Coffee Cinnamon Protein Brownies

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Ours was so much fun! We’ve been back a couple of hours and I just had to write to tell you all about it.

The first uber fun thing we got to do was a cooking demo at Beyond The Kitchen Door on Saturday. We had a great turn out and thank you to everyone who showed up! For those of you who were requesting the recipe we featured, here’s the link.

Teaching a cooking class at Beyond The Kitchen Door in Courtenay, BC.

We absolutely love doing the demos, but especially during this time of the year. The store is full of Christmas cheer and people looking for fun gifts for loved ones. What better place to shop than a kitchen store, right? So much fun. We had the opportunity to meet with so many great people, which is the real reason we do it. I love getting to meet new people from our community and it’s even better when we’re brought together because of good, healthy, real food.

We had double booked ourselves, doing a cooking demo in Courtenay (our home town) which ended at 2 and having to be in Vancouver by 6. Now Vancouver isn’t necessarily far, but it is inconvenient to get to from where we live. There is no bridge from Vancouver Island to the Mainland, and the hour and a half ferry ride is over an hour drive away just to get to the ferry terminal. So, we were lucky enough to get a flight over instead. We would have never made it if we hadn’t had that option.

Looking back at Vancouver Island from just north of where we live.

The flight was special because it wasn’t just a regular plane but a float plane instead. I had never been on a float plane before. I’ve been in numerous aircraft, but this was entirely novel to me and one I had been longing to add to the list. It is so much fun to take off from the water. To add to the excitement, we were the only two people on the plane. It felt like a private charter! The cloud cover was low so we flew 500 feet above the water the whole way there. We could see all the beautiful houses built on secluded islands, the sandy beaches with washed up driftwood and the incredible rocky shores that are distinct to the Pacific Northwest.

The airline company, Harbor Air is really quite a lovely service. The flight takes off from the Comox Harbor, which is 10 minutes from our house. There is free parking and the employees are exceptional. They even make the effort to get to know your name! They do an excellent job of making you feel like they really value your business. The receiving airport in downtown Vancouver Harbor even serves complimentary cappuccinos, beverages and pastries. This is not something you get from BC Ferries!

Comox Harbor where the float planes take off.

My sister, who lives in Vancouver, came to pick us up. She and Joshua work for the same company. She did an amazing job of organizing the event. They hosted the party at the Deeley Motorcycle Museum. This is a very unique venue because of the vintage motorcycles they have on display. They had refurbished original motorcycles, some as far back as the 1890’s. They were beautifully restored. I even got to meet a fellow blogger that I have been following for over a year. Tyla blogs at Finding Breathing Room. Her husband Darrel works for the company as well. They served hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as we toured this beautiful museum. We even got our photo taken in a vintage Harley and a side car, all dressed up in our heels and suits! The staff that catered the event was without a word of exaggeration, exceptional. They were professional, attentive and polite. The decorations were nicer than some people’s weddings I’ve been to. So a big hats off to all the people that made the event possible! We had a great time.

This was than topped off with a Sunday brunch the next morning with all my cousins that live in the area. One of which I had not seen in 25 years. Needless to say, we looked a little different than we did back then. I didn’t even know what zits were 25 years ago. We often feel like we are so removed from our family living on Vancouver Island, but this was an excellent reminder that we are only a hop, skip and a jump away from family should we ever be in need.

So, onto food, the real reason we’re all here. My attempt number two at protein brownies was much more successful. I’m excited to share it with you. It’s quite the adult type of protein bar with its subtle mix of chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. It’s the perfect mix for chocolate if you ask me. This recipe could easily be used as a base for many protein brownie variations. You could be naughty and add chocolate chips, nice by adding nuts, or any combination of fabulous additions typically found in brownies. They start off very light and airy if you don’t allow them to chill. So, thought it’s tough to resist, allow these babies the justice of a little down time in your fridge. You’ll be glad you did.

A few things about the recipe.

First off, just because I used lentils doesn’t mean you couldn’t use black beans instead, because you absolutely could. The legume in this recipe represents our source of protein and fiber. It’s quite challenging to make a protein anything without the use of whey, but I decided to settle for a lower protein content for a higher quality product. In this case the product in question is nutrition content.

