Peanut butter protein brownie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownie of the Gods

What do you get when you cross a five pound tub of protein powder with an impending 36-hour house arrest due to black ice and subzero temperatures?

A chocolate peanut butter protein brownie of the gods.

BOOMsauce!™ Rob

When I started Crossfit, I switched to whey protein powder (from my usual hemp). I wanted to cut back on the large quantities of fruit I was putting into my morning smoothies, and whey has always been my favorite tasting powder. (I try to avoid dairy/casein because I love my cow friends and hate the factory farming that brings dairy to my door, but it’s doggone hard to get enough protein without it unless I’m dedicated to cooking at home – which right now, I don’t have time for). I ordered a 5# tub of chocolate whey protein powder, and yowza! That’s a big tub of protein powder.

After eating too much cheesecake last weekend (and in the cheesecake-hangover week that followed), I’ve had cake-like things on my mind. So at lunch today, I found myself googling around for protein brownie recipes. Somebody has got to have figured this out by now, right? Well, unsurprisingly, there are quite a few recipes out there in the wild – but none of them looked quite like the brownie of my dreams. Most looked a bit dry.

So I took it upon myself to mash up a few different recipes. I also used this opportunity to try something I’ve wanted to test out for some time now – black beans in baked goods. (So, no, this recipe isn’t Paleo-friendly if you’re avoiding beans. It could be gluten free if you use gluten free oat flour or make your own oat flour from gluten free oats).

I am definitely not a natural in the kitchen, so I was fully prepared for this recipe to flop. Imagine my surprise when I took this gooey, peanut buttery, chocolatey amazingness out of the oven. It smelled so good and tasted amazing! It is truly not far off from the insane, sugary dessert of your dreams – minus most of the sugar. The macro profile is, dare I say, fantastic for a brownie, and it rivals my typical breakfast protein smoothie.

Some details on my version:

  • I used Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard protein powder in Chocolate.
  • I used homemade almond milk, unstrained. (For a full batch: 1 cup raw almonds, 4 cups water, 2 minutes in the Vitamix on high. Enjoy!) You could swap any dairy or non-dairy milk. My version is a little more caloric than commercial almond milk, but has 5x the protein and all of the nutrition of the whole nuts, with no chemicals or other junk.
  • I used a whole cup of peanut butter chips, because I am obsessed with peanut butter. A normal person would probably use 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  • I used 2 tbsp agave, because the batter after 1 tbsp was just a little too bitter from the cocoa. These are not super-sweet – just a little sweet. You could opt to sweeten them with honey or stevia or whatever else you like – just be sure to adjust the amounts. (Stevia, for example, is a bit sweeter than agave, so you’d want to use less).
  • 1 cup of black beans is about 2/3 of a standard can (about 200g). I was tempted to use the whole can for convenience’s sake, but I was winging it as it was, so I didn’t want to get too frisky.
  • The coconut oil can probably be eliminated, but I wanted it in there, because – coconut oil. Don’t hate.
  • Most people could probably cut the pan into 12-15 smaller brownies, but I am not most people. Big honkin brownie get in mah belleh! I cut the pan into 9 good-sized brownies – big enough to be a quick breakfast or lunch (as opposed to snack-sized). (Besides, cutting an uneven balance of rows and columns into a square pan would not sit well with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies).
  • The can of black beans I used that expired 3 months ago tasted fine and hasn’t killed me yet.

Here are the nutrition facts, based on my version described above:

  • 20g protein, 29g carb (14g sugar, 4g fiber),  13g fat

Peanut butter protein brownie nutrition


Most similar recipes recommended storing these in the fridge, so I’ve put mine into an airtight container in the refrigerator – but they were definitely tasty warm and fresh from the oven.

The aftermath:

Empty plate

He gone!

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe. Enjoy!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownies

by Shelly Hokanson

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 9-12)

    Dry Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/4 cup oat flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 cup whey protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
    • 1 cup peanut butter chips (or less, if you’re less obsessed with pb)

    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 cup black beans (cooked and drained)
    • 1/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy or non-dairy milk)
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
    • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener, to taste)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Whisk together all dry ingredients except for the peanut butter chips. Set aside.
    3. Melt coconut oil (about 30 seconds in the microwave).
    4. In a food processor or blender, mix the wet ingredients (including the melted coconut oil) until smooth, about 1 minute.
    5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
    6. Stir until well combined.
    7. Fold in peanut butter chips.
    8. Pour batter into baking pan.
    9. Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    10. Cool completely, then cut into 9-12 squares.


