When it comes to plant-based eating, protein is where a lot of people have questions. “How do I make sure that I’m getting enough protein?” “Won’t it be difficult?” “Is plant-based protein incomplete?” These are all great questions and luckily, plant-based protein is no longer shrouded in mystery and misinformation. To make a long story short, it’s easy to get enough protein on a well-balanced plant-based diet, even if you’re soy and gluten-free. Not only can we get it from whole foods and protein powders (for the athlete in you), but we can also be sneaky and add protein to desserts and yummy nibbles.
No, you won’t get jacked from eating protein-rich desserts, but they each have a little something more than your average treat. How do you make your desserts better than average? A lot of the time, it’s all about the beans. Yes, beans in dessert. Not sure about what that might taste like? Don’t worry, we understand being wary of something new. But trust us, using beans in dessert is a total win. Not only do they make your dessert a little healthier, they’re also an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Of course, there are other ways to have your protein-packed cake and eat it, too. You can use whole foods-based ingredients that always taste good in dessert, like almonds and almond butter or peanuts and peanut butter. Are you as excited as we are over healthier desserts? If you are, then get ready for these 15 protein-rich vegan desserts!
1. Chocolate-Covered Black Bean Brownie Pops
Here’s what you need to know about these lip-smackin’ Chocolate-Covered Brownie Pops: they’re secretly healthy (well, kinda). They’re no-bake.They’re seriously fudgy. They’re drenched in creamy melted chocolate. How are these little bites of heaven secretly healthy? From black beans – the magical ingredient – but your taste buds won’t know that.
2. Hidden-Ingredient Tiramisu Protein Blondies
These Hidden-Ingredient Tiramisu Protein Blondies are made from chickpeas and no refined sugar They have a soft, coffee base, cookie crumble topping with melted chocolate, and a light dusting of cacao. Who knew beans could taste so sweet?
3. Dreamy Almond Butter and Chia Pudding
This Dreamy Almond Butter and Chia Pudding is so easy to make. All you have to do is throw the main ingredients into a mason jar, shake it up, and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. You get protein from the chia seeds, almond butter, and almond topping, plus it tastes like a parfait! Top this chia pudding with anything you like, such as chocolate chips, but it’s especially good with banana.
4. Easy Banana Cacao Ice Cream
This Easy Banana Cacao Ice Cream is an amazing way to treat yourself. It’s rich and chocolatey, but it’s made from wholesome ingredients, so you could have it for breakfast. It’s packed with protein, so you could also snack on it after an intense workout. Or, you could keep things traditional and have it for dessert — your choice! You can’t go wrong with chocolate ice cream.
5. Plant-Powered Protein Squares
These Plant-Powered Protein Squares are the perfect thing before a workout or during a hike because they’re packed full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They will keep you full, satisfied, and give you lots of energy without making you feel like you hit a wall 15 minutes after eating them. Ditch the sports drink and eat a few of these instead.
6. Flourless Walnut Kidney Bean Brownies
For all of you who want to incorporate more beans into your diet – listen up! These Flourless Walnut Kidney Bean Brownies are a true winner! They’re dense, fudgy, rich, chocolatey, and completely flourless. They’re sweetened with date syrup and made with kidney beans, so they’re high protein, so they’re the perfect healthier treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
7. Runner Recovery Bites
If you’re the active type, it helps to always have protein-rich snacks on hand. Instead of buying bars, try making these energy bites! These little Runner Recovery Bites seriously hit the spot. They have carbs, protein, and a bit of sweetness to them. They can be after any type of exercise. Or no exercise at all!
8. Raw Protein Thin Mints
Everyone loves thin mints, right? The perfect blend of chocolate, mint, and sweetness. Well, these Raw Protein Thin Mints are the best — seriously. They’re low in sugar, gluten-free, raw, and yes, they have protein. Not only are they easy to make, you also don’t even have to turn on the oven because these chocolatey, minty delights are no-bake.
9. Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars
These Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars are a great source of healthy fats, as well as completely free of refined sugar. It’s your new favorite mid-day snack without the sugar rush and it tastes like fudge straight from the candy shop. It’s made from chickpeas and dates that are infused with chai tea leaves. They need to be stored in the freezer to keep them from melting, so they’re a sweet and satisfying treat on a hot day.
10. Black Bean Chocolate Orange Mousse
This Black Bean Chocolate Orange Mousse is mega rich and super delicious. No trace of a bean-y taste left, just a smooth and creamy texture and a filling, protein-packed treat. It does have a fair amount of syrup in it to make it totally indulgent, but you could easily leave a few tablespoons out and still have yourself a yummy treat!
11. Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Bars
This recipe for the perfect post-workout snack just happens to taste like dessert! These Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Bars are the perfect hybrid between cake and a chewy granola bar. Plus, it tastes like a peanut butter and banana sandwich with chocolate on top. These are something you’ll always want to have stashed in your fridge.
12. Green Protein Cookies
Who knew that cookies made from green peas could take so good? These Green Protein Cookies are a simple and quick dessert made from a protein-packed triple threat combo of peas, tofu, and almond flour. They’re so good, you’ll want to start your day with cookies. Nutritious, delicious sweets for the win!
13. Chickpea Chocolate Chip Bars
These Chickpea Chocolate Chip Bars are made with chickpeas and almond butter, so say hello to protein! The edges have the perfect “crispiness” to them while the inside is like a soft, gooey cookie. These are great for snacking, but they’re best after they’ve cooled down a bit, but the chocolate chips are still melty. For a dessert that’s indulgent, but still pretty healthy, try your bar with a banana ice cream and a dollop of whipped coconut cream!
14. Blueberry Ice Cream With Tofu and Cashews
This amazingly delicious Blueberry Ice Cream is packed with so many amazing ingredients. You get antioxidants from the blueberries, healthy fats from the cashews, and protein from the tofu, cashews, and peanut butter. It’s sweetened naturally from the blueberries with just a little bit of maple syrup. Need something to help you cool down after an intense outdoor workout? This ice cream will be your new best friend.
15. Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies
Chewy, chocolatey, sweet, and nutty, these Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies are delicious and decadent treats. Since they’re made primarily of chickpeas and hearty peanut butter they’re actually quite nutritious for you. It doesn’t get better than that, folks.
Healthier desserts are like music to our ears — so good that we can never get enough.
Lead image source: Flourless Walnut Kidney Bean Brownies