Make it Clean Monday: Banana Bread Protein Brownies
I love chocolate! Who doesn’t? If you don’t, you are just weird. Okay, I’m sorry, that was mean, you aren’t weird… just different (I still love you). I know, I know, there are vanilla lovers out there (my husband prefers vanilla ice cream to chocolate) but most people agree that chocolate is awesome!
So, when taking sugar out of my diet it became a personal quest of mine to figure out a way for me to still have chocolate. Chocolate Banana Bread Protein Bars you say? You mean I can eat clean, eat chocolate, and have protein at the same time?! What is this glorious recipe?
Don’t worry… I will get to the recipe soon (and if you are tired of my ramblings you can scroll down to get it now).
I have made many a chocolate protein bars from different recipes online and most just don’t cut it for me. There are really only 2 protein powders I use when baking and neither are flavored or sweetened (I try to avoid the flavoring and no calorie sweeteners that are add to the majority of protein powders on the market today). So, when using my protein powder in baking I really didn’t enjoy my protein bars all that much. They were more for sustenance after a workout (eating to refuel, not for taste). But why couldn’t I have both? Turns out, I can!
After about a year of making crummy protein bars I came up with this perfect combo of protein bar/banana bread/chocolate brownie heaven. However, I must warn you that if you are not used to sugar free baking you may not enjoy these as much as I may be raising your hopes to believe (so I’ll let your hopes back down slowly). But, if you are accustomed to baking without sugars, these brownies, sweetened with bananas, will be just what you need to get you through your chocolate loving day. And if you aren’t accustomed to “clean” baking, it may be a good way to ease you into a life of no processed sugar (come one, join us… you know you want to. wink wink).
I will have a few different substitutes for ingredients since I know some of you love grain free and some of you just might want some brownies without the added protein powder so here it goes…
Ingredients (oat version):
- 1 cup of oat flour: I blend my thick oats or quick oats in a blender to make my flour
- You will also need 2 scoops of protein powder: put these scoops into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the remainder of that measuring cup with more oat flour. Does that make sense, or have I thoroughly confused you now?
(so now you have 2 cups of dry baked goods 1 cup of oat flour and 1 cup of protein powder oat flour combined)
Here is my second cup of dry ingredients. I just added 2 scoops of the powder. I will then fill the remainder of this cup with oat flour.
- 1 tsp baking powder (preferably aluminum free)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 3 TBS cacoa powder (you can use cocoa powder as well)
- 4 overripe bananas
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract (no high fructose corn syrup added)
- 3 eggs (I actually like to use 5-6 egg yolks in these sometimes-seems to make it richer-when I’m making these for the kids)
- Coconut oil for greasing your pan(I buy Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from tropical traditions < affiliated link *see note below)However, if you are trying coconut oil for the first time and are looking for a less expensive brand you may want to try this brand. Tropical Traditions is by far my favorite brand though.
- walnuts (optional: I rarely add them just because my daughter isn’t a fan as of right now-she used to love them)
I love Garden of Life Raw Protein powder when baking stuff my kids will eat. My daughter gets tummy aches when she eats too much dairy and the whey protein I have is too hard on her sensitive stomach. When baking for myself I use Raw Grass Fed Whey.
GRAIN FREE OPTION: You can sub almond flour for all the oat flour and these turn out delish.
NON PROTEIN POWDER OPTION: If you aren’t looking for added protein and just want a yummy brownie/banana bread use 2 cups of flour of your choice (oat or almond flour).
UPDATE: My 2 new favorite proteins to use in baked goods are collagen and this grass fed whey protein. I use the collagen when going dairy free. It has a much better taste to it (since it’s unflavored) than the vegan protein which can sometimes taste a bit chalky.
I did this for my daughter’s birthday cake and covered it in homemade frosting and she was in cake heaven.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 8X8 glass Pyrex pan with coconut oil.
3. You will want to mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl first.
4. Beat your eggs in another bowl. Add your mashed over ripe bananas and vanilla extract to the bowl.
5. Add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl and mix thoroughly.
6. Pour ingredients into pan and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean). I personally like my brownies a little gooier so I cook them for only 20 min. Time will vary depending on your oven as well.
7. Enjoy!… for breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert… and you can feel guilt free giving these to your kids for breakfast since they are full of great whole food ingredients and have no processed sugars.
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