    Store covered in the refrigerator.

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    Thai Peanut Bowl

    Easy Thai Peanut Bowl

    This is one of those easy throw-together lunches that might not deserve its own “recipe,” but I’m always looking for quick and easy meal ideas, so I thought I’d share!

    I’m on a peanut butter kick this week, and had a brick of tofu in the Tofu XPress in the fridge just waiting to be used, so I stirred up this little Thai bowl. It came together quickly, since I used a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, and tasted fantastic! I didn’t have any peanuts on hand, and my scallions had gone bad – but if I had them, they’d be on top!

    Thai Peanut Bowl

    Thai Peanut Bowl

    Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl

    by Shelly

    Cook Time: 15 mins


    • 4 oz rice noodles
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 block extra firm tofu
    • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 cups (1 bag) frozen stir fry vegetables
    • 1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts
    • 1 tbsp chopped peanuts
    • 2 scallions, sliced


    Boil water and cook rice noodles per package instructions.

    Drain and press tofu, then slice into cubes.

    Saute oil, peanut butter, and garlic over medium-high heat for 1 minute.

    Add tofu to saute mixture and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

    Add vegetables and water chestnuts. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Stir.

    Reduce heat to medium and cook for 12 minutes.

    Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

    Serve over rice noodles and top with peanuts and scallions.

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    Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Wild

    Chocolate chip cookies + peanut butter + pretzels.

    Salty, sweet goodness.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest (where I lose way too many hours of my life).

    Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Wild

    by Shelly Hokanson

    Prep Time: 10

    Cook Time: 12

    Keywords: bake dessert snack sweets vegan vegetarian pretzels chocolate chips peanut butter chips cookie

    Ingredients (18 cookies)

    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • scant 2/3 cup canola oil
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
    • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
    • 1/2 cup crushed pretzels (about 1 large handful)


    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Combine brown sugar, white sugar, oil, soy milk, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until a syrupy consistency is reached.

    Mix in vanilla.

    Add baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until well combined.

    Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix.

    Fold in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels.

    Roll the dough into balls (a large cookie scoop works well). Flatten and place on cookie sheet.

    Bake for 12-13 minutes until edges start to brown.

    Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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    Somebody Needs to Make These

    So I came across this recipe for peanut butter cookie dough truffles, and I want to make it so bad! But if I do, well, I’ll have a bunch of peanut butter cookie dough truffles staring me in the face, and I will end up screaming, “GET IN MAH BELLY!” That can only lead to bad, bad things.

    I veganized the original recipe (though you non-vegan folks could just as easily use the original). Either way, SOMEBODY needs to make these!


    Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles

    by Shelly

    Prep Time: 15

    Cook Time: 90

    Adapted from (veganized!)

    Ingredients (50-60 truffles)

    • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (optional: additional 1/2 cup for garnish)
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 6 tablespoons Earth balance, softened to room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup crisped rice cereal
    • 2 1/2 – 3 cups vegan chocolate chips or equivalent dark chocolate


    Beat peanut butter and Earth Balance in a mixer until smooth and creamy.

    Slowly add vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until doughy consistency is achieved, adding powdered sugar by the tablespoon if necessary.

    Fold in rice krispies cereal.

    Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls.

    Place dough balls on a parchment-covered baking sheet.

    Refrigerate for 60-90 minutes.

    Melt chocolate in the microwave (stir every 15-30 seconds until melted) or double boiler.

    Dip each dough ball in the chocolate until fully coated. Return to baking sheet.

    Refrigerate 30 minutes, then serve.


    Melt an additional 1/2 cup of peanut butter and drizzle over truffles before final refrigeration.


    Store in refrigerator.

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    Peanut Butter Waffle with Cherry Jam

    It’s Peanut Butter Waffle Time!

    With a baseball bat!

    Peanut Butter Waffle with Cherry Jam

    Peanut Butter Waffle with Cherry Jam

    A while back, I added this Proctor Silex Morning Baker waffle iron to my kitchen arsenal. My thought process went like this: I like pancakes, but I rarely make them because I suck at flipping pancakes. Why not make waffles instead?

    It was a good plan. I like waffles too – maybe even more than pancakes. Still, I haven’t been making them as often as I’d like.

    I’m running a half marathon this weekend, and thought that carb-loading made for a good excuse to whip up some waffles.

    Enter: Peanut Butter Waffles from Isa’s Vegan Brunch cookbook. Recipe here.

