I made these mint chocolate chip protein donuts for St. Patrick’s Day, and because I’ve been seriously craving that mint chocolate combo (so under-rated)! The chocolate donuts are dense and moist, while the mint frosting is creamy and refreshing, littered with mini chocolate chips. Instead of artificial green food coloring, I made my own natural food coloring using… wait for it… boiled spinach! Weird as it may sound, it worked perfectly. You literally can’t taste even a hint of spinach! If you’re still afraid to try the crazy spinach idea, just use a few drops of green food coloring instead 😉
The donut and the frosting both contain protein powder, adding an impressive 20g protein to each less-than-200-calorie donut! For the donut, I used Jamie Eason Lean Body for Her Whey Protein Isolate in Natural Chocolate. For the frosting, I used Natural Vanilla flavor (use code “SARAH10” for 10% orders from www.labrada.com). I also chopped up a Fudge Brownie Lean Body Protein Bar and threw it into the donut batter to add some chewy chocolate chunks. If you haven’t tried this bar yet, get on it! It’s so filling and delicious with a great taffy-like texture. If you use a different type of protein powder than I did, just make sure that the batter has a thick consistency that can be piped out of a bag (kind of like frosting). You may need to use more or less liquid, since protein powders vary in absorbency. Keep in mind, any time you change the type of protein powder used, you also change the flavor and texture of the end product somewhat.
To add the perfect amount of sweetness without any added sugar or calories, I used Pyure Organic Stevia Blend. I definitely prefer stevia-erythritol blends over straight stevia (stevia tends to add a bitter aftertaste), but you can use twice as much (1/2 cup) baking stevia if that’s all you have. Or, you can use twice as much (1/2 cup) granulated erythritol. Truvia Baking Blend measures the same as Pyure Organic Stevia Blend and would also be a good option, though it does have added sugar and calories. For extra rich chocolatey flavor, I used Hershey’s Special Dark 100% Cacao, but any unsweetened cocoa would work.
Almond flour and coconut flour keep the carbs low and give these donuts an authentic dense moist crumb texture. Feel free to experiment with other flours (all-purpose, brown rice, gluten-free blend, oat, spelt, or wheat)… you just may need a little more than 6 tbsp. of flour if the batter isn’t frosting-like thick. Coconut flour needs special handling since it’s so extremely absorbent; so if you do use coconut flour, start with just 3 tbsp. You may also need to add an additional tablespoon of oil or other moisturizer if omitting the almond flour.
To keep these donuts perfectly moist and rich, I used a combo of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, and vegetable oil. I like to use more than one moisturizing agent so no one flavor comes through too strong (no one likes applesauce-flavored chocolate donuts)! Feel free to use dairy-free yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt. You can also sub grated, peeled zucchini or pumpkin puree for the applesauce. I wouldn’t omit the oil completely since it really does improve the texture.
Last but not least, the frosting! It’s simply fat free cream cheese, homemade green food coloring, Pyure Organic Stevia Blend (use any sweetener you like), and protein powder (Jamie Eason Lean Body for Her Whey Protein Isolate in Natural Vanilla). The green food coloring is so easy to make! Just boil two handfuls of spinach with half a cup of water, then blend until smooth with no spinach bits. If you don’t care for fat free cream cheese, feel free to use dairy-free cream cheese, or any other kind of cream cheese you like.
Here’s the recipe – I hope you enjoy 🙂 If you do try it, please do me a favor and comment below!
- 60g Lean Body for Her Whey Protein in Natural Chocolate*
- 1/4 cup special dark unsweetened cocoa*
- 1/4 cup almond flour*
- 1/4 cup Pyure organic stevia blend*
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour*
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup (2 large) egg whites
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 1 Fudge Brownie Lean Body Protein Bar, chopped (optional)
- 2 cups spinach*
- 1/2 cup hot water*
- 6 oz. fat free cream cheese*
- 40g Lean Body for Her Whey Isolate in Natural Vanilla*
- 3 tbsp. Pyure organic stevia blend (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/4 tsp. pure mint extract
- 3 tbsp. (22g) mini chocolate chips
- *See above for substitutions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through baking powder) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add in wet ingredients (through oil) and mix until a thick frosting-like batter forms.
- Fold chopped protein bar into batter (optional).
- Spoon batter into a sealable baggie and cut off one corner to make a piping bag.
- Lightly coat wells of a donut pan with cooking spray and "pipe" batter into wells.
- Bake donuts for 8-10 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
- If making your own food coloring, add spinach and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until water level is reduced by half. Blend boiled spinach with remaining water in a blender or food processor until no spinach bits remain. Set aside.
- For frosting, combine cream cheese, protein powder, sweetener, and mint extract. Mix in homemade green food coloring, or a few drops of store-bought coloring plus water as needed.
- Frost cooled donuts and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge up to one week.
- Calories (per donut, minus optional protein bar): 192kcal, Fat: 8.1g, Sat fat: 4.0g, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 20g, Sodium: 299mg
- © 2016 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."