I swear that if I didn’t have a healthy food blog, it would be just straight buttery treats in your face at all times. I’m talking crazy ass desserts that would blow your mind. For instance, during my last family holiday I made a Nutella S’mores Pie with a Toasted Marshmallow Meringue and a chocolate nutella crust. Wait, what?
I know, scaryyyyyy. But OMG, was it ridiculously good. Also probably the richest thing I’ve ever had in my life.
Anyway you all know I have a weak spot for sweets, but that I also believe in balance, moderation, and healthy living. That’s why I’m here to create healthy, unique desserts that you’ll fall in love with.
Today I want to introduce you to my newest invention: The Protein Brownie. Can you believe that 1 brownie is only 100 calories?!
I created this brownie with my diet in mind. I’ve been drinking protein shakes with fruit every single morning so I’ve gotten real obsessed with protein powder. I guess you could say my diet has fallen under the Paleo category. Just don’t expect me to start baking with almond flour (or maybe I will, ha).
This whole protein obsession made me incredibly curious about baking with protein powder. I wanted to invent a brownie that could be enjoyed as a treat instead dipping a spoon into a jar of almond butter every night. My goal was to create a chocolate brownie relatively low in carbs, low in sugar, and high in protein; I also wanted it to taste really good
What an adventure it was! I tested this recipe about 8 times before I was happy with it… that’s a lot of chocolate consumption. Not like I ever would complain about eating too many brownies though.
A fudgy brownie with sweet bits of chocolate chips and tart raspberries in every bite. So good you could actually eat them for breakfast without the guilt.
So, what are these brownies made of?
Oat flour: You’ll just 1/4 cup of oats!
Cocoa powder: We want lots of chocolate flavor so bring on the cocoa powder!
Chocolate OR Vanilla Protein powder: You’ll need 1/2 cup of your favorite protein powder. I prefer using chocolate as I think it works just fine, but you can actually use vanilla too! See my notes for which protein powder I used for this recipe.
Unsweetened Applesauce: This helps keep the brownies moist without adding lots of fat.
Coconut oil: Because after all, healthy fats help to keep you full and coconut oil is packed with them. If you’re not into coconut oil, that’s cool. You can use olive or any oil that suits you best!
Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla or Chocolate Almond Milk: I’m excited to announce that I’ll be working with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze to create fun, healthy recipes for you over the next few months. For this recipe I used their unsweetened vanilla almond milk, however any of their almond or almond-coconut milks will work great! They are my absolute favorite to bake with.
Chocolate Chips: The melted chocolate chips in this recipe help sweeten the brownies and also add a little bit of fat to keep them moist and fudgy! I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and vegan chocolate chips from the Enjoy Life brand!
Honey: There’s only 1 tablespoon of honey in this recipe, but you can use agave if you prefer. Trust me, that smidgen of honey really does make a difference in flavor and texture.
Raspberries: The raspberries add fiber and a little tart sweetness to these brownies. I really do recommend them! If you prefer not to add raspberries, you could try coconut flakes, a swirl of peanut butter or PB2, dried fruit, a handful of nuts, or even extra chocolate chips!
What else? An egg and a little splash of vanilla. I haven’t tried to make these vegan, but I suspect you could use a flax egg, vegan chocolate chips, agave instead of honey, and vegan protein powder. Let me know if you veganize them!
A few additional notes:
This recipe makes 12 pretty large protein brownies! The brownies should be stored in the fridge to stay fresh. Plus they’re actually more delicious when served chilled. For some reason the chocolate sweetens and you get this incredibly fudgy texture! I’m craving one right now.
I hope you enjoy these protein brownies!
More healthy dessert recipes to try:
100 Calorie Raspberry Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies
Incredibly fudgy & delicious 100 calorie brownies sprinkled with chocolate chips and raspberries. You'd never guess that these are made with protein powder! Dairy free, easily vegan and gluten-free, too.
- 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup Whey Chocolate Protein Powder (see notes for additional info)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla or Chocolate Almond Milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- 1/2 cup raspberries, broken up into large pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place oats in blender and blend for a minute or until they resemble the consistency of flour (yes, you just made oat flour!). Transfer oat flour to medium bowl then whisk in protein powder and cocoa powder; set aside.
Whisk together applesauce, egg, honey, vanilla and almond milk until smooth and well combined. Add to dry ingredients and mix together until just combined.
Heat coconut oil and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over very low heat; stir continuously until all chocolate chips and coconut oil have melted together. (You can also heat them in a microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds.) Gently stir into brownie batter.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and raspberries on top; sometimes I like to swirl them in the batter with a knife. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until just cooked through and the top has set.
Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, cut into 12 bars -- please note that bars should be kept covered in the refrigerator and enjoyed cold!
I used Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 Chocolate Protein Powder from GNC and the calories reflect that - each scoop is about 90 calories. Any vanilla or chocolate protein powder should work fine though!
If you don't have applesauce on hand, you can substitute with 1 small ripe banana. I've experimented with both!
To make vegan: I suspect that you can make this recipe vegan by using a vegan protein powder such as Vega or Aloha, and by using a flax egg. I have not tested this though. Also, please make sure to use vegan chocolate chips and agave instead of honey.
If you want to make this recipe gluten free, please ensure that your protein powder and vanilla are gluten free.
Instead of raspberries why not add some of your favorite toppings? Coconut and sliced almonds would be delicious! Do your thing!
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. I was paid to develop this recipe, but as always, my opinions are my own. Thanks for continuing to support Ambitious Kitchen!