Chilli Chocolate No-Bake Protein Brownies (Sweetener & Gluten-Free)
Last year, someone asked me how many of the recipes that I’ve published here at proteinpow.com contain chocolate. I didn’t know exactly so I dug into the Protein Pow archives and, believe it or not, the number surprised me. I say ‘believe it or not’ because I (and anyone who knows me for that matter) should have expected it to be high. I mean, it’s chocolate we’re talking about here. Chocolate: an ingredient I have been eating with gusto and wiping off my face since the mid 1980s…
The number was in the fiftieth percentile. So yeah, over 50% of the recipes found here contain chocolate. That speaks of a certain… zeal, don’t you think? A kind of unbridled passion. To be honest with you though, I’m not ashamed or at all unsettled by this fact. I actually think it’s great that I cook and eat as many chocolate treats as I do because 1) good-quality dark chocolate is extremely healthy (when eaten in moderation, of course), 2) eating chocolate is a great way to keep cravings for nutritionally-void sugary snacks and desserts at bay, and 3) chocolate has been said to increase endorphins and serotonin, in that way contributing to a happy life! That’s why I’ve never understood people that go on a healthy or ‘clean eating’ diet and give up chocolate. There’s really no need to deprive oneself like that, not when you can enjoy chocolate every day and still make incredible progress – the best kind of progress in fact: the kind that’s sustainable and makes you smile instead of feel like a cravings-fuelled ravenous beast that no one wants to be around.
These protein brownies (or brownie bars if you choose to slice – or cube – them) are splendid. They may not look like the most drop-dead-gorgeous-cut-me-off-a-piece-of-THAT-and-come-back-in-the-morning-to-get-me brownies in the universe but let me tell ya: they’re RIDICULOUSLY tasty, packed full of nutrition, and so easy to make too! Check this out:
1/4 cup of whey protein powder
1 tbsp of coconut sugar (see Note 1)
2 tbsp of flaxseed mix (see Note 2)
2.5 squares (25g) of 70% chilli dark chocolate, melted
1 tbsp of milk (I used cartoned coconut but almond would do)
1. In a bowl, mix all the above ingredients everything together until you get a soft paste (see the picture above). Press this paste onto the corner of a nonstick silicone pan or a regular pan lined with nonstick baking paper (what you’re doing is giving the mixture its shape here).
Note: The above ingredients make ONE big square brownie – I sliced it into four to get the brownie bites you see pictured here. To end up with more brownies (or, if you want to end up with a batch that you can slice into rectangles to make protein bars), just duplicate, triplicate, or quadruplicate your ingredients.
3. Place them in the fridge for a couple of hours and… PRESTO! Chocolate deliciousness ready to be devoured.
Macros per 1/2 a batch of all the above ingredients combined: 233kcals, 15g protein, 12g carbs (out of which 3g is fiber!) and 13g fat.
1. I didn’t want to use any sweeteners to make the brownies so I used coconut sugar. If you’d like your brownie (or bars) to be lower in sugar though, go ahead and use granulated stevia instead. Something like Truvia, for example?
2. I used a flax mix to make this recipe – a flax mix comprised of milled flaxseed, ground pumpkin seeds, and goji berries (this stuff). You can use plain one-ingredient milled flaxseed though or any kind of mix you like to make you brownie/s.
PS: Speaking of chocolate, have you ever read Laura Esquivel’s Como Agua Para Chocolate (i.e. Like Water for Chocolate)? It’s one of my favorite novels (*surprise, surprise*). There’s a movie about it too but it’s all kinds of cheese; I recommend you give the book a shot instead.