Chocolate Protein Bars

Have you ever had to finish a story with “and then I found $20?”

The Pilot taught me that trick after I told him a particular story that had no climax whatsoever. It’s that awkward moment where you know it’s not going anywhere, look up at the other person and say, “and then… yeah.”

“And then you found $20?”

“Exactly! It was just laying on the street! Amazing.”

Protein cake

I didn’t exactly find $20, but I did put protein powder in my brownies.


I know, I know.

I used to put protein powder in anything and proclaim it as “healthy now!” – just like the protein powder magically canceled out all of the sugar I was about to consume.


I’ve learned since then to keep my desserts as desserts, and and my everyday stuff as everyday stuff. I no longer have suspicious white powder all over me from abusing the Sun Warrior stash, and have mostly stuck to smoothies and protein fluff.

Then I had this giant bag of sweet potatoes, knew they were going to be turned into brownies for an everyday treat, and decided to throw some protein powder in there, too. Just for kicks.


And then…. yeah.

Protein cake 2

Chocolate Protein Bars (bars/cake/brownies/eat it)

gluten-free, no added sugar, no added fat

Makes 6 sizable squares (I’d have 2-3 for a snack)


1/3 C sweet potato flesh (from a large baked sweet potato. The canned stuff doesn’t taste as good)

2 eggs, 1 egg white

1/2 chocolate bar, melted (can use a double-boiler if you’re feeling fancy, or a glass bowl in the microwave. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir in between)

2 scoops protein powder of choice (I used vanilla Sun Warrior, chocolate would be awesome too)

1/3 C brown rice flour

1 t vanilla

1/4 t baking powder

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon

2 packs of Stevia (or sweetener of choice)


1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a small baking dish (I used a glass one that was probably 8×8?) with nonstick spray

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour mixture into the baking dish and smooth with a spatula.

3. Bake 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the “cake” comes out clean.

Looking for nutrition stats? Here ya go. 

Enjoy! <3



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  1. Brittany on September 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    They look delicious Gina!!

  2. TJ on September 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Hey fitnessista! I loveee your new website design! I am a huge fan of your blog.. I have been reading it faithfully for quite some time now. Keep up the good work 🙂 Xo

  3. Jaimie on September 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Whoa! I’d be scared I’d eat the whole pan. In one sitting. They look fab!

  4. Abby on September 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Bars/cake/brownies/eat it was my favorite part of this post, now I’m off to make these delicious looking little lovers… As soon as i get back from the gym that is haha. How much would you say this recipe makes? Enough to share with a hungry hungry husband?

  5. EP on September 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    lol i am the WORST story teller ever! i think every one can end my stories with “and then you found $20?”

  6. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on September 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    These sound awesome! And I’m totally going to steal your $20 saying when I end up telling a story that runs out of steam halfway through. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jasmine W on September 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    These look superb! hah…can’t wait to try them out! =)

  8. Marlene on September 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Do you have a favorite chocolate bar you recommend?

  9. Kels on September 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Making these tomorrow! Yum!! 🙂

  10. Jacqueline on September 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I only find $5 at the end of my stories! Maybe I should starting upping the ante…

  11. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on September 6, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Haha…that’s funny. Ever since college, I finish a bad story with the same thing, but I usually say “and then I found $1,000.” Basically, the worse the story, the more money I have found. 😉

    And I get Sun Warrior powder on things too.

  12. Sara on September 6, 2012 at 12:44 am

    How big is a ‘pack’ of stevia?

    Also, a trick for baking with protein powder. If the final result is too dry, that could be the thickener causing it. Unflavoured protein powder doesn’t do this.

    • Fitnessista on September 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

      That’s a great tip- the sweet potato helped keep it moist too. A pack is 1g

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks on September 6, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I just made sweet potato soup – your idea to cover them with chocolate sounds much better 🙂

  14. AnneW on September 6, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Going to try this!! What chocolate bar did you use??

  15. Amber L on September 6, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Yum! And I’m loving your new website design.

