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YIELDS:

16 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 5 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 45 mins

TOTAL TIME:

1 hours 20 mins

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INGREDIENTS

6 Large Eggs
2 Ripe Bananas
1 Can Black beans, rinsed and drained
3 Scoops Chocolate protein powder
2 Tbsp. Dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking powder
2 Tbsp. Ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
3 Tsp. Lakanto Monk Fruit sugar substitute
2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Fat-free Cottage cheese
1/2 Cup cherries, fresh or frozen
1/4 Cup Lakanto Dark Chocolate chips
Cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

1) Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Spray and 9 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray.  You can also use an 8 x 8 baking pan and 2-3 ramekins (depending on the size).  Don’t waste a drop.  If using ramekins, they will cook in about 30-35 minutes.

2) In a blender or food processor add all the ingredients (except cooking spray and chocolate chips) and blend until smooth. This is a very loose batter.  It firms up when baking.

3) Pour into the prepared baking pan (s) and/or ramekins and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the middle of the pan is set. If it is a little jiggly, that is OK.  Ramekins will bake in about 30 – 35 minutes.

4) Let sit and cool for 20 minutes. Cover and put in the fridge until completely chilled. (30-60 minutes). It is much better after it is chilled and set up.  I think it is even better the next day. Cut four cuts vertically and four cuts horizontally creating 16 squares. Alternatively, cut into 8 bars.  Feel free to garnish with sugar-free whipped cream and fresh fruit if serving as a dessert. Plate and enjoy.

NOTES:  At first glance, my chocolate, chocolate, chocolate protein bars might seem to be an odd combination of ingredients but when they are all combined, you get something between a chocolate cheesecake and a cherry chocolate brownie and they are absolutely addictive.  It is naturally sweet from the fruit and a little Lakanto monk fruit, but also has a great chocolate flavor from the three sources of chocolate:  chocolate protein powder, unsweetened dark cocoa powder, and sugar-free chocolate chips.  It is a protein bomb and is just so satisfying.  I’ve had this for breakfast, as a snack and often as a treat.  There is no added sugar, no flour so it is gluten-free and packed with protein.  Did I mention, it is just chocolate, chocolate, chocolate?  So good.

You can treat this like a brownie and serve with sliced fruit and a little sugar- free whipped cream and turn it into a yummy dessert.  I personally just like having a tray of these in the fridge ready to go when I need a little something.  These chocolate protein bars are packed with “good for you” stuff and are guilt free.  You are going to feel good about eating these.  They make a great breakfast or light lunch too.

To make these, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 9 x 9 baking pan or disposable foil pan with cooking spray and put to the side.  NOTE:  I’ve made these in individual ramekins and have served as dessert (see photos).  If you do that, this recipe will make 6-8 individual ramekins, depending on the size of dish you use.  You will bake these for about 30-35 minutes and let cool.  You can also use an 8 x 8 baking pan and 2-3 ramekins if that is what you have on hand.  Don’t waste a drop! Chill and top with whipped cream and/or fresh fruit.  A healthy and delicious dessert option.  Those watching their waist lines will love you for it.

You are going to add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor except for cooking spray and the chocolate chips, and blend until smooth. How easy is this?  A couple of notes on the ingredients.

The riper the bananas, the sweeter the the dish.  When it comes to cherries, if they are in season, use fresh, otherwise, frozen cherries work just fine.  I love the combination and these taste like cherry chocolate brownies when you are done.  I have also substituted both fresh and frozen berries.  Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries all work.  Want to add more than 1/2 cup of berries?  Go right ahead.  This is an incredibly forgiving “recipe” and you can’t mess it up.

I am a big fan of Lakanto monk fruit products and in this dish used their Lakanto granulated sugar substitute.  You can use another sugar substitute or regular sugar if you prefer.  I just look to eliminate excess sugar if I can.

For the chocolate protein powder, I’ve used Premier Protein 100% Whey Protein powder in chocolate.  I love the taste but as always, feel free to substitute your favorite chocolate protein powder here.  I’ve also used Lakanto’s Dark Chocolate Chips.  Again, use your favorite sugar-free brand or regular dark chocolate chips here.  It is your call.  They all work and add a nice hit of chocolate to the mix.

When it comes to cottage cheese, I use the fat-free version.  However, go ahead and use 1%, 2% or full fat versions.  You could also substitute ricotta cheese.  I love that it adds a lot of texture to the bars…like cheesecake!

For the beans, I use black beans since it adds to the chocolate look of these brownie bites.  However, you could use cannelllini or garbanzo beans too.  I add flaxseed meal simply to get some of those good-for-you omega 3s into the dish.  Don’t have it or don’t want to use it, omit it.  However, there is no taste and since this whole recipe is about “good for you” food, why not add it?

Blend everything up until smooth.  This makes a very loose batter that easily pours.  Don’t worry, it sets up when you are baking it.  Pour into the pan and then sprinkle with the chocolate chips.  Before you ask, YES, you can use more if you like.  LOL.  Pop into the oven for about 45-50 minutes.  You want the center set.  As the dish cools, the center of the pan will firm up and the mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan.

If the center doesn’t completely firm up, you have an ooey-gooey middle like brownies or cheesecake.  Honestly, you can’t mess this up.

Let this cool on the counter for 20 minutes then cover and place in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes to chill completely.  This is so much better when firmed up and completely chilled.

Cut four cuts vertically and four cuts horizontally to create 16 squares.  If you want these to have a shape more like a bar, just cut down the middle and then across three times creating 8 longer bars.  Eat like a brownie (with or without a fork).  If I serve these for dessert, I’ll add fresh cherries or berries and some sugar-free whipped cream on the side.  Otherwise, they are a great snack or a grab-and-go breakfast.

Did you like this powerhouse chocolate, chocolate, chocolate protein bar recipe?  If so, try some of my other favorite protein breakfast ideas.

Zucchini Egg Cups

Zucchini Feta Pie

Peanut Butter Waffles

Whipped Ricotta Toast with Cherries and Hot Honey

Fig and Walnut Breakfast Muffins

Egg Muffins