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Classic holiday desserts have their place—and this is the time of year to eat the damn pie and not get too worried about calorie counts and sugar levels. However, if you want something to keep around the house as guests filter in and out that will satisfy your sweet tooth as well as deliver some good nutrition, these chocolate fudge protein bites are the way to go.
Lottie Bildirici of Running on Veggies developed this recipe after looking at standard dessert foods and asking, “What can I add to this to make it more of a food that will help someone recover from a workout or give them some extra protein and/or fiber?” For this fudgy dessert, she uses protein powder and black beans to up the protein in a snack that would typically only deliver on carbs on fat.
“The foods we eat should be working for us, and that is the theory behind my recipes,” she says.
For this recipe, Bildirici uses a protein powder which is vegan and stevia-sweetened (“a must for me when picking protein powder” she says), but if you’re not vegan, feel free to use your favorite protein powder. The addition of black beans makes this protein fudge recipe the perfect recovery snack, and the flavor is impossible to tell. It’s also great for a nighttime snack, as protein before bed may help boost your next workout.
Protein Chocolate Fudge Recipe
- 1 (16-oz.) can of black beans (rinsed very well)
- 1½ cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes to soften)
- ½ cup pure cocoa powder
- ¼-½ cup protein powder
- ¼ cup nut butter
- 1½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ¾ cup nuts (optional)
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
- In a food processor, combine, beans, dates, cocoa powder, protein powder, nut butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and espresso powder. Process until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop the machine and scrape it down a few times before you continue processing.
- If adding in the add-ins, you can throw them into the food processor to combine them with the mixture. You want the nuts slightly chopped but chunky so don’t over process.
- Line a 9-inch glass dish with parchment paper (this will make it easier to pop them out), making sure the paper is coming over the edge. Spread mixture evenly into dish.
- Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3–4 hours. Remove fudge from dish and cut into evenly sized small squares. (I got around 24–26 squares.)
- Store in the freezer to preserve longer (will last 4 weeks or more) or the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Recipe courtesy of Running On Veggies