Sunday, February 3, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Blondies. . . With Beans!

I've made my black bean brownie bars so many times, and it finally occurred to me- why not try white beans and make blondies? Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought of this idea. There were several recipes already floating around on different blogs and websites, but they either included flour, too many ingredients, or the calories were not where I wanted them to be. So, I decided to ignore what's been done already and create my own. My goal was to create an easy recipe with just a few simple ingredients. I'm really excited about how delicious these came out. Even better was that all my family members and my co-workers agree (thank you everyone)!

 Now, we must note: I tried to make this recipe a crowd pleaser. When I make these type of treats for myself, I use stevia (usually Truvia) in place of sugar. I know that not everyone is a fan of stevia, so for this recipe I used a Splenda baking blend. You can substitute according to your preferences.



Peanut Butter Protein Blondies

Ingredients:

1 can (14.5 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/3 cup organic peanut butter
1/3 cup Splenda baking blend (or 1/2 cup stevia)
1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk, but any milk will work)
Cacao chips or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

1. I used the convection bake option on my oven and preheated it to 325. If you don't have convection just preheat your oven to 350.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (yes, it's that easy!). If needed, add a little bit of milk or water if the batter is too thick.
3. Use all of your willpower to not eat the batter ;)
4. Spray a nonstick 8" inch square pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle with cacao or chocolate chips if desired.
5. Bake about 20 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
6. Slice into 16 squares and enjoy!

Nutrition facts for recipe: 87 Calories, 3 g Fat, 9 g CHO, 2 g Fiber, 5 g Pro*

*Substituting with stevia and PB2 knock down the calorie and CHO content quite a bit. Substituting with stevia brings the calories down to 65. Substituting with stevia AND PB2 knocks it down to about 44 calories. Substitutions will change the texture of the bar*

WAIT . . . there's more!

Throughout my peanut butter blondie experimentation phase, I tried to make a snack/protein bar version that was slightly bigger, with less calories. I know, I know, who wouldn't want more food and less calories? I just say, bring on the challenge :)

When I first pulled my bars out of the oven, I was disappointed and thought I totally failed. I got upset for a hot second and then put the bars on the counter in a corner like I was putting them in time-out. They didn't taste bad, but the texture was not "bar-like". They seemed a little fluffy and. . . crumbly? Anyway, I came home from work today and decided to give them a second chance- and they were delicious! They were much fluffier and lighter than a bar, yet still had that stick-to-your-guts yummy peanut butter flavor. I just needed to be more patient and let them cool down and set. Silly me. I also decided that they didn't have to conform to the "Blondie" theme, but that they would shine on their own as . . . Peanut Butter Protein Bread!


Peanut Butter Protein Bread

Ingredients:


1 1/4 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
1/2-1/3 cup stevia (depending on how sweet you like them- I used 5 tablespoons)
1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Directions:

1.Same as above except cut into 8 bars :)

Nutrition Facts for 1 Bar: 100 Calories, 4 g Fat, 7 g CHO, 3 g Fiber, 10 g Pro

Bigger bar. Less calories and CHO. More protein and fiber. Yea, it happened ;) .