate chips. (Don’t forget to add the oat powder–I almost did!)
- Add to the baking dish, spreading batter evenly. Top with remaining chocolate chips. Slivered almonds would also be delicious across the top!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Lick the spoon and the bowl and everything in between.
- Allow to cool, then cut into squares and enjoy.
Please let me know how these taste! If you want to give these a try but don’t have protein powder on hand, contact me as well and I will send you a serving size perfect for this recipe!