The Perfect Pre- or Post-Workout Treat
Pre- and post-workout fueling is so important, but it’s easy to let it get swept aside as your busy schedule takes over – after all, just finding time for a workout is challenging enough. Wondering how to create the motivation needed to stay on top of your nutrition game? One word – brownies! Make up a batch of these brownies at the beginning of your week and you’ll have the perfect grab-and-go pre- or post-workout snack ready and waiting in your refrigerator. They’re super easy to make as all the ingredients simply get thrown into the blender and blended up!
They may be chocolatey, rich, and delicious, but these brownies are also full of the macro- and micronutrients your body needs to get the most out of your workout (and fully recover afterwards). They’re made with a surprise protein-packed ingredient – chickpeas – as well as protein powder, honey and stevia for a bit of sweetness, magnesium-rich sunflower seed butter, and chocolate chips and coconut for an extra hit of decadence. As an added bonus, they’re also completely gluten-free. You’ll have no problem remembering to eat them, and your body will thank you for feeding your muscles after a tough workout! Use your favorite protein powder in this recipe to include it in your workout nutrition; brownies are a nice change if you’re getting tired of protein shakes anyway.
Improve Your Health by Making Your Own Desserts at Home
Most of us know by now how important it is to cook meals at home in order to stay healthy, but all the homemade meals in the world won’t save you if you’re still treating your sweet tooth to store-bought sugary treats. Packaged cookies, ice cream, and other desserts are stuffed full of sugar, additives, and low-quality refined grains, making them devoid of any nutritional benefit – and often downright harmful to long-term health. Keep your sweet tooth happy and pursue your wellness goals simultaneously by making your own desserts at home. You’ll have a better option on hand when the ice cream at the corner gas station is calling your name – and you’ll know everything that goes into your desserts ingredients-wise.
These chickpea protein coconut brownies are packed with healthy fats, satiating protein, and a moderate quantity of natural sweeteners. They’re calorically responsible too. Many store-bought brownies can contain up to 1000 calories. These chickpea brownies are chocolatey and satisfying, but far healthier than any brownie you’re likely to purchase at the grocery store.
For an extra indulgent treat, warm one of these brownies and top it with a scoop of coconut ice cream and a few more dark chocolate chips. Voila – a protein brownie sundae that is sure to taste as delicious as it looks.
Chickpea Protein Coconut Brownies (Makes 12 medium-sized brownies)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 scoops protein powder of choice (vanilla or chocolate flavored works best)
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon liquid stevia
½ cup sun butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup unsweetened cashew milk
½ teaspoon coconut flavoring (check the baking area of your grocery store)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350º F and spray a 9” square nonstick baking pan with coconut oil baking spray. Set aside.
- Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and coconut in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until completely broken down and well combined, approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Stir chocolate chips and shredded coconut into brownie batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan, level with an offset spatula, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until just set in the center (brownies will still be slightly soft).
- Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, slide a butter knife around the edge of the brownies and then cut into 12 pieces. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to two months.
- Feel free to switch up the mix-ins based on your personal preferences. Nuts, dried, fruit, or no mix-ins at all are all great options!
- Any nut butter will work in lieu of the sun butter, and any plant milk will work in lieu of the cashew milk.
- For best results, use a protein powder that is a whey- casein blend and that contains some form of sweetener.
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