Chocolate Super Healthy Brownies

As I’ve mentioned previously, my wife likes a quick breakfast, and I don’t think shelf bought “protein” “energy” or “power” bars are altogether that healthy with their 20 grams of sugar and whatnot. I know I can do better, and so it was in that spirit that I developed this recipe for super healthy chocolate brownies. These are meal replacement/snack brownies, not dessert brownies.

Before we start, a word on chocolate.

Chocolate is healthy, no seriously, cocoa is very high in antioxidants, protein, and fiber. The fact that it is often mixed with saturated fats and sugar is the problem, but cocoa solids themselves are quite healthy.

To maximize the health of your chocolate snacks always look for the darkest chocolate you can possibly fine, but even though, fats, if not sugars, are necessary, to make chocolate bars or chips of any type.

Ergo, the healthiest way to get chocolate is to find dark chocolate cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is chocolate solids with all the fat removed, but you still get the flavor. Normal cocoa powder isn’t so bad but dark cocoa powder will have 66% less calories, more protein, and more fiber.

Chocolate Super Healthy BrowniesChocolate Super Healthy Brownies

  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree, 15oz
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ½ cup Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup Flax Seed Meal
  • 1 cup Soy Protein Powder
  • 1 cup Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or other dark cocoa powder)
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 4 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters or Egg Whites
  • ½ cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg(16oz-ish) Dark (60% + cocoa) Chocolate Chips (optional)
  1. Preheat Oven to 375
  2. Mix all the dry stuff (oats, flour, flax seed, protein powder, cocoa powder, splenda, cinnamon, and baking soda) together, really well. Sift it if you want.
  3. Put the Egg Beaters in a big bowl, very big, and beat with a hand mixed until nice and foamy and or soft peaks. Normally if making something like an angel food cake we’d be careful now, but we’re not making an angel food cake, so…
  4. Add the pumpkin and sour cream into the bowl and mix well, add the milk and vanilla and start adding the dry mixture a little at a time.
  5. Meanwhile in another part of the kitchen, if you want it extra chocolately you’ll need to melt the optional chocolate chips in a double boiler or a microwave and then drizzle into the mixture, or just drop the chips in if you’d rather have chocolate chunks in the finished product, your choice.
  6. When your mixture has fully come together, stick it into a lubed 13×9 baking dish, it’ll be thick, you should spray the back of a spatula with some non-stick spray to help spread it around. When it is good and even pop it in the oven for 1 hour.

Now, if you cut it into 12 portions, which is typical I think, each one will have:

Without Chocolate Chips: 137 calories, 14g protein, 6g fiber
With Chocolate Chips: 230 calories, 16g protein, 7.5g fiber

Chocolate chips also add sugar and saturated fat. You could also, instead of chips, add chopped nuts, raisins, or something like that. Compare the calorie total of the sans-chip version to any “bar” based food out there. No added sugar, lots of antioxidants and vitamins, lots of protein, and lots of fiber. These brownies are super brownies.

On to the Ingredient Explanation….

I’m not here just to give you recipes, I like to teach why I include certain things in the recipe.

Start with the pumpkin, why do I put pumpkin in this recipe? Well, read the back of your can, see the part that says each serving has 300% of your daily vitamin A needs through beta carotene? That means, that roughly each brownie should end up with 100% of your daily needs, not bad. Vitamin A is a key vitamin but too much of it can cause problems, especially in pregnant women. Beta Carotene though is an entirely safe way to get Vitamin A as your body will manufacture it out of the beta carotene on an as-needed basis, storing any excess still as beta carotene, no chance for overdosing. Beta carotene of course also helps with a myriad of other things.

Whole wheat flour is there for structure, and we’re using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour for added protein, fiber, and nutrients.

Rolled oats add more fiber, especially soluble fiber to lower cholesterol, as well as protein. Oats are a super food, eat more of them.

Flax Seed Meal, another super food, is the highest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids (good cholesterol, like from salmon). It also adds fiber and protein.

Soy protein powder of course adds protein. Protein keeps your body healthy and your stomach feeling full.

The cocoa powder adds surprisingly large amounts of protein and fiber, and of course those excellent chocolate antioxidants.

Cinnamon has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food known to man, seriously. It also adds flavor without any added calories.

Splenda is our key sweetener, and is of course 0 calorie.

Egg Beaters are just egg whites that have been infused with vitamins and colored yellow. They add protein, the vitamins, and it is necessary to have a little egg in almost any baked good. We are using a lot of them though, because we want a lot of protein in these.

The sour cream adds more protein, and contributes moisture (we’re replacing what would otherwise be oil) to the final product. If you had to omit one thing, this would probably be it, I don’t know if it is so necessary.

The milk is our moisture, protein, vitamin D, calcium, etc.

Baking soda is for making it all rise, vanilla is for flavor, and the optional chocolate chips are, of course, for chocolate.


  1. Wow…I love this recipe!! I am forever trying to create more balanced dessert recipes but haven’t has a ton of success. 14 grams of protein…in a brownie?? Now that’s impressive:)

  2. Browsing through your web blog makes me hungry!! Thanks for reminding me to eat!

  3. I can’t believe that one can make such healthy brownies, going to have to give them a try thanks for the recipe, nice site.

  4. I tried this recipe last night, to the letter, and I have a few questions and suggestions.

    1. These turned out *barely* sweet, and almost more pumpkiny than chocolate, and I was even expecting a difference because of the dark cocoa. As someone who likes Japanese baked goods, that was fine with me, but my more sweet-toothed friend couldn’t eat hers. Next time I’m going to increase the amount of Splenda, maybe even double it.

    2. They developed a thick leathery protieny skin on the top which was unpleasant. It peels off though, and leaves a very moist, cakey brownie underneath. Without the skin they are nice, but it’s a big big turnoff.

    I was expecting a more fudgey texture with the pumpkin and sour cream.

    Any way to get rid of the skin and make these more fudgey?


  5. Just experiment, that is what I do.

    The skin on the top thing might be from mixing issues, or baking issues. Maybe bake them covered part of the time.

    Remember, they’re supposed to be meal replacement snacks, not desserts

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