I never thought I was a baker, or into baking for that matter, even. What I’m sure all of you would be surprised to know is that my dad’s dad (my grandpa) owned a bakery pre-1990. It was called the “Martanovic Bakery” in Cleveland, Ohio (where I’m originally from) and sold tons of breads, cakes, and pastries. You name it. Everything was freshly made, contained no preservatives and overall was filled with really divine glutinous treats. Unfortunately, I never was able to see it or meet my grandpa who owned it but I think that ability for loving and creating food came from him.
My grandpa’s kids (my dad, aunt and uncle) all have 0 baking skills in the kitchen (sorry guys!) so it’s funny that I ended up landing a job as an intern at a company that creates baked goods. There isn’t a week that goes by where I’m not thinking about a new recipe to create using their mix. But this week, I wanted to jump into something a bit different and try to come up with my own baked creation. Nothing from a box this time.
I wanted to channel my inner “Martanovic Bakery” vibes and mix flour, sugar and butter together to create something DELICIOUS.
But of course, with a healthy spin.
These brownies are a gem dropped from the clouds of heaven. They come out of the oven like fluffy protein-packed squares of goodness and then once they get popped into your fridge, they’ll come out hours (or even minutes, let’s be real) later fudgey, dense and just sweet enough.
They have unsweetened cacao powder, cacao nibs, fair-trade dark chocolate chips and a special secret ingredient for added protein, collagen and probiotics from Vital Proteins.
Are you reeled in yet?
While Vital Proteins comes in many flavors both dairy and non-dairy/unflavored, I chose to use their Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Collagen Cocoa + Coconut Whey protein for these brownies that even Willy Wonka would appreciate. To tell you the truth, I haven’t touched whey protein since high school since every one I ever used contained artificial flavors or sweeteners (yuck) but when Vital Proteins approached me late this summer I was pumped to know they used nothin’ but REAL ingredients.
This protein contains peptides, probiotics AND collagen (wonderful for strengthening your hair and nails) and the whey is (as mentioned) grass-fed AND pasture-raised. I’ve found that when it comes to purchasing pasture-raised products where animals aren’t injected with growth hormones and antibiotics, I can really taste it in the quality of the food and I feel better overall. If we’re being honest here guys, with all of the collagen I consume now from using Vital Proteins, my hair and nails have been growing like crazy!
This is why I opted to use a Vital Farms organic, pasture-raised egg and their pasture-raised butter in these brownies as well. P.s. my friend Courtney of @Realfoodology has a video explaining why you should only buy pasture-raised eggs! Check it out.
- ¾ cup One Degree Organics Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
- ¼ cup cacao powder, or unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Collagen Whey Cocoa + Coconut Water protein (2 scoops roughly)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Dash of himalayan pink sea salt
- 1½ tablespoons Vital Farms grass-fed butter
- 1 Vital Farms pasture-raised egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup plain non-fat rGBh-free, organic greek yogurt
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp fair-trade 70% dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- Coconut oil cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 300ºF and spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, cacao powder, protein, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the butter, egg, and vanilla.
- Stir in the greek yogurt and maple syrup until all ingredients are well combined.
- Add the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated.
- Fold in your chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.*
- Cool completely to room temperature in the pan for at least 30 minutes and sprinkle with cacao nibs.
- Lightly squish the cacao nibs into the tops of the brownies so they don't fall off :)
- Pop your brownies in the fridge for at least 4 hours for fudgey squares of bliss and enjoy!
Notes: I cooked my brownies for about 20-22 minutes*
I recommend using this flour as I strongly support and believe in this company’s ingredients/values and it’s easier to digest flour when sprouted*
These are my go-to chocolate chips and really the only ones I buy*
This recipe is adapted from the Healthier Chocolate Treats Cookbook by Amy Atherton*
I went to bed dreaming about these brownies and woke up at 5a.m. the other morning to do some homework and had to snack on one… before my breakfast. That’s what I call adulting at it’s finest – dessert before breakfast.
I’m definitely going to try to make them vegan in the future by using flax eggs (flaxseed and water) or maybe even a chocolate chip cookie bar version so stay tuned.
Happy Wednesday friends!
This post was in partnership with Vital Proteins. The other brands mentioned did not sponsor any part of this post but I love and support them! Thank you for making Chickpea in The City possible.