    This recipe makes a dense, tasty, peanut-buttery waffle that seemed much better suited for sandwich-style topping than plain ol’ maple syrup. To confirm, I’ve had them both ways: topped with jam, and topped with maple syrup. Jam for the win.

    Honestly, one waffle is almost too much food for me. They’re pretty hearty. But they freeze well, so make a batch and freeze part of it for yummy future breakfasts – just pop the waffle in the toaster to reheat (or if you have a toaster oven, even better).

    Tofu Tacos

    Getting the Hang of It

    I read a quote recently that said if you don’t like tofu, it’s because you’re not preparing it correctly.

    I’d venture to say that’s true.

    To this point, I would say that tofu is… okay. It’s alright. I eat it sometimes. Half the time, though, I feel like I’m eating it because it’s some sort of unspoken requirement of being vegetarian. But I’m pretty lazy about tofu. I’ve never bothered to properly press it before preparation. I never marinate it long enough. As a result, it’s often bland and (even worse) mushy. Edible, but nothing to write home about.

    It’s not that the food blogger world hasn’t given me many great examples of how to prepare tofu. Like I said – I’ve been lazy.

    So when I came across the Tofu Love post over on Peas and Thank You, it struck a nerve – a nerve that was craving tacos at the moment. And now that I have an awesome toaster/convection oven that broils super-easily, I decided to – ONE time – make tofu correctly.

    I pressed it like crazy! Went through way too many paper towels. Cleaned up the giant stack of toppled magazines (aka my tofu press) several times as they crashed off the tofu, off the counter, onto the floor. (For the record, I just ordered a real tofu press – no more wasting paper towels – and fyi, shipping is cheaper ordering straight from the maker vs. Amazon).

    I marinated it… well, not as long as I was supposed to, but long enough for all of the liquid to be soaked up.

    I broiled it… and broiled it a little longer.

    I gotta say…. it worked! No mushy tofu! It was kinda crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Delicious inside an organic taco shell from Whole Foods, with some cheddar Daiya and Isa’s Sanctuary Dressing.

    Tofu Tacos

    Tofu Tacos

    I kind of liked that the tofu wasn’t all crumbled up like traditional taco meat. It made it much easier to eat – ‘cuz, you know, otherwise all the crumbles always fall out the other end of the taco.

    Enjoyed these bad boys with a side of asparagus, and a big bowl of greens – with about 1/4 cucumber and about 1/4 cup of the chickpea/artichoke salad from last week.

    Behold, a pretty typical dinner around these parts:

    Tofu Tacos, Asparagus, and Greens with Chickpea & Artichoke Salad

    Tofu Tacos, Asparagus, and Greens with Chickpea & Artichoke Salad

    I spent some time in the kitchen today, not only making the tofu tacos, but making a few staples to get me through the week. I bring my lunches to work (and some days, my dinners too). When I don’t plan ahead, I end up scrambling and then eating PB&J all week. Not ideal. I just can’t bring myself to have a bowl of greens with a PB&J. My veggie intake suffers when I don’t plan ahead.

    Today’s kitchen adventures were actually repeats. I’m on a roll lately with a few recipes! I made:

    • A double-batch of Isa’s Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. Half are in the freezer, half are in the fridge. These are SO good in sandwiches!
    • A batch of Sanctuary Dressing from Isa’s Appetite for Reduction (my new go-to dressing…. similar to ranch, but more of a creamy dill). I finally picked up some Mori-Nu tofu at Whole Foods, and it works WAY better in dressings than the refrigerated water-packed stuff.
    • A batch of Golden Chickpea & Artichoke salad from Vegan Yum Yum. I just happened to pick up more pitas to stuff… coincidence? I think not.

    Add that to what I made a few days ago (and am still working on, leftovers-wise):

    • A couple Belgian waffles from Isa’s Old Fashioned Chelsea Waffles recipe in Vegan Brunch
    • Sweet Cashew Cream, also from Vegan Brunch
    • Easy Breezy Cheezy Sauce – Isa’s recipe, but I forget from which cookbook.

    I’ve got some good eats in my future! Though there will be a PB&J in there somewhere. I just love PB&J! I could eat it every single day, really.

