July 14

Recipe: Healthy Protein Chocolate Brownies



black bean brownies

Who doesn’t love chocolate brownies?

These are probably one of my favourite foods, and I would LOVE if they counted as one of your five a day (unfortunately even these ones don’t). I’m regularly searching for a healthier, lower calorie version that I can enjoy more often than the full-fat tons-of-sugar regular version that’s so damn delicious. These are the latest ones I’ve come up with.

Black beans are the hero here. Yep. Black beans. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

They actually work really well to give that soft brownie texture. With the protein powder and other ingredients, I’m pretty sure you could give these to anyone and they’d never know there was anything healthy about them. That’s exactly what I did to my family, and despite the fact I often inflict my healthy experimental cooking on them, all of them were surprised to learn they’d just eaten black beans inside that nice bit of brownie.

Using the beans means you need a lot less fat (in this case coconut oil rather than butter), and the protein powder takes the place of normal flour, reducing calories and boosting the protein content. Natural sweeteners and syrup/agave nectar/ honey replace refined sugar, reducing calories again and providing a small element of nutrition too.

Of COURSE I’d still highly recommend adding chocolate chips for that extra boost of deliciousness (little bit of dark chocolate is good for you right!).

So, here’s the full list of what you need:


  • 1 tin / carton black beans
  • 3 tbsp / 15g cocoa powder/cacao powder 
  • 1.5 scoops / 45g chocolate protein powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup / 75g maple syrup / agave nectar / honey (Honey is not for strict vegans.) 
  • 2 tbsp stevia
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (35g)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 50g oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 



Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor, and blend until it is as blended as possible (good couple of minutes).

Fold in the chocolate chips, and pour the mixture into a standard smallish brownie tin (sorry if this is a little vague!) lined with baking paper.

Bake at 175 C for 15 mins – depends on your oven but I wouldn’t recommend cooking longer than this as the whey will dry the brownies out.

I found 15 minutes made them slightly firm on the outside and nice and soft and gooey in the middle…sooo good!
Would love to hear if you make these and how you find them.
Hayley Plummer – Haywards Heath Personal Trainer and Food Enthusiast.
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calories, chocolate, food, lose weight, personal trainer, personal trainer haywards heath, protein, recipes

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