Secondly, the sugar source comes from the dried fruit and honey. The fruit not only provides sweetness, but also a good source of fiber. I mean really, don’t we all want a happy pooper? I know I do! I even think you could use raisins instead of the dates or prunes. If you get into a position where you go to reach for the dates and you find yourself saying “…what the heck…I swore I had some dates…really?”, and you’re having a “now what” moment, I’m sure raisins would do the trick. My original intention was to make these brownies using all dates but I ran a little short after my last brownie fiasco. So, I decided to do a little combo of dates and prunes. One or the other would work as long as the total adds up to 1 cup. I used coconut flour in these specifically because I was aiming to achieve a higher level of overall fiber.

Protein Brownies

  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup prunes, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee, hot
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Start by brewing a cup and a half of coffee. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.

Soak the dates and prunes in 1 1/2 cups of freshly made hot coffee for 5 minutes.

In a large food processor add the prunes, dates, coffee, lentils, cocoa and cinnamon and blend until the mixture is relatively smooth. The next step can be done either using a food processor or a cake mixer. (Our food processor is not large enough for all the ingredients so the rest of the instructions will be followed out using a cake mixer.)

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs. Add the melted butter, honey and vanilla. Whisk together. Add the egg mixture to the lentil mixture and blend until well combined.

Mix coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Add in the dry ingredients to the lentil in two parts, making sure the first batch is well incorporated before continuing on the the second addition.

Pour the batter into the lined baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into individual size pieces approximately, an inch and a half by 3 inch squares. I would recommend refrigerating overnight. When they first come out they are very light and almost airy. The consistency of a brownie develops once they have cooled completely. We wrap individual squares in plastic and freeze them. This way they stay fresh and they are ready to go for the hubbies ski days. Now I didn’t quite reach my mark of 10 grams of protein, but I can settle for 8.5. After all, we still want them to taste good.

240 calories, with just under 8.5 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Makes 18 squares. Or as little or as many as you like really, but those are the figures for 18 :)

I’m sharing this with My Meatless Mondays, Real Food 101, Mangia Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays Parade of Food, A Little Birdie Told Me, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Lunch Box Love and Monday Mania.

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30 Responses to Coffee Cinnamon Protein Brownies

  1. Kalinda December 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I’ve seen many bean brownie recipes, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one with lentils. I like the little touches you’ve added, like the addition of coffee, cinnamon, and coconut flour. We’re doing a no sugar break for a couple weeks, but I’m excited to try these when we’re done. I’ll have to pair them up with some homemade Bailey’s. ;)

    • France Morissette December 6, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      Hi Kalinda, the lentils is kind of a fun addition and I think you’ll really enjoy them after your sugar break is over. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Randy December 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I am a brownie monster, but I’m having a sugar problem so I don’t get to have them any more. We’ll be trying these for sure! That’s enough fiber content to keep her happy :)

    • France Morissette December 6, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      Randy, I think we can all be brownie monsters from time to time. These are pretty calorically dense, and are a great treat after a hard workout. Hope you’re doing well these days!

  3. Koko December 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Ah, so cool you got to fly to Vancouver! I’ve always wanted to take a float plane over to SaltSpring….I bet it’s a pretty little flight!

    These brownies look delicious- I love that they use lentils instead of whey!

    • France Morissette December 6, 2011 at 12:54 am #

      Koko, you should definitely take the float plane sometime. It’s super fun and, if you time the deals right, you can get super cheap flights :)

  4. Misty December 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    You had me at brownie. These sounds really good and healthy enough for breakfast before my yoga class. I don’t think lentils sound weird. I have a fudge recipe that uses pinto beans. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t eaten it, but it is literally the best fudge I’ve ever eaten.

    • France Morissette December 6, 2011 at 12:55 am #

      Misty, you’ll have to share that pinto bean fudge recipe with me please :)

  5. Joanne December 6, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    Congrats on the cooking demo! You look adorable, btw.

    Those brownies look crazy fudgy! I’m in love.

    Also, I’m making your sweet potato black bean chili tomorrow! My review is definitely going up on the blog next week!

