Did you say healthy sugar-free brownie recipe? Oh no, that’s right, I did! Keep reading for a healthy recipe for sugar-free, high protein, no-bake brownies is a real thing, and they taste even better than you can imagine.
“Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions, chocolate understands”
It’s a monday, and you start your day with the very best intentions to eat healthily (because we all know you can only start these sorts of things on a monday) and promise yourself and anyone who will listen that you absolutely will ignore that bar of Lindt that is hiding at the back of your cupboard… and then life happens. A taxi causes a traffic back up the size of a small country, then in an effort not to be late for that tut or meeting – the one you just cannot be late for – you realize that you got caught speeding by one of those sneaky little cameras that get mounted on a railing (I mean, how are those even allowed). The day goes from bad to worse and you’ll probably spill coffee on some part of your clothing that is the hardest to clean followed by the realization your laptop didn’t charged because someone unplugged the charger when you thought you had it sorted. If you need to print something important there will be no ink, or it will just beep at you while making that printer noise and if you’re really lucky the ATM will swallow your bank card when you try and draw some cash. All the while, that slab of choccie in your cupboard that has been rudely calling your name goes from whisper to loudspeaker and your self-resolve disappears as quickly as the blocks can be broken away from the slab, because “Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions, chocolate understands”.
Unfortunately, emotionally inhaling a whole slab of chocolate is not really the best habit to get into, and it is an even harder habit to break. When you are craving chocolate, absolutely nothing else will do and any attempt to distract yourself with other food will just mean that you end up eating half your fridge AND the chocolate anyway. As chocolate substitutes go though, this gooey no-bake brownie recipe is the ultimate doppelgänger, except with the added bonuses that it is high protein (boet), charged with superfoods and has the perfect consistency for licking out the mixing bowl.
4 Scoops of protein (boet) – Chocolate flavoured, obviously, but if you don’t have chocolate flavored protein then any will do. If you’re looking for a good protein powder, I have it on a gym rat’s authority that Evox is a good way to go in terms of quality and price. You can buy the protein powder we are using at the moment here
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder – This is not the same as Cocoa powder and for want of a better pronunciation guide, lets just go with “oak-ow”. Again, you can shop this online from Wellness Warehouse by clicking here.
3 Tbsp Chia seeds
1/8 to 1/4 of a cup of Xylitol – but honestly, if your protein powder is already sweetened then you can leave this out
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
4 Tbsp pure almond butter
½ tsp Vanilla extract
4Tbsp Flaxseed powder.
How to make delicious happen: This one is really simple
1. Mix everything together in a bowl
2. Dust the bottom of your loaf pan with some more cacao powder. The silicone pans are the best for this because this “brownie” comes out pretty much like the gooey center baked ones, but all over. If you don’t have a silicone pan, then line the bottom with wax paper or baking paper before the cacao powder.
3. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan and top with an extra sprinkle of cacao powder. Leave a generous amount in the bowl and on the spoon.
4. Lick the bowl and spoon clean. This is probably the most underrated part of baking and if you don’t already do this, then you’re wrong.
5. Put the loaf pan into the fridge and let the brownies set for at least an hour – the longer the better, so if you can handle it (I couldn’t) try leave it in there overnight.
6. These brownies will come out like the gooey part of baked brownies, which is the best part in my opinion. You can use a spatula and a little but of maneuvering to get them out of the pan. If you really want to reconnect with your inner child use your hands to eat your brownie, if not, I would say it is best to eat this with a spoon. Either way, I can guarantee you’ll forget that this brownie is healthier than it is delicious.
*What is the difference between Cocoa and Cacao you ask?
Pronunciation and vowel organization aside there is a very real difference between the two. Although they may look the same and both come from the same little cocoa bean, the processes involved in making them is where the real difference comes in. Raw cacao is made using unroasted cocoa beans that are then cold pressed, essentially keeps the enzymes in tact and removes the fat (or cocoa butter). Cocoa powder is raw cacao after it has been roasted at very high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean and subsequently reduces the enzyme con ten, which lowers its overall nutritional value.
Other than the fact that you can make it taste like chocolate, there are some legit health benefits to raw cacao as well : it lowers insulin levels, protects your nervous system, helps protect your nerve cells from damage, reduces the overall risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and it reduces blood pressure. It also guards against toxins, it boosts your mood by increasing levels of certain neuro-transmitters and releasing the same brain chemicals that are release as when you fall in love (or watch any Ryan Gosling movie). Here’s a bit of a flashback to science lessons, but it is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese and (here’s the most exciting part) but it slows the ageing process too. Unfortunately, the same does not apply to chocolate, unless it is more than 70% dark – and even then it can be touch and go.
You might think that something like a healthy chocolate brownie recipe that is high in protein, sugar and gluten free is like the unicorn of healthy eating. But it isn’t, it just takes an open mind and some protein powder (boet). If you are looking for an equally healthy snack recipe that is easy to make but with fewer ingredients you can find my rosted chickpea recipe and healthy sugar-free peanut butter ball recipes here