FUDGE "KETO" PROTEIN BROWNIES
These Fudge Keto Protein Brownies are deliciously decadent while staying low in carbs and high in protein. Whether you’re doing keto or just want a lower carb brownie… make these! They’re just perfect when you’re craving a dense, chocolatey brownie.
Did you know? Carbs are our bodies “preferred” fuel source, due to their energy-efficiency and suitability for moderate-high intensity activities. In the absence of carbs, your body can manufacture “ketones” out of fats and certain amino acids to fuel the brain and replace carbs for fuel. It’s not an energy-efficient process – it’s energy consuming – which is exactly why people do it: to burn more calories, specifically, fat calories.
Keto can be effective short-term, but not something I would recommend long-term (i.e., months on end), since vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains are rich in micronutrients and fiber, and are a superior fuel for high-intensity activities, such as weight training.
I used Quest Protein Powder in Chocolate Milkshake for these brownies. You can use whatever whey you have on hand, but some work better than others. Whey blends (like Quest) that combine whey isolate, casein, and milk protein work best for baking! Whey concentrate comes in close second. Whey isolates are the absolute worst for baking. They always make baked goods come out spongey or dry (unless you use very little).
You may be able to substitute a Paleo or vegan protein powder in this recipe, although I haven’t tested it. In my experience, you’ll probably need extra liquid to thin out the batter if using a plant-based protein powder 😉
To add sweetness without any calories or sugar, I used my favorite organic stevia blend that’s twice as sweet as sugar with no bitter aftertaste. If your stevia tastes bitter, it’s probably cheap! I generally avoid store brand stevia and stick to either Truvia or Pyure.
Feel free to substitute the stevia blend for twice as much (six tablespoons) baking stevia, granulated erythritol, monk fruit blend, or a granulated sugar like coconut sugar (not keto). If using stevia extract or drops, please refer to the brand-specific conversion chart!
To create that fudgey texture, I used a combination of 100% pure pumpkin and no sugar added almond butter. I really like this keto almond butter! It really is the best combo because you can’t taste the pumpkin and the almond is such a nice complement to the cacao. If you must substitute the pumpkin, I would suggest butternut squash puree. You could also try using half unsweetened applesauce, half Greek yogurt, but will alter the flavor and texture.
The egg whites can also be substituted for two whole eggs or a vegan egg replacer if you’re allergic to eggs.
Here’s the recipe for these Fudge Keto Protein Brownies! Please leave a comment below it you try it 😉
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Fudge “Keto” Protein Brownies
- 1/3 cup (45g) chocolate whey blend protein powder I used Quest brand in Chocolate Milkshake flavor
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp. calorie-free sweetener* I used one that's twice as sweet as sugar
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt optional
- 1/3 cup no sugar added almond butter* or hazelnut butter, macadamia butter
- 1/3 cup (3 large) egg whites
- 1/3 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin* or butternut squash puree
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add almond butter, egg whites, pumpkin, and vanilla; mixing until smooth.
- Lightly spray a 7"x5" or 8"x6" baking dish with cooking spray (or line with parchment), and spread batter over bottom using a spatula.
- Bake for 13-18 minutes until the center no longer jiggles, but is still gooey. Brownies will set as they cool, so be very careful not to over-bake.
- Slice into six pieces and enjoy!
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge (no preservatives).
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