Saturday, April 26, 2014

Protein Brownies

I am not joking around when I say that these are my all time favorite brownies. Now, don't get me wrong, I love brownies in every form - with frosting, from a box, caramel swirled in, chocolate chips or no chocolate chips. I could go on forever. There hasn't really been a brownie I haven't liked. Maybe if it had cucumber in it. That would be disgusting. The bad thing about brownies is that although they taste so darn good, they really aren't all that good for you. Okay, let's be honest - they are not good for you at all.They are loaded with sugar and are always high in fat and calories. At least the ones that taste good are. I know you know what I am talking about. Now, I'm drooling.

I have been on a mission to find and make the best tasting low fat, good for you brownie around for years, but haven't come across the best one - until now. The first thing I ever tried was replacing the oil for apple sauce. While the brownies are still moist, they just aren't the same. I've tried black bean brownies, which are good, but if you don't blend the beans enough, you get bean skins in every bite. That's just not appetizing. And, not a good luck when they get stuck in your teeth. I've tried the mixes where you just add yogurt and even lighted up my own homemade recipe. Although all the ways I have made them, I have eaten them, they just weren't amazing. There is nothing like brownie disappointment. In fact, it makes you cry a little. Little brownie tears. Several days ago, I got an email from one of my favorite food bloggers, Skinnytaste. If you haven't checked out her website, you must. I have yet to make a bad recipe from her blog and they are all low calorie and totally fabulous! Her most recent post was for brownies - flourless chocolate brownies. I was intrigued. Especially when I saw that I had every ingredient in my pantry. I had to make them!

Let me just tell you now - I will never go back to making brownies any other way. They are moist, sweet and so, so, so chocolaty. They are flourless, contain no white sugar and are virtually dairy free (if you don't add the chocolate chips!). I know what you are thinking - without all that good stuff, how are they even good? I thought the same thing at first, but I was wrong. The mystery ingredient in this recipe is PB2. If you have never heard of it, get on the wagon! It's the next best stuff next to sliced bread. Okay, maybe not, but it's so darn good that you need to keep your pantry stocked with it. PB2 is powdered peanut butter. Nothing funky or fancy about it. It's just ground peanuts where the oil has been removed. Good 'ol regular peanut butter is 100 calories a tablespoon. PB2 has only 45 calories for two tablespoons. Now that's a serious calorie savings. And if you are anything like me and are watching your caloric intake, this stuff is for you. It's great in lots of other things - dipping apples, smoothies and these brownies! You can find it at most stores these days, but it's a bit pricey as peanut butter goes. So, my recommendation to you is to buy it off Amazon. You get a larger amount for a much better price. And again, if you are like me, you'll need a ton of this because you will want to make these ALL the time.

I am not afraid to admit that I sometimes have two a day - one for my morning snack and one in the afternoon. They are 130 calories each, have 7 grams of protein and three grams of fiber. The brownie is sweet, dense and curb my chocolate craving while keeping me in control. These brownies will change your life and help the scale go down too!

the line up
Amazon is the best place to order this amazing stuff
the dry
the wet + chocolate chips
Protein Brownies (slightly adapted from Skinnytaste)

non-stick cooking spray
2 large egg whites 
1 cup PB2
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line with foil and spray a nonstick 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat the egg and egg white in a small bowl with a whisk. In a large bowl combine the PB2, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well with a spatula. Add the egg and egg whites and stir. Add water, honey, vanilla and stir with a spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool, then cut into 12 bars cutting 3 rows x 4 rows.

You'll never look at brownies the same way again!

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