Quick & Healthy Protein Brownies

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Since the start of the year, we’ve been trying to stick to a healthy diet (allowing treats once a week and limited to one thing – like chocolate or crisps, etc). We’ve been doing quite well, and I’m happy to say apart from a few nights out I have not had a soft drink in 2014 and can count on two hands how many alcoholic drinks I’ve had. 
Anyway – having started pole fitness I wanted to get my protein intake up after classes and the following days but I find it hard enough to eat a meal after class so thought I’d give these guys another try. I’ve read about replacing flour with black beans before – due to the higher fibre & protein content, and of course being gluten free. 
They are the perfect snack to stop your belly grumbling just as you’re getting into bed – by that I mean if you eat once you get in from your workout, not straight before bed. They’re light enough that you don’t feel instantly full more so sustaining fullness so are great for on the go in the mornings too! 
 
Okay I’m not a miracle worker I did NOT come up with these myself – the original recipe is by Chocolate Covered Katie (link to recipe). I have made a couple of changes that have really helped them along. My first and second attempts were really nutty (so much so I asked people beforehand if they were allergic just in case they freaked out!) They went down a treat but as I’m not that much of a nut/peanut fan I wanted to make them so I would be happy enough to eat them without dreading that peanut taste.
 
I’ve listed here what I used and there are some differences between my recipe and Katie’s – if you want substitutes for what I’ve used or are curious as to what she did differently again – check out her post.
This is my third attempt at this recipe. After the success of this, I’m going to try adding a flax seed mix to futher boost the nutritional content of these. Will add an update at the end of this post to let you know how I get on.
 
Method
Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Weigh out all the ingredients after sticking the oven on because these take no time at all.
Various Ingredients
325g cooked black beans 
(I soaked/cooked these using this method)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (dutch or regular (10g)) 
40g quick oats 
1/4 tsp salt
115g Honey 
(or agave if you want to make it vegan)
40g coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
(I use vanilla bean paste – it lasts ages & you can pick it up for about €7 in most supermarkets)
1/2 tsp baking powder
115-140g dark chocolate shavings
(I used 115 & they’re really chocolatey but depends on how much of a chocaholic you are!)
After baking (and tasting!)
Place all the ingredients except chocolate shavings in a food processor with blade attachment. 
Blitz until everything is well combined – especially if using the coconut oil straight from the fridge and can clump together. 
Remove the blade and stir it around, add in the chocolate shavings and combine into the mixture. 115g seems like a lot especially if you have larger shavings but it melts into the brownie mix in the oven. 
 
 
 

Transfer to either a parchment lined tin or well greased tin (I went for waxed parchment as I hate the scrubbing involved otherwise!) and smooth it out so it’s even.
Place into the oven for about 15-18 mins, depending on your oven it took mine 15 and that’s with a fan assisted oven. 
Wait until they’ve cooled completely (if you can) as they firm up a lot more but they will be quite crumbly.
Yum!

So there you go! Sugar free/dairy free*/gluten free brownies that are good for you!
Let me know if you try this out or have tried other healthy snacks like these and how you got on!

Nickki

*The chocolate shavings I used in this recipe (Avoca) are not dairy free by any means but generally I will use dairy free chocolate.