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August 3, 2012

Triple Chocolate Fudge "Muscle Brownies"

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You know how when you're reading a book and you come across a particular word that sticks in your mind, and not much later you hear it in a completely different scenario?  That's kind of what happened to me recently with protein bars.  Ever since I made my first protein bars at home, I've noticed how many people buy them from the store.  I feel like I see it everywhere, someone buying one from a vending machine, a muscle head chowing down on one on his way out the gym, a bar sitting on someone's desk waiting to be eaten, someone in front of me at the checkout line buying bars in every flavor possible, etc etc etc.  I'm not going to lie, I did that myself... especially with Luna bars.  My goodness those things they are addicting.

But one other thing I'll admit is that I used to be obsessed with Lenny&Larry's Muscle Brownies (just like how I was obsessed with Chocolate Muscle Milk).  But why buy those expensive, sugary, processed products when you can make a healthy version at home?  A healthy version that tastes even better than anything inside a plastic wrapper can provide.



Just like my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars, these are fudgy and chocolatey.  They taste like a serious diet-buster but are totally diet-approved.


Triple Chocolate Fudge "Muscle Brownies":  [no bake, low sugar, high fiber/protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 9 brownies)
    128g (1/2 cup) Raw Almond Butter
    1 cup + 2 tbs Unsweetened Almond Milk
    10 packets Truvia* (or sweetener of choice)
    1/2 tsp Stevia Extract*
    1/2 tsp Butter Extract (optional, but it's really great in here!)
    20g (1/4 cup) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
    1/4 tsp Salt
    144g (1.5 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
    168g (8 scoops) Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder** (I used SunWarrior)
    1/3 cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips (I used EnjoyLife)

*If you don't have Truvia you can use 1 tsp of stevia instead of 1/2 tsp.  If you don't have stevia, add 6-8 more packets of Truvia, or to taste.
**8 scoops = 1+1/4 cups packed.  Do not use whey protein powder in this recipe, it will be gooey and will not solidify.

Directions:
1.  Line a 9" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways and set aside (or 8" pan for thicker brownies).
2.  Using a stand mixer, add the almond butter and milk to a large bowl and mix on low (don't use a whisk attachment).
3.  Add the sweetener, stevia and butter extract.
4.  Add the cocoa powder and salt.
5.  Process the oats in a blender or food processor (I blended them to a coarse flour for texture), then add to the mixer.  Add the protein powder (mixture should look like cookie dough and firm/thick like play-doh)
6.  When mixture is even, fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop into the prepared pan and flatten with the spatula (I used a pastry roller).  Refrigerate covered overnight and slice the next day.  Store covered and in the fridge.

Feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee to the mix if you want a strong chocolate flavor... or add it because you simply like caffeine  ;)


I decided to compare my nutrition label to Lenny&Larry's Muscle Brownies.
L&L's label is on the left, Chockohlawtay's is on the right:

   

I guess you can say I'm pretty darn happy right now.  Chockohlawtay's version has:
  • 70 less calories
  • ZERO cholesterol
  • Less saturated fat, sodium, carbohydrates and sugar
  • More fiber, calcium and iron
  • A whole lotta loooovee

All that for TRIPLE. CHOCOLATE. FUDGE. BROWNIES.

Yes, believe it.  Life is good.
     Edit:  Life is good with one of these Muscle Brownies in your mouth hand.

14 comments:

  1. I love how you made your own version! I am always trying to find ways to make my own version of these types of bars! Delicious!

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  2. Muscle brownies...never thought I'd hear those two words together. Very impressive!

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  3. Love it! :) Interesting name though haha

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  4. Love the name! These look awesome

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  5. These look so good - kudos to you on the awesome photos!

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  6. These look awesome! I only have some vanilla brown rice protein powder on hand at the moment, I might try upping the cocoa powder and see how it comes out.

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    Replies
    1. I think vanilla would taste great in these, maybe add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and an extra teaspoon of almond milk if you need it. Hope you like them!

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  7. These look awesome! And to think, I almost got one of these at Dick's! I don't have protein powder right now, can I just omit for a plain brownie? And I don't have a stand mixer, can an electric mixer be used? Sorry to bother you with all these "Can I..." questions, haha!

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    Replies
    1. The protein powder is the main dry ingredient, so it should not be eliminated. I'm sure the protein powder can be substituted with a flour of some sort but I have not tried it. If you were to make these using flour, I would recommend oat flour + brown rice flour, as this will create a complete protein when paired with the peanut butter. You can also try peanut flour (16g of protein per 1/4 cup). When mixing the dough, just look for a very thick texture similar to a dry cookie dough. It should be able to form a ball if you tried. Good luck! Let me know if this works out :)

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  8. These are definitely going on my to-make list! Most likely with the coffee powder added ; ) Thanks!

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  9. So, I made these tonight. Not quite sure what I did wrong - but these were definitely not "cookie-batter" texture once all my ingredients were mixed together. It was like a runny cake batter. I ended up added a lot more protein powder (I just used whey protein - would that have made a difference?) and now it's super sticky. Put it in the fridge, but I'm hoping it firms up overnight so I can cut them as nicely as yours!

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    Replies
    1. Oh no! I think it's the whey protein. My friend had the same problem but she said it might be because she didn't measure the liquids and just eyeballed it... she said that the mixture stayed sticky even after refrigerating it overnight so she froze it and cut the bars once they were firm enough. I would suggest freezing the mixture until firm enough to slice, slice, then wrap each piece in parchment paper so they don't stick to each other. I'm sorry! However, my friend DID say they were delicious, just a little gooey :)

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    2. Yes, that might have been the reason. I measured out everything accordingly. Do you always use brown rice protein for your recipes because of an allergy or is it just a preferred pantry item? If there are no allergies, I was wondering if you could try creating a protein bar using whey protein? Not that I wouldn't switch, but my pantry is stock-full of different whey protein flavors.

      Thank you though - and it's true, they are still delicious. Even the boyfriend loved them and said they taste just like brownies - he requested a glass a milk the next time I hand him one, haha.

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  10. I used brown rice protein because I am allergic to whey/casein, soy and egg :/ I used to use whey all the time, it tastes so good and it's the creamiest. And how timely, I was going to test out a whey protein bar this Tuesday! I will DEFINITELY post the recipe for that (if successful) ASAP :)

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