Lately, I’ve got more serious about my fitness and that includes my diet. It’s no biggie as I like to eat healthy most of the time anyway. It’s just that … well, balancing healthy eating with what feels like a biological imperative to bake and make desserts is a teeny-weeny bit of a challenge. I’m a big believer in the old adage “two birds, one stone”. Oh, also the one about “having your cake and eating it too”. Both excellent sayings. So after a workout, I want something healthy, with a good protein kick, and that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Or stale. Or includes ingredients a pharmacist can’t pronounce (mmm, protein bars anyone?). Or requires me to mix it up in a special bottle. And it has to taste great. If it has a little chocolate in it, all the better. A little chocolate can be good for you. Remember, I worked out, right?
These protein bombs are chock full of protein, plus some carbs, heart healthy fats, fibre, and other goodies that you need after a workout. Or before :-). I modified my recipe for flourless chocolate chip cookies by adding some protein powder (chocolate flavour, but vanilla is good too). You can leave out the protein powder and the cookies will be more chewy (read, yummy) but they are fabulous with it, plus you get extra protein. How much protein they contain depends on what nut butter and protein powder you use. Best of all, they are easy to take with you so you can have a couple after your workout. No mixing, no mess, and no cardboard taste!
You can use any nut butter you like but ABC (almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews) is a great combination and is a complete protein on its own. And it tastes fantastic. Try to use good quality chocolate chips. I used Callebaut chips with 70% cocoa solids. You could also use your favourite chocolate chopped into chunks. Don’t like chocolate? (has a seizure…) Guess how good they are if you substitute dried berries for the chocolate? Sensational. Lower in fat, higher in fibre, lots of good berry stuff … dried blueberries or cranberries are great but also mixed freeze dried berries or sour cherries. All good.
They last for about a week stored in an airtight tin. You can double the recipe easily too. Good excuse to work out every day 😉 Awesome!
Makes 18 – 24 cookies (depends on how big you like your cookies)
250 grams raw nut butter (ABC, almond, walnut, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, …)
1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar (not packed)**
1/2 cup rolled oats or quinoa flakes (optional)
60 grams or 2 scoops protein powder*
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste or extract
1/2 cup good quality dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (70%)
* Micellar casein or rice protein isolate work best in this recipe but you could substitute whey. Just beware that it can dry them out more.
** You could also substitute stevia, maple syrup, Natvia/Truvia, evaporated cane juice, rapadura, whatever you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place the nut butter, sugar, oats, protein powder, bicarbonate of soda, egg, and vanilla into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on the baking trays, allowing some room for spreading. Press very lightly with a fork or a flat knife.
Bake cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden. Be careful not to over-bake them or the base will burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks. The cookies will be soft when taken out of the oven but will crisp up a little as they cool.
Store in an airtight container, away from heat, in a cool, dry place.
I have used data for most of the ingredients from the Calorie King Australia website. It provides data that is quite comprehensive. There will be slight variations across products and brands and so I’ve provided a typical profile.
For the chocolate chips I have used data relating to Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips as these are easy to use and the amounts are fairly typical.
For the protein powder I have based it on the GNC brand 100% Whey Protein as this is widely available and gives fairly standard amounts. Each scoop is 31 grams so works out about right.
I’ve also provided amounts based on what yield of cookies you get, based on what size you make them ranging from large to small (18 to 24). I hope you find this helpful. I certainly did.
Let me know if you have any comments or thoughts!
Trans fats are essentially zero so I haven’t included them.
Want the version with dried blueberries? Here it is: