What if you could transform your favorite treat into a nutrient-dense snack? With protein brownies, you can add important nutrients to your day in a way that feels decadent but still healthy.
With the right recipe, brownies can power you towards your fitness goals. Combining a high-quality protein powder with other healthy ingredients turns a fudgy brownie into a functional food for pre- or post-workout. They’re good enough to enjoy in the evenings on your couch, too!
What Does Protein Do For Your Body?
Getting enough protein is a game-changing nutrition strategy. Whether your activities are geared towards endurance or strength, protein is part of the equation for faster recovery and maintaining healthy muscle tissue. Even if you’re less active, protein is vital for overall health.
Why should you get on board with protein?
- Eating plenty of protein has been linked to improvements in muscle strength (1) as well as endurance (2) in part because protein helps muscle tissue rebuild and recover.
- Dietary protein also provides the parts to synthesize molecules that control nearly every body system, like hormones, enzymes, and antibodies (3).
- Incorporating protein into every meal and snack helps stabilize blood sugar levels so that you feel even-keel throughout the day (4).
- Protein promotes feeling satisfied after eating and between meals by influencing the hormones that regulate appetite, like ghrelin, PYY, and GLP-1 (5, 6, 7)
- In addition to muscle, your bones, skin, hair, and nails rely on dietary protein for maintenance and strength.
- Muscle naturally begins to gradually break down starting around 30 years of age. Pairing adequate protein intake with strength training can help slow that decline (8).
For day-to-day function as well as peak performance, you can see how much protein matters. While meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes are excellent protein choices, it’s a decadent diversion to add some protein in brownie form.
Why These Brownies are the Best
This protein brownie recipe features whole-food ingredients that pack a nutritional punch. Whey powder amps up the protein quotient, while nut butter adds even more protein. Cocoa powder not only gives the brownies their rich chocolate taste; it also offers anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
Unlike conventional brownies, this brownie recipe is gluten-free, egg-free, and easily adaptable to dairy-free.
These protein brownies are also free of refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. And the final bonus? Only one bowl is required!
Perfect Protein Brownie Recipe
Makes 9 servings
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 cup very ripe mashed banana OR applesauce
- 2/3 cup nut butter*
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup grass-fed whey from Naked Nutrition
- 1 Tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup OR additional banana
- Optional toppings**
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Square baking dish (8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inches)
- 1 sheet of parchment paper
- Preheat your oven to 325 F and line the baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper (alternatively, grease the dish with butter or cooking spray).
- In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all wet ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to this bowl and continue to mix until the batter is uniform. This mixture will be thick and sticky!
- Spread brownie batter into an even layer in the baking dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes. These brownies will be very gooey when you first take them out but will firm up over the next several hours. To accelerate this process, put them in the refrigerator.
- Store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
*For a distinct nutty flavor, use peanut butter. For a milder flavor, try almond butter or sunflower seed butter. If your nut butter is stiff, you can warm it for 20 seconds in the microwave to make it easier to mix.
**For added nutrients and flavor, get creative with some added toppings! Coconut flakes, crushed almonds, chia seeds, and chopped pistachios are tasty options.
These protein brownies are the ultimate snack for a chocolate lover who also wants to be healthy. Try them during a mid-afternoon slump or post-workout and see how much better you feel!