Warning: friends this is not a traditional brownie. This is a better-for-you treat full of so much goodness it can be eaten for breakfast, as a post-workout snack, or to curb your after dinner sweet tooth. It's got natural sweeteners, healthy fats, protein and fiber to keep you satisfied and sustained. But, I promise this recipe is not only nourishing it's also rich and chocolatey.
The recipe doesn't call for flour so to bind everything together I’m using a vegan hemp seed protein powder in my brownies. Plus, I love choosing hemp protein powder because of all the awesome health benefits of hemp seeds.
I’ve got an unsweetened hemp protein powder from the brand Manitoba Harvest. I love this protein powder because it’s got one ingredient: Raw cold milled organic hemp protein. That’s it! No other flavorings, sweeteners, or artificial colors. I like that this protein powder is unsweetened so I can control the types and amount of sweetener going into the brownies There’s no grittiness or chalkiness when using this powder and it blends into the brownies so well you’d never know you’re getting a dose of fiber, omega-3 fats and protein all in one. FYI if you are thinking of swapping whey protein for this recipe - don't do it! Whey protein won’t work for this recipe because the brownies will have a gummy texture.
The brownie batter can simply be made in a food processor. You don't need a fancy mixer and the ingredients are blended together in a couple of steps. I've sweetened the batter up using bananas and dates aka nature's natural sweeteners. In order to make the batter smooth soak the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften them up. This helps the food processor to break them down completely so there are no lumps.
Blend together the almond butter, banana, dates and vanilla. You'll want to be sure the batter is super smooth before adding in your remaining ingredients. Pour the brownie batter into an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. This is the step where I highly recommend licking the spoon. The brownie batter is crazy delicious.
Bake them off, chill and nosh!
Flourless Dark Chocolate Protein Brownie
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: About 2 hours
Yield: 9 brownies
1 1/2 cup pitted dates
2/3 cup creamy almond butter
2 medium bananas
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons hemp protein powder (or another unsweetened vegan protein powder)
1 cup cocoa powder
Pinch sea salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350.
Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the water.
Start by pureeing banana, almond butter, dates and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. (Fit the food processor with your S blade.) Be sure to scrape down the sides of the container so there are no lumps.
Add salt, cocoa powder and hemp protein powder to the processor and blend well.
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and spread the brownie batter evenly.
Bake for 35-38 minutes, until firmly set and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Cut into 9 squares. These are best kept refrigerated.