Protein Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-free)

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This is one of my long-term recipe challenges. There so many ways of making vegan and gluten-free brownies. But I wanted to try something different: a brownie that is made without flour. And that contains some extra protein.

Now please stay with me when I tell you the secret ingredient. It may sound pretty weird, but it does work and does not alter the taste at all!

It is, brown lentils. That’s right! And no need to be afraid, they are a perfect ingredient in this recipe!

In combination with hazelnuts, cocoa and dates, it creates brownies that are not only fluffy but also moist and slightly dense at the same time. No offense, but I’m not a fan of brownies that contain a so-called fudgy center. It is too slimy for my taste 😉

For a 27×17 cm tray you’ll need:

1/2 cup (75g) brown lentils (soaked in filtered water for at least 8 hours, then drained)
1 cup water

1 cup (150g) hazelnuts (soaked in filtered water for at least 8 hours, drained)
1 1/2 cup (210g) dates, pitted and diced
1 1/2 cup water

3/4 cup (75g) FAIR-TRADE cocoa
1 tablespoon fiber husk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 pinches salt

Some coconut flour for dusting (optional)


1. Cook the in 1 cup water until soft (about 10 minutes). There should be a little water left in the pot when you take it off the stove. The lentils will soak it up while you let it cool down a little. Then blend the lentils to a fine paste. I prefer a stick blender for this.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line the cake tray with baking paper. In a medium sized bowl , mix the cocoa powder with baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Pulse the hazelnuts to fine crumbles and add to the bowl. Mix well.

4. Blend the dates with 1 1/2 cup water until it is a fine cream. Add to the bowl together with the blended lentils. Mix well.

5. Scoop the dough onto the tray and spread it evenly. Bake for 20 minutes covered with a loosely placed sheet of aluminum foil. Then take the aluminum foil out of the oven and bake for at least another 15 minutes. Keep testing with a skewer to see if is cooked well. If you like more dry, bake it for longer until the skewer comes out without any of the dough sticking on it.

6. Let cool down a little before taking out of the tray. Then let cool down on a cooling rack before sprinkling with coconut flour.

Enjoy! 🙂

Please let me know what you think about this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! And if you remake this recipe, please share the picture with me on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

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