    • France Morissette December 6, 2011 at 5:56 am #

      Hi Joanne, I’m looking forward to your review. I love that chili. The apple juice adds such a nice sweetness.

  6. The Café Sucré Farine December 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m going to try these for sure – my kids would love them! They’re really into fitness and nutrition so I’m always looking for fun new recipes to try for them, thanks!

    • France Morissette December 7, 2011 at 4:47 am #

      Hi Chris, Let me know how it goes over. My husband is quite enjoying them.

  7. Linda December 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    wow…lentils!! I’ve made brownies with black beans as you mentioned, but never thought that lentils would work as well! These look delicious! I love your site for healthy and great recipes!

  8. Ricki December 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Those look phenomenal! What a great combination of flavors as well–yum! My hubby and I have been talking about visiting BC for ages. . . your photos confirm what I already think about the place: stunning! :)

    • France Morissette December 7, 2011 at 5:01 am #

      Hi Ricki, I just checked out your site. Lots of great information. Fabulous. Thank you for stopping by and hopefully you’ll make it out to this beautiful province sometime.

  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    What a great weekend you had! Loved reading about your cooking class – how fun to be putting in to practise how you live and sharing that with others.

    So the brownies… Oh My… these are going on my ‘must make’ list… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeak them in before the 25th but it will happen. I love all of the earthy elements in these bars – the dates, cocoa, coffee (mmm) – and- wow, lentils… how inventive and fantastic. I also like how you’ve minimized the flour here. Can’t wait to try these! Thanks France.

    • France Morissette December 9, 2011 at 5:18 am #

      Hi Kelly, I think the minimal flour part is my favorite. It’s amazing how big a roll the lentils play in binding the ingredients together.

  10. Linda December 9, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    I’ve seen black bean brownie recipes before, but not one with lentils. I think I would like this better. Thanks for sharing it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

    • France Morissette December 9, 2011 at 5:19 am #

      Hi Linda, I love coming by on Wednesdays. There’s always such great gluten free recipes. It’s great to see what others our doing because it opens our minds to the possibilities!

  11. Jenn/Rook No. 17 December 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    I love all the healthy stuff packed into these incredible-sounding brownies!!

    Your culinary talent never ceases to impress and inspire me!

    Best,
    Jenn

    • France Morissette December 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

      Jenn, you are so sweet. I think you’ll really enjoy these brownies :)

  12. Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery December 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I featured your yummy brownies on today’s Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love :)

    http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com/2011/12/allergy-friendly-lunchbox-love-14.html

    Thanks,
    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

    • France Morissette December 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks Lisa. I love your linky party! I’m heading there right now!

  13. Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva December 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    These look rich a fudgey France!! Can’t wait to give them a whirl…I always have lentils…lentil farmers in my family!!

    • France Morissette December 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Hi Tessa, lentil farmers you say. Wow that’s great. You must know it is one of my favorite foods! What kind of lentils?

  14. donna chucka January 22, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    I’ve been cooking and baking for lots of years (be 80 this year) be never came across a site as special as yours. Can’t wait to try the brownies gluten free, esp. for one of my 15 grands. Christmas is hard on her, no gluten free goodies unless we choose to make them…gluten free. Now, I have the recipes that are also GOOD FOR HER! I know I’m looking at an Oct,’11 site and this is Jan. 21, 2012, but weeee!!! I’ve found you France Morissette from Canada…thank you from Milwaukee, Wi.

  15. Jerri February 9, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    What is the protein to carb ratio?

  16. France Morissette February 9, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Hi Jerri,
    These won’t be as high as you’ll see in a prepackaged product because I don’t use whey products on this site, but if you use whey powder you can always add it in to manipulate the ratio. 8.5 gr protein (13 %), 7 gr fat (26 %) and 38 gr carbs(63%). Hope that helps.

  17. Marcie February 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Hi..I would love to make something like this for my kids. Not sure the coffee part would go over too well though. Any suggestions for a substitution for the coffee? Just water?

    Thanks.

    • France Morissette February 13, 2012 at 4:00 am #

      Hi Marcie. I doubt your kids would even notice it to be honest. if the caffeine is an issue, than decaf works too. However if you think they”ll notice it and won’t like it you can always use water or even apple juice. Hope that helps.

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