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Gluten-free 5-ingredient Protein Brownie (Very Easy)

Hello friends! Today I’m revealing my top-secret recipe for the ultimate GUILT-FREE protein brownies made with – wait for it – kidney beans! I know it sounds crazy, but trust me when I say these are the fudgiest, most decadent brownies that happen to be vegan, lower-cal, and secretly healthy!

As a longtime baker and nutrition coach, I’ve become obsessed with recreating classic treats to be nutritious as well as delicious.

In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly how to make this gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free vegan brownie, step-by-step! Let’s dive in!

Ingredients and their benefits

This recipe is a must if you are looking for a healthier treat option. It doesn’t contain flour, dairy, or eggs. Just with 5 essential ingredients, you can make a nutritious and tasty treat!

Bean brownie ingredients on the wooden board
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Red kidney beans

Different types of legumes. Black bean burger
Image by: Janis Pavulans

The base of the brownies, kidney beans provide a good source of fiber and plant-based protein to keep you full. They act as a binder.

Almond butter

In addition to protein and healthy fats, almond butter boosts flavor and texture. Its nutty richness takes the brownies up a notch.

Maple syrup

With some natural sweetness, maple syrup allows you to use less added sugar. It provides moisture and adds a unique rich flavor.

Protein powder

Extra protein powder thickens the batter for a fudgy texture while also increasing nutrition.

Cocoa powder

Unsweetened cocoa provides that rich chocolate flavor we crave without the dairy. It packs in antioxidants too.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate on the plate
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Adding some dark chocolate to the porridge is my favorite thing! I really can’t miss this ingredient anymore! It gives a rich flavor to the porridge and goes so well with fruits and nuts!

Sea salt

A touch of sea salt balances out the sweetness and enhances all the deep chocolate notes. That is my secret ingredient for most of the desserts.

Protein brownie: step-by-step

This recipe is a great treat for those who are looking for a healthier option! Just 5 ingredients, no flour, eggs, or butter!

  • Preheat the oven and get your ingredients ready
  • Rinse and drain the beans well and if you are cooking them from scratch, check my post on how to cook legumes
  • In a food processor, put drained beans almond butter, maple syrup, protein powder, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. and mix well in the blender until completely smooth.
  • Take the jar of the blender, carefully scrape down the sides as needed, and add chocolate chips (no need to use the blender anymore)
  • Mix all gently with the spatula and transfer to the prepared baking dish
Baking dish
Image by: Janis Pavulans
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly
Pouring batter into a baking dish
Image by: Janis Pavulans
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes
Putting brownie into the oven
Image by: Janis Pavulans
  • Once done, remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool down
Baked brownie in the tray
Image by: Janis Pavulans
  • Once the brownies are completely cool, slice them into squares or bars, and they’re ready to enjoy
Sliced bean brownie on the wooden board
Image by: Janis Pavulans

Remember, this recipe is for 9 portions, and calories are counted for one portion.

Variations

The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing this recipe to your tastes or what you have on hand.

  • Swap kidney beans for other legumes (chickpeas, black beans, cannellini beans)
  • Add crunch with nuts (walnuts, pecan nuts, almonds, cashews)
  • Mix in dried fruit (dried apricots, cranberries, sultanas, cherries)
  • Fold in chocolate (dark, milk, white, butterscotch chips)
  • Stir in other mix-ins (peanut, almond, cashew, coconut flakes, granola)
  • Adjust sweeteners (maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, applesauce)
  • Experiment with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla bean, tonka bean)

When customizing these brownies, be mindful of how each ingredient affects nutrients and calories – for example, choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate will mean less sugar, or opting for almond butter over peanut butter gives you more healthy fats.

Keep your health goals in focus when substituting or adding new mix-ins to your protein brownie.

Conclusion

And there you have it, friends – my top-secret recipe for incredibly fudgy, protein brownies that happen to be vegan and guilt-free! I sincerely hope you love sinking your teeth into this irresistible, nutrient-dense, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free treat!

This recipe is super easy and doesn’t require any chef skills. But if you are looking to elevate your cooking skills, check out my post on how to learn to cook like a chef!

Bean brownie
Image by: Janis Pavulans

If you’re exploring more plant-based proteins, be sure to check the post on the 9 best vegan protein powders to find one that fits your needs.

Stick around for more of my favorite better-for-you desserts and recipes coming your way soon. If you enjoyed this post, check out my other recipes.

Remember, one bite at a time, have a wonderful week, everyone!

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