YUM. These protein bars are seriously SO good and they’re made with only a handful of ingredients. January is a month were most people create New Year’s Resolutions. A good percentage of people make some kind of resolution related to health. A chocolate peanut butter brownie probably doesn’t coincide with these resolutions– but when it’s made with healthy ingredients and packs a whopping 11 grams of protein it does! It’s actually better for you than most commercial protein bars that can be filled with processed ingredients, preservatives, and an insane amount of added sugar. It’s also hard to find a tasty protein bar under 200 calories. Many store-bought protein bars can also be quite expensive. These homemade bars are not only cheaper to make, but they are 10 times more delicious than any store-bought version I have tried. The protein in this recipe comes from three different sources: plant-based protein powder, peanut butter, and black beans. The idea of a brownie being made with beans might gross you out, but I promise you that you can not taste beans at all. They are also both vegan and gluten free. As always, I used Perfect Fit protein powder because it’s my favorite and it’s lower in calories than many other plant-based protein powders I have used in the past. These protein bars make a great pre or post gym working and will keep you powered throughout your day!
NOTE: I use a food processor for this recipe to ensure there are absolutely no chunks of black beans. You can use a blender as well, but I can’t guarantee the texture will be the same.
Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
3 tablespoons cacao powder
½ cup chocolate protein powder (plant-based, NOT whey)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed VERY well
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, agave, or honey
¼ cup peanut butter
½ cup mini chocolate chips (nondairy for vegan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Batter will be thick.
Smooth batter into prepared pan and press down until evenly distributed and batter covers the bottom of the entire pan. Bake for 13 minutes. Bars may look undercooked, but they will firm up. Allow to cool at room temperature then refrigerate for two hours before cutting into 10 bars. Top with additional peanut butter if you wish.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 185 Fat: 4g Carbs: 28g Protein: 11g Sodium: 62mg Sugar: 2g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.
Slightly adapted from: Chocolate Covered Katie: Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars