MMMMM Who doesn’t love brownies?
I’m a chocoholic myself and it is not the healthiest habit to have…so instead I bake up some of my healthier protein-packed black bean brownies when I’m craving decadent chocolate goodness! This version was made with unsweetened applesauce to replace white table sugar, and also made with tigernut flour for a grain-free, high prebiotic fiber touch. These are gooey, fudgey, and SO easy to make.
These ooey gooey brownies still taste decadent and chocolatey but are much better for your body. Why is added sugar detrimental? It can lead to excess weight gain (especially fructose like in sodas — much easier stored as fat), decreased immunity, increases risk for cancer and chronic disease, and the more intake of sugar you consume, the more your body craves. Do yourself a favor and slowly decrease your added sugar intake – added sugar is sugar that is added after the processing, aka the sugar added to cereals, yogurts, snack bars, that is not naturally found in the food (usually found in packaged foods). Best tip to decrease added sugar immediately? Limit your intake of sugary beverages such as sweet tea, soda, lemonade, Kool-Aid, etc. These are the top source of added sugar in our diets. Switch to water or unsweetened versions of your favorite and you will start to immediately feel better!
Berries? 100% natural sugar. Berry-flavored Kool-Aid? All added sugar. Know the difference to help increase one (fruit) and decrease the other (sugary packaged food and drinks). Stick to natural sources of sugar such as coconut sugar, dates, fresh, frozen and dried fruits, and no added-sugar plain yogurt for desserts. Natural sugars (aka carbohydrates) also are found in whole grains, vegetables, and dairy products. The unsweetened applesauce in this recipe takes the place of added sugar — it brings natural sweetness just from apples! These brownies still have a touch of extra sugar from the dark chocolate chips, but MUCH, MUCH less than your average store-bought brownie. By using dark chocolate chips versus milk chocolate chips, you are also also decreasing the overall amount of sugar.
What makes these brownies higher in protein?
1) eggs 2) black beans 3) tigernut flour 4) protein powder
These four ingredients combined make a protein powerhouse in each bite! Regular store-bought brownies are typically devoid of any protein besides the eggs added to the mixture and optional milk (which combined with all the other ingredients becomes such a minimal amount per bite of brownie).
Each of these delicious bites contain only 90 calories, 10g carbs, 4g of sugar, and 3g protein! Enjoy them by the mouthful. 🙂 It is also fun to cut these brownies into even smaller bite-size pieces and stick in the freezer for a perfectly cool treat (hey, it’s still summer and 90 degrees here in SC!). Not used to having so much less sugar yet? Slowly decrease the amount of sugar you use in recipes and replace some of the sugar (but not all) with date syrup, stevia (natural artificial sweetener) or fruit-based sugar such as mashed bananas (work great in pancakes) or unsweetened applesauce as used here. As your taste buds get used to needing less sugar, you can decrease even more! How much added sugar should we max out at per day? the Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 10% of total calories from added sugars – this would be 200 calories or 50g of added sugar per day on a 2,000 calorie diet, but everyone is different and requires different calorie needs.Print
- 1 can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup tigernut flour (or alternative flour such as quinoa flour, almond flour, or oat flour)
- 2 TBSP raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice (Nutrition facts based off Orgain brand)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted (optional if batter too dry)
- dash of cayenne powder (optional for Mexican spice brownies)
- additional stevia, maple syrup, or date syrup for additional sweetness if desired (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
- Add all ingredients except for 1/2 of the chocolate chips to food processor and blend on high until smooth batter is formed.
- Pour batter into baking dish and sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Serving Size: 1/16 of recipe
- Calories: 90
- Sugar: 4
- Fat: 5
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 3
Need a vegan option?
Switch out the chocolate chips for vegan chocolate chips, and make sure you use a vegan protein powder . Also, replace the eggs with flax eggs – mix 3 TBSP freshly ground flax with 9 TBSP water. Let sit in the refrigerator to thicken up for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to one hour for thickest consistency. Easy peasy! I have yet to make these with 100% vegan ingredients so I cannot testify to how they turn out, but only switching out those few things shouldn’t affect the recipe too much.
Alright, I’m going to go grab one of these because my mouth is drooling even just looking at these photos again!