I am obsessed with brownies. I’ll admit it. I have several brownies recipes on my blog, but if you only make one of my brownie recipes, make this one! As soon as I came up with my Cookie Dough Collagen Bars, I just knew I had to invent a brownie version. The result of my experimentation was a thick, fudge-like brownie with chewy edges, crackly top, and just the right balance of cocoa and sweetness. Not to mention, they are low carb with only 3 grams of sugar per brownie (including the chocolate chips) and a surprising 12 grams of protein. These are hands down the best brownies I’ve ever made and they’re healthy. Is that even possible? YES… they’re even better than brownies from boxed mix!
For added protein, I used Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, which are versatile, flavorless, and easy to blend. I love baking with collagen! It adds beneficial protein and amino acids without ruining the flavor or texture of the end product. Since I know you might be wondering, no, cooking does not destroy collagen and its health benefits. Cooking does “denature” protein (essentially unraveling it’s structure), but you still get the same amino acids, therefore the nutritional content (and health benefits) remains unchanged. You can substitute the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for another brand, or for one quarter cup additional flour, but pleasedo not try substituting whey protein, whey-casein blend, or plant-based protein. The bars will turn out dry and “cakey” without additional modifications (which I have not perfected).
I have used almond flour for these bars, but you can also use any of the following: all-purpose flour, brown rice flour, garbanzo flour, gluten-free baking blend (pictured), oat flour, spelt, sorghum, or wheat flour. If you use any flour besides almond flour, increase the amount of nut butter to half a cup (to replace moisturizing fats from almond flour) and however much unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice) as it takes to achieve a thick yet spreadable batter. It doesn’t matter too much if your batter is slightly thicker or thinner than mine, just check often towards the end of cooking – the bars are done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out slightly dirty.
To sweeten these heavenly brownies, I used Pyure Organic Stevia Blend, which is a mixture of stevia and erythritol. If you use granulated erythritol, baking stevia or a granulated sugar like coconut sugar, you will need about twice as much by volume (two thirds of a cup). Of course, if you do use granulated sugar, these bars will have significantly more calories and sugar.
Instead of butter, I used creamy almond butter to add richness and moisture. You can also use cashew butter or peanut butter if you are allergic to almonds. The recipe also calls for two egg whites but feel free to use a flax egg if you’re allergic to eggs. I also added a generous measure of dark chocolate chips! I love Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips, but you can use sugar-free chocolate chips or dairy-free chocolate chips if you prefer. Or leave them out – these bars will still taste amazing!
Without further ado, here’s the printable recipe. I’d love for you to rate or comment below if you try them 😉
- 60g (6 scoops) Vital Proteins collagen peptides*
- 1/2 cup almond flour*
- 6 tbsp. Pyure organic stevia blend*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1/3 cup creamy almond butter*
- 1/4 cup (2 large) egg whites*
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 oz. Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips (optional)
- *See above for substitutions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) in a small mixing bowl.
- Add almond butter, egg whites, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Lightly grease a 7"x5" or 8"x6" baking dish and spread batter over the bottom evenly using a spatula (batter should be thick almost like a dough).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out a little dirty.
- Cut into eight equal pieces and enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to one week or in the freezer up to one month.
- Calories (per serving, minus optionals): 149kcal, Fat: 9.9g, Sat fat: 1.0g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 95mg
- Calories (per serving, including optionals): 168kcal, Fat: 11.3g, Sat fat: 1.8g, Carbs: 7g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 166mg
- © 2017 No Excuses Nutrition. If you wish to publish this exact recipe digitally (website, blog, ebook) or in tangible format (cookbook, magazine), you must first request permission by emailing email@example.com. If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."