FUDGE ZUCCHINI PROTEIN BROWNIES
These Fudge Zucchini Protein Brownies may be the best thing I’ve created in the history of ever. No joke. I’m talking fudgey, rich chocolate brownies that are low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar, high-protein, gluten-free, dairy-free… oh yeah, and one more little thing… you can eat the entire pan in one sitting. What?! Yes, one 8×6 pan of these brownies is only 415 calories. No moderation or self-control needed! And thank goodness, because you won’t wanna stop at one.
Protein powder substitutions
To up the protein in these bad boys, I used Quest Protein Powder in Chocolate Milkshake. You can use whatever whey you have on hand, but whey blends (like Quest) that combine whey isolate, casein, and milk protein work best! Whey concentrate should be pretty comparable. I do not recommend whey isolates, however, because they tend to make baked goods come out spongey or dry (unless you use very little).
You may be able to substitute a vegan protein powder in this recipe, although I haven’t tested it. In my experience, plant-based proteins usually require extra liquid to thin out the batter 😉
To keep the carbs low in these brownies, I used coconut flour. You can also use twice as much all-purpose flour, gluten-free baking flour, cake flour, fine oat flour, cassava flour (Paleo), or any other fine flour that measures like all purpose flour. If using almond flour, you may need three to four times the amount!
To sweeten these brownies without any added sugar, I used my favorite stevia blend that’s calorie-free and twice as sweet as sugar. I know stevia has the reputation of being bitter, but this is usually due to (1) cheap stevia, or (2) using way too much! If you don’t have or prefer not to use this stevia blend, you can use twice as much granulated erythritol, granulated monk fruit sweetener, coconut sugar, date sugar, or regular granulated sugar. If using stevia extract or drops please refer to your brand’s conversion chart.
How are they so freaking moist with no added oil or butter? You can thank zucchini! But don’t worry, you can’t taste it at all. It just adds the “fudge-factor” and helps you justify eating an entire pan of brownies 😉 If you’re not a fan of zucchini, you can always use pumpkin!
I also added some unsweetened applesauce (can sub for oil), egg whites (can sub for one whole egg), and pure vanilla extract. The dark chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!
Here’s the recipe for these Fudge Zucchini Protein Brownies! Do me a favor and comment below if you try these 😉
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Fudge Zucchini Protein Brownies
- 1/4 cup (30g) chocolate whey blend protein powder* I used Quest in Chocolate Milkshake
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp. calorie-free sweetener* I used one that's twice as sweet as sugar
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour*
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt optional
- 1 cup (1 medium) grated zucchini* with liquid
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce* or oil
- 1/4 cup (2 large) egg whites
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips optional
*See blog post above for substitutions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) in a mixing bowl.
- Finely grate zucchini (peel if you don't want green bits in your brownies). No need to squeeze out any moisture, this makes for fudgy brownies.
- Add finely grated zucchini and remaining wet ingredients (through vanilla) to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Batter will be kind of “sloppy.”
- Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
- Lightly coat an 8″x6″ baking dish with cooking spray and pour batter into dish. I sprinkled a few more chocolate chips on top of mine (not included in nutrition facts).
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until the center is no longer runny, but a toothpick or knife inserted comes out dirty.
- Let your brownies sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container.
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