Protein, Chocolate, and Beans?

As consumers, we are bombarded day in and day out with flashy advertisements enticing us to buy various products. Companies spend unimaginable amounts of time and money piecing together the perfect pitch, and they are in general pretty good about getting that home run. This system isn’t new, but there does seem to be one buzzword that is taking the food industry by storm, protein. Protein pancakes, protein bars, protein shakes, protein milk…. the list goes on and on. It’s astounding how much selling power can be packed into one simple word.

While protein is important, simply consuming a few extra grams of protein in your oatmeal won’t make your biceps grow three sizes larger in one day, week, or even year. What will bring results is consistency in the gym and in the kitchen with a healthy balanced diet. Don’t get me wrong, I have about every kind of “protein product” on the list above. My current obsession is Muscle Mac, and I highly recommend it and its 20 grams of protein per serving (http://www.quality-pasta.com/muscle-mac/). All I am saying is that there is more to food than just protein. Our bodies cannot thrive without all the macro-nutrients: proteins, fats, and carbs. Also, not all “protein products” are created equal. I always check to make sure that the wholeness of the food is not sacrificed to pump in those few extra aminos. To me, copious amounts of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors should speak just as loud as the amount of protein boasted on the package. The goal is to take advantage of the shifting food industry without becoming its victim in the process.

Now it is my turn to harness the marketing power in the word protein. I present to you, The Protein Brownie Cookie. At approximately 50 calories per cookie depending on how many you get out of one batch, they are the perfect way to satisfy a hankering for chocolate and still be on track. The majority of the dough’s base is black beans that have been thoroughly blended, but you cannot even tell that they are there. The recipe is simple. You just have to mix together all of the ingredients in one bowl and bake them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. In the end, the cookies will be more gooey than crispy, so make sure you allow them plenty of time to fully cool before storing them (or just eat them up while they are warm!). I was able to get 18 cookies out of one batch, but mine were not terribly large. I would rather eat three little cookies than on big cookie; it’s a mental thing. Anyways, I hope you enjoy these! If you end up making them and have any input on how to perfect the recipe further, feel free to comment and let me know your suggestions. Until next time, happy eating, Or dare I say, happy protein!

Protein Brownie Cookies

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  • 1 15 oz can of black beans. Rinse and drain them well.
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 T whole wheat flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 6 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 T unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 scoop vanilla pea protein powder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start by blending the beans until a puree is formed. Then mix in all the other ingredients. If the mixture is too dry to blend, slowly add in a little more almond milk. Scoop out the dough into your desired size cookie. They will not spread much if at all. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, and then let them cool thoroughly.

 

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