The Best Protein Powder Vegan Brownies: Macro-Friendly, Flourless, and Easy AF
As my mom always used to say, if you want something done right, do it yourself.
Now, I definitely don't always agree with this statement. For example, DIY-ing my eyebrow waxing has never worked out, and I can't change my oil, or masterfully apply contact paper without it rippling, to save my life.
BUT, in the case of finding the perfect vegan protein brownie recipe that fits any dietary needs -- that, I totally got.
I've been on the quest for the last few weeks for an easy protein brownie recipe that would be both macro-friendly, high-protein, low-carb, of course vegan, and actually packed in a punch of protein, like more than 10g.
Oh, and it needed to be low-calorie too.
I realize that's a tall order to fill, but I knew it had to be possible, and I was determined.
With my next bikini show looming, and calories and macros tight, I needed something that would satisfy my sweet tooth without totally busting my calories up for the entire day (looking at you, beloved Lenny and Larry's cookies that kill me with 400 calories a pop!)
While I'm not gonna lie to you and say these high-protein brownies taste like the most decadent, fudgy, ooey-gooey brownie you ate as a kid, I will say, when you're wanting a decidedly healthified, high-protein, low carb treat that gets the job done and gives you something sweet to look forward to - this is it.
The star ingredients of this brownie are vital wheat gluten (protein galore) and a chocolate vegan protein powder (obvs, more protein). While these vegan protein brownies are not gluten-free, they're free of flour, any added refined sugar, or oil/butter! Score!
They also come together in about 10 minutes flat and can be dressed up or down depending on personal preference. For example, you can top with walnuts or nah, chopped pecans, add more chocolate chips (don't let me stop you), or get fancy and toss in caramel chips, M&Ms (there are vegan brands, yes!) the possibilities go on.
A note on the sugar in these bad boys: I literally didn't add even a pinch. I find my chocolate vegan protein powder gives me all the sweetness I needed in this recipe, but full disclosure, I have learned that I have a more sensitive palate to sugar than most. Meaning, a cup of coffee that tastes sweet AF to me, tastes bitter as hell to my sugar-loving boyfriend. I've noticed that the more I've weaned myself off of sugar over prep and over the years of eating healthy in general, the vastly more sensitive to it I become. So while this recipe tastes great to me as is, you may find you need some added sugar (I've included some options in the recipe, don't worry.)
Also, let's talk vegan chocolate chip cookies. I find that people have a hard time locating them in the grocery store, and I think that has something to do with being a little confused by chocolate ingredients...what's vegan and what's not. It does take being a tiny bit of a label reader and double checking to see what's vegan and not. Not all dark chocolate is, for example, and not all "milk" chocolate isn't (I know, a little confusing,) and take it from me, there is no heartbreak like buying dark chocolate M&Ms assuming they're vegan, poppin one in your mouth, and realizing, NOPE, full of milk.
I really love the Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips, which are 100% vegan (don't let the "cocoa butter" ingredient throw you - it's dairy-free!), or the Nestle Toll House Simply Delicious, with only 3 ingredients, all of which are vegan.
Both these brands are easy to find at any grocery store or places like Walmart. When in doubt, read your labels! Anything that contains a milk ingredient should say as much, and anything vegan should have some sort of vegan marking or symbol, or just straight up say "vegan."
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 glass baking dish with a layer of parchment paper (or you can lightly oil, but I find parchment paper so much easier for cleaning purposes.)
Combine your dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and make sure it's all whisked together and well-combined. You can either mix your wet ingredients, everything but the chocolate chips, in a separate smaller bowl, or honestly just dump them right into the mixing bowl--that's what I do, and I won't tell (I'm all for less dirtied up dishes.) You can taste at this point, and choose to add or not add your desired sweetener. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts if using. Your batter should be thickkk - more on the side of cookie dough, and definitely not a pourable consistency. I use a flat spatula to scoop and press the dough into my parchment-paper-lined baking dish. Press it out toward the edges until flat and uniform. If you feel inclined, sprinkle with extra chopped nuts/chocolate chips.
Bake, uncovered, for around 20 mins, or until they are springy to the touch and a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wrack before trying to cut, for at least 15-20 minutes. Leftovers will keep stored in the fridge or wrapped in aluminum foil for several days, and are great warmed up!
Macros (without adding sugars - adjust if you include):
Per 1/6 of the recipe: 17.3 g carbs, 7.3 g fat, 13.2 protein
If you try this out, be sure to let me know!
There is never an excuse to live a life without chocolate, no matter your nutrition goals!
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