    Speaking of peanut butter… I just got a shipment of chocolate PB2 (powdered peanut butter). Never tried it before, but I’m thinking it might be a good addition to my Fancy Oatmeal. Fewer calories than my beloved Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter…. not that I’m giving up Justin’s. I just picked up a brand new jar of the Chocolate Almond Butter, actually. I was intrigued by Emily’s review of various powdered peanut butters over on Daily Garnish, and picked up some of the now-discontinued Trader Joe’s peanut flour. Haven’t tried that yet, either – and now I’m afraid to, because if I love it, I can’t get it anymore! At any rate, the PB2 and TJ’s are soon to go into my peanut butter rotation, primarily as oatmeal toppings.

    Last but not least, I’ve got a tiny batch of soy yogurt in the yogurt maker. My almond milk yogurt attempts were both failures (the first with store-bought almond milk, and the second with homemade almond milk). Let’s hope the third time is a charm. I really like yogurt, but the store-bought soy yogurts are crazy high on sweeteners and calories, and I’m not a big fan of the taste of the coconut milk based yogurts.

    Thus concludes today’s kitchen adventures. What did you do in the kitchen this weekend?

    Oatmeal with Sneaky Cinnamon Peanut Butter

    A New Peanut Butter in Town

    I’m a self-proclaimed peanut butter junkie (and more recently, a self-proclaimed nut butter junkie in general). I loves me some good PB. I’m also a daily reader of Kath’s blog, Kath Eats Real Food. KERF has been responsible for quite a few of my healthy eating habits, as well as my how-did-I-exist-before-this habit of eating homemade whipped banana oatmeal with a blob of nut butter on top.

    Via KERF, I came across a new peanut butter option – Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter. As we’ve already established, I’m a sucker for a good nut butter. I’m also a sucker for a good story!

    Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter was founded by two college students in Eugene, Oregon. They love peanut butter, and started making their own, mixing in all kinds of different flavors and add-in’s. There’s Spazzy Squirrel, with dark chocolate chunks, raisins, cinnamon, and coconut. Or Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed, with coffee and dark chocolate. Nutty Buddy combines peanut butter with honey and sunflower seeds.

    They had me at Squirrel. I had to try some of this peanut butter!

    I ordered:

    Sneaky Cinnamon – peanuts, cinnamon, raisins, agave nectar, salt

    Pretzel Pizazz – peanuts, honey, pretzels, cinnamon, salt

    Unfortunately for my taste buds, I ordered over spring break, and had to wait until the squirrels returned to campus to get my peanut butter – but their communication was great and I was informed up-front about the delay.

    Shipping seemed expensive. It was $10 for one jar! However, it was still $10 even for 2 jars, and I later saw they use the medium sized flat rate Priority Mail box from the USPS ($10.95 flat rate). So my suggestion to anybody buying Flying Squirrel PB is to buy as many jars as you can for that $10 shipping! I bought two. I bet 4 could fit in that box.

    The peanut butters are currently $4 for an 8 oz. jar. My initial impression was that the jars are small, but indeed they are 8 oz. I’m just used to seeing larger peanut butter jars. It took me a while to figure out that the lids twist off instead of pop off. (Maybe I’m just slow!)

    But enough of the shipping and logistics. How is the peanut butter?


    Oatmeal with Sneaky Cinnamon Peanut Butter

    Oatmeal with Sneaky Cinnamon Peanut Butter

    Here’s my morning oatmeal, starring Sneaky Cinnamon peanut butter. Perfect texture, perfect flavor – just as the name says. Just a touch of cinnamon that sneaks up on you!

    Sneaky Cinnamon from Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter

    Sneaky Cinnamon

    Sneaky Cinnamon is a very spreadable peanut butter. My favorite texture.

    But the flavor hit of the week, for me, has been Pretzel Pizazz. The combination of salty pretzel bits right in my peanut butter? Irresistible! I’ve been known to say out loud, after each bite while devouring PB&J sandwiches this week, “OMG, this is SO good!” Lots of crunchy chew. Oddly, I don’t really like “crunchy” style peanut butter, but it’s a whole different story when the crunch comes from pretzels!

    Pretzel Pizazz from Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter

    Pretzel Pizazz

    Pretzel Pizazz is a dry peanut butter. It’s not just chunky – it’s actually dry, as in, it doesn’t spread very well on bread. So I just lob a few blobs on there and smash ’em down, then smother in jelly and nom. (As you can tell, I’ve already nom’d a good portion of this jar!)

    These peanut butters are delicious. I love the story behind the company. I love the initiative that these girls have taken to share their peanut butter passion with the world. I love the creativity of the flavor combinations, and the logo is adorable. (Hey, I love squirrels too!)

    Check out the Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter flavors and buy a few jars. They’re definitely a treat!

    Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter

    Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter