Recipe: Eggless Banana Brownies Round 2

OK, so round 2.

Recipes should be played with, that’s how they get better. A couple of weeks ago, I made Eggless Banana Brownies because I wanted to change it up and not make banana bread.

The first round I wanted to work with a base recipe and build it up. I was focused on flavor and partially texture. The flavor was good, but as JP declared – “this is a fruit, so it’s healthy”. You could taste hints of banana, which I don’t think is a problem, but at the same time when you bite in hoping for a strong chocolate flavor and get some banana it’s a little awkward. They did, however, come out FUDGEY and moist, which was a little surprising, but without a leavening agent the texture wasn’t completely where I wanted it to be.

This round was to find the balance of leavening agent because it really is a fine balance. Too much or too little and you can ruin the texture and the taste. This recipe adds both baking powder and baking soda, which adds carbon dioxide and a little bit of acid to the batter to cause a rise.

Another adjustment that I made, but not completely intentionally – the protein powder used this time was a whey isolate instead of a whey casein blend, which can also contribute to texture changes because it’s not as thick.

Here is the updated recipe:

What You’ll Need

  • 3 small or 2 medium bananas  (~220g)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein isolate powder (I used Optimum Nutrition)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
  • cooking spray

Directions

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel and mash bananas in a medium sized mixing bowl. Three small bananas should do, if you have two medium bananas that’s also fine. If they’re a bit larger you may need to add slightly more cocoa powder later.

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3. Add protein powder to mashed banana mixture. I used Optimum Nutrition Extreme Milk Chocolate Whey Isolate because it’s what we had in the house, it’s also my chocolate protein of choice because it’s very chocolate-y.

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4. Add 1 tablespoon of milk or milk alternative. I used almond milk.

5.Once you’ve mixed the protein powder and banana, add cocoa. I use Hershey’s, but you can probably use any baking cocoa powder of choice.

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6. Mix in baking soda and baking powder thoroughly.

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7.(optional) Mix in chocolate chips. I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao. They’re a bit larger chips that I usually use in baking unless melting, but these were a good choice. Again, like the cocoa, you can use any chocolate chip you want to.

8. Spraying a standard brownie pan, I spread the batter as evenly as possible. If you use a smaller pan, the baking time will be slightly longer so it cooks thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes. I set a timer for 15 minutes and after checking on them kept them in for another 5 minutes.

9.After cooling, cut into pieces. I cut the brownie sheet into 9 mostly equally pieces.

Tasting and texture notes: Adding baking powder and baking soda increase the volume of these brownies and changed the texture. They were still fudgey, but more cake-y. The former minimal banana flavor was gone. JP also declared “these don’t taste like fruit” so clearly, we’re winning with round 2.
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Recipe: Eggless Banana Brownies

Sometimes when I want to bake, I don’t want to have to plan a recipe. I don’t want to go out and compile all of the ingredients. Sometimes I want to be able to look around the kitchen and see if there’s anything that can be made from what I already have.

Mushy bananas are good for a few things: banana bread, banana muffins, oats and pancakes. But, they can also be a good base for other baked goods like brownies – you just need to remember what it is that you’re making.

What I love about brownies is how fudgey they are. I don’t like cakey brownies. I like fudgey, dense brownies. When I make brownies from scratch I add chocolate melted from a double boiler and cocoa powder. Thinking about an alternative brownie, I wanted to have some things similar like the fudgey texture and the obvious – chocolatey taste. I intentionally left out a rising agent because I really didn’t want to have to take time to figure out the right ratio so that it would rise instead of become hard or stay flat.

So if you’re wanting something kind of fudgey, but not fluffy, this may something for you to try. This was a solid first go, but I’m definitely interested to see what happens as this recipe evolves.

What You’ll Need

  • 3 small bananas (~220g)
  • 1.5 scoops of chocolate whey casein protein powder (~50g)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
  • cooking spray

Directions

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel and mash bananas in a medium sized mixing bowl. Three small bananas should do, if you have two medium bananas that’s also fine. If they’re a bit larger you may need to add slightly more cocoa powder later.

3. Add protein powder to mashed banana mixture. I used PEScience Chocolate Cupcake because it’s what we had in the house, it’s also my chocolate protein of choice because it’s very chocolate-y.


4.If you find that the mixing the protein into the mashed bananas is difficult, add 1 tablespoon of milk or milk alternative. I used almond milk and it was plenty.

5.Once you’ve mixed the protein powder and banana, add cocoa. I use Hershey’s, but you can probably use any baking cocoa powder of choice.

6.(optional) Mix in chocolate chips. I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao. They’re a bit larger chips that I usually use in baking unless melting, but these were a good choice. Again, like the cocoa, you can use any chocolate chip you want to.


7. I won’t lie, this is where having a smaller baking pan would’ve done me some good. I have small loaf pans, but I didn’t want a thick loaf because of what that could do to baking time.

Spraying a standard brownie pan, I spread the batter as evenly as possible. If you use a smaller pan, the baking time will be slightly longer so it cooks thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes. I set a timer for 15 minutes and after checking on them kept them in for another 5 minutes.

8.Using a spatula, remove the from baking pan and let cool on a rack.
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9.After cooling, cut into pieces. I cut the brownie sheet into 9 mostly equally pieces.

Tasting and texture notes: Definitely fudgey, even though they weren’t thick pieces. The overall texture is a little chewy, which I don’t mind. Minimal banana flavor since there’s A LOT of cocoa.

Nutrition: ~80 calories per square. 3F/10C/5P – ~2g of fiber

I think this is a good base for an alternative brownie recipe. I didn’t want to play with rising agents and maybe alternative flours. I have almond flour that I’ve been trying to figure out what else I want to do with it other than cookies – which is my favorite thing to do with it.

 

I feel super productive… for now

It’s only Saturday and I already feel like this weekend has been super productive. Not only did I clean the WHOLE apartment last night and clean 4 loads of laundry, today I cooked up a few things for the upcoming week.

I’m taking the necessary steps to prepare for a great week. Here’s the top 10 things I’ve done to keep myself sane.

1. Clean clothes are necessary and my papasan is cleaned out :]

2. I made paleo brownies (mix from Trader Joe’s) so I have a fun dessert this upcoming week to have with my lunches.

3. I booked my spot for the group training class at my gym for Wednesday. There were only 2 spots left last night, I’m so pumped that I got one of them!

4. I went for a run yesterday and it sucked, but it reminded me of why I constantly push myself. You’re not going to be successful every time, but the failures will make you try harder.

5. I love bacon, but I remembered why I don’t cook it often. The windows have been open ALL day. Still, it was amazing with my breakfast and my dinner tonight :]

6. Staying hydrated keeps me happy. I know this sounds funny, but I drink a lot more fluids when I’m home than when I’m away from my house. My energy levels are typically higher and my skin looks clearer. I’ve been best friends with my pitcher of unsweetened ice tea today.

7. I have a Netflix binge watching problem.

8. I went through my closet and posted a bunch of dress clothes on eBay and put a bunch in a box for donation. Size 8 here I come!

9. Making decisions that push you outside of your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you need to learn how to face those kinds of choices. Here’s to developing better relationships, with myself and others.

10. I’m going to late night happy hour with my friend Molly, bring on the sushi.

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paleo brownies!

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baking made easy

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Chicken, bacon and tomato wraps with low sodium bacon

Story of my life

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Vanilla coconut milk ice cream with sunflower butter and bananas. #almostpaleo