Five Spice Protein Brownies
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
(gluten free, vegan, refined-sugar free)
Meet your new favorite brownie...these 5-Spice Brownies are SO delicious and loaded with protein, fat and fiber to make an easy nutritious treat.
Adzuki beans (also called Azuki or Aduki) are common in Asian cuisines, mostly used in sweet dishes but are very versatile and can be added to savory soups and stews as well. Their health profile is impressive and when cooked or prepared properly, they provide incredible nutritional benefits. With about 7 grams of fiber per serving, they are considered more digestible that some other beans with up to twice that amount. When adapting a plant-based lifestyle, it's important to add fiber in slowly, so Adzuki beans would be a good option.
Also rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. these smaller beans contain more antioxidants than other beans, help balance blood sugar (fiber content slows absorption of sugar), contributes to heart health (mainly by helping to lower cholesterol and weight), and may even help reduce the risk of gut-related illness such as colon cancer.
To cook them, we prefer to soak them in water for 4-6 hours and then cook on low heat with a small piece of kombu (seaweed) or a pinch of baking soda to reduce anti-nutrients that can block the absorption nutrients. Cook on low until just soft. Alternatively, you can sprout your beans by placing pre-soaked beans in a glass jar covered tightly with cheesecloth and store inverted on a drying rack. Rinse the beans twice a day for 3-4 days until sprouted then store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days of in freezer for up to 3 months.
Flaxseeds (ground flax meal) is widely considered a “superfood” because they are loaded with a long list of health benefits. Another great source of dietary fiber, flaxseeds are also loaded with plant-based protein, minerals (primarily manganese, thiamine and magnesium) and are rich in anti-inflammatory, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that even help regulate estrogen levels.
Use a flax “egg” (directions follow) to replace chicken eggs (1:1) in your recipes or simply add to smoothies. If you're not vegan, feel free to use an egg (preferably from a pasture-raised, organic-fed chicken) instead.
All you need to make this nutritious treat is:
Flax meal (ground)
Maple syrup (pure)
Almond flour (blanched)
cacao powder (raw)
vanilla extract (pure)
Baking soda (aluminum-free)
Seal salt or Himalayan pink salt
Chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, optional add-ins
Five-Spice Protein Brownies
makes ~16 pieces
Prep Time: 10 min
Bake time: 25 minutes
Equipment needed: Food processor, 8X8 glass baking dish, parchment paper
· 2 cups cooked or 1 can aduki beans, drained and rinsed (or sub black beans)
· 1 flax “egg” (whisk 1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tbsp water and set for 5 min)*
· ½ cup almond butter (nothing added) or sub nut butter of choice
· 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
· ¼ cup almond flour (or lupin flour)
· ¼ cup raw cacao powder
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 1 ½ tsp 5-spice powder
· ½ tsp ground cinnamon
· 1 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
· ½ tsp salt
· ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate chunks (like Hu Chocolate or Pascha), optional
· 1 TB chopped walnuts, optional
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8X8 glass baking pan with parchment paper or rub with coconut oil (preferably refined).
2) Add all ingredients (except chocolate chips and walnuts) to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add chocolate chips and walnuts, pulse once or twice, and spread evenly into baking dish.
3) Bake for 25-30 minutes (check after 20 – this depends on your oven), until toothpick comes out clean and edges start to brown.
4) Cool pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes then cut into squares.
5) Store in fridge – they will set up nicely after about 30 minutes – and enjoy within 5 days.
*if not vegan, you can sub one egg (preferably from a pasture-raised organic fed hen) for the flax egg. The result will be more cakey, less moist.
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