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 (unfalvoured or vanilla work best). 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 you really cannot beat almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter for some classic combinations.
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. Although, why don’t you like chocolate? What is that about? 😉
A word about the chocolate. Use really good chocolate. Something you love. Life is too short to waste time on the fake stuff.
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 20 cookies approximately
250 grams nut butter (any kind, crunchy or smooth, preferably freshly made)
125 grams brown sugar or coconut sugar**
45 grams cup rolled oats (substitute lupin or quinoa flakes if preferred)
30 grams protein powder*
5 grams (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
1.25 grams (1/4 teaspoon) sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
5 grams pure vanilla bean paste or extract
75 grams good quality dark chocolate (55-70%), chopped (reserve all the shavings)
* Plant based protein powder works best in this recipe but you could substitute a 50/50 mix of whey and casein or just whey. The texture will be somewhat different, depending on the powder you use.
** You could also substitute Natvia or raw sugar (a 50/50 mix of raw sugar and Natvia is a great option).
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, sea salt, egg, and vanilla into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chunks. Chopping chocolate into chunks is the best option as the fine shavings melt into the batter so you have a double chocolatey effect.
Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on the baking trays, allowing some room for spreading. I generally measure out spoonfuls of about 30 grams or so. Press very lightly with a fork or a flat knife.
Bake cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden. They will not spread. 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.
The macronutrient breakdown provided here is an example and guide, based on the recipe as stated, using roasted almond butter, dark brown sugar, and unflavoured whey protein concentrate.