A few years ago, I was getting deep into my nutrition. Every week, I would be playing with different protein brownie recipes to find the perfect healthy, chocolatey snack to supplement my training.
Then, one Sunday, I found it. I had been making my own healthy chocolate at home. The move to add the melted goodness into the base of the mixture gave the brownies a gooey, rich, chocolatey texture that I had never experienced in a protein brownie either before or since.
Taking them to a local CrossFit competition confirmed it! The best protein brownies the world had ever seen.
So here it is. Maybe not the easiest recipe to make when you are travelling and staying in hostels, but if you are stuck in quarantine, then what better thing to do than to make a high-protein, healthy alternative to the slice of cake you have been craving?
The recipe has three elements:
The flour mix which forms the base,
The liquid chocolate which binds the mixture
The berries, nuts, seeds and fruit which provide texture and flavour (of course you can change these to taste)
A few things to note about the recipe:
A mix of slow and fast release protein which makes it a good option for a mid-afternoon snack
Store frozen and eat at room temperature
Full of micro-nutrients and good fats
The chocolate (You can also use this to make chocolate buttons)
200g of organic coconut oil
150g of organic raw cacao
About 600ml of unsweetened almond milk (ideally UHT so that the brownies last). You may end up needing more, so have an extra 100ml or so on standby.
One generous tablespoon of clear honey
The flour mix
100g of milled chia seeds (you can mill them yourself in something like a nutribullet)
200g of micellar casein protein (chocolate or vanilla)
200g of impact whey isolate protein (chocolate or vanilla, I found chocolate orange flavour is the best though)
150g of coconut flour
150g of ground almonds
Nuts and Seeds
Feel free to swap, change, and play with these. I found the below mix gave me a great blend of taste, texture and nutrient profile.
170g of pumpkin seeds
200g of almonds
250g of soft dried apricots (a mix with soft figs also work well)
20g of cinnamon
First, gently melt the coconut oil in a bain-marie (a bowl heated by steam from boiling water beneath it). I like to add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and orange rind in here as well).
Meanwhile, the mix
While that is melting..
Add all the ingredients of the flour mix together in a big bowl and combine
Chop up the apricots and add them to the pan with the pumpkin seeds, almonds, cinnamon and anything else you would like to add.
Back to the liquid chocolate
By the time you have mixed the ingredients above, the coconut oil should be almost melted. Once it has,
Use a whisk to whisk the cacao into the melted coconut oil
Once smooth, whisk in the honey and continue to whisk the mixture vigorously until it is all combined
And extra cacao or honey if needed to bring the mix to the consistency and sweetness of melted dark chocolate.
Next, heat the almond milk
Next, very gently heat the almond milk to a similar or slightly higher temperature than the chocolate mixture (you can use the bain-marie again for this)
Stir constantly to ensure the even distribution of heat
Combine chocolate with almond milk
Once the almond milk is lukewarm, take off the heat and add the chocolate mixture while whisking constantly but gently. If the temperatures of the two mixtures are equal, then there should be no separation. (It sounds a bit more daunting than it is. If you don’t get this right, don’t worry. you may just need to do a bit more whisking.)
Add liquids to solids
The chocolate almond milk mixture can now be added to the rest of the ingredients. You will need to mix this thoroughly for quite a while to ensure that all of the dry ingredients are damp and absorb the chocolate mixture.
There should be only just enough chocolate milk mixture to dampen the dry mix
If necessary, due to the mixture being too dry, add more almond milk
Likewise, if the mixture is too wet then mix in oats to absorb the excess moisture
The mix/batter can then be rolled out on baking trays (use baking paper to stop it sticking)
Put in the fridge to harden
Once firm, cut into squares
Keep in the freezer and defrost before you want to eat
Best enjoyed at room temperature. Please be aware of innocent bystanders when your mind is blown.
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