  16. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on September 6, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I love this recipe! I admit that I fall suspect to putting protein powder in a lot of things and have definitely gotten better about it but these just sound amazing! How can you not love them?! Dying to try this recipe!

  17. Zoe on September 6, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I’ve never cooked with rice flour. Could I use wheat or almond or a mix? They look good and I can’t wait to try them.

  18. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance on September 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I have got to try this! I don’t have rice flour, but I’m hoping I can easily sub another flour instead. Looks awesome!!! Thanks!

  19. Elizabeth M. on September 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    My friends totally do the “and then I found $20” thing. Except we say $10. Haha. It’s hilarious. If also when someone is telling a story and it is going nowhere and has no point, if the majority of the people in the room raise their hand, you have to stop and apologize. It cracks me up.

  20. KT on September 6, 2012 at 9:12 am

    That chocolate looks like something I need to dive into immediately.

    (Just a FYI – the *no added sugar* verbage is not correct due to the chocolate bar – unless you are using a 100% unsweetened chocolate. Of course, the total sugar is minimal as shown on the nutr stats, but just wanted the post to be accurate so your readers can continue to learn).

    Great job on the new look of the blog – I know it probably was a time intensive project!

  21. Kate on September 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I end so many stories with “and then I found $10” or sometimes even $5 if it’s a really bad one…

  22. Katie@PopCultureCuisine on September 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I too am terrible at telling stories, usually because I either diverge so far from the point that it no longer makes sense or the story has no point to begin with. Either way, it has become such a long running joke between me and my husband he used to ask at the end…”true story” in sort of a mocking tone and hold his hand up to give me a high five. This has been happening for so long though that now he doesn’t even say anything, he just holds a hand up and I know it was that bad haha.

  23. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on September 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

    LOL! I love it. I usually just say, “great story, _____.” to the person with the story, or if I’m the one telling, then, “and that’s the end of my story.” haha love the $20 trick though!

  24. Chelsea @ Dine & Dash Diaries on September 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

    You have no idea how many times I finish a story with “and then I found $20.” Sometimes I even up it to $50 to add a little extra suspense.

    But seriously, I’m the queen of boring stories, at least to my boyfriend. Hopefully my blog doesn’t reflect that…better starting signing off with “and then I found…”


  25. Rachel on September 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    These look delicious!

  26. Jennifer on September 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this!

  27. Cindy on September 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Last week, I was pulling into Trader Joe’s parking lot when I saw something on the ground. I thought it looked green, so I turned my car around while praying for no breeze to blow it away. When I opened my door, President Jackson was just chilling there smiling up at me! It made my day!

    …. and then I found $20! 🙂

  28. katty lea on September 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I am making this! This looks like the perfect post-workout refuel after a heavy lifting session. I wonder if it would still hold without the brown rice flour… hmm…

    Loooooove the new blog layout! Very pro!

  29. Kim on September 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Those sound awesome! I definitely need to get on the protein powder bandwagon. It’s just so….pricey :/

  30. Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction on September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Yum these look great! 🙂 And for the record, I think that adding protein powder to any dessert is a great story! No need to find $20, but hey that works too 🙂

  31. Lacey @ familyfitnessandfoodery on September 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Hmm…. sounds pretty interesting. Do they end up tasting sweety potatoey??
    I don’t mind sweet potatoes but I don’t love them either.

    I did the ab burner you posted yesterday and just doubled it up after a short run. My abs are DEFINITELY burning today. Thanks for the great workout!!

  32. Christine (The Raw Project) on September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am

    This looks wonderful, great use for protein powder. Thanks!

  33. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on September 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    These look amazing! You can’t go wrong with a healthy snack that tastes like dessert. 😉

    How big is a scoop of protein powder though? I buy mine from the bulk section, so it doesn’t come with a scoop!

  34. Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings on September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Yum I love this recipe! I love how you have been making brownies and cookies with sweet potatoes, such a great idea to sub for sweetness 🙂

  35. Angela on September 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    That “and then I found $20 dollars” trick will come in very handy for me…hahah

  36. Helen on September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    What size chocolate bar? Also, you really cut a 9×13 pan into 6 squares and eat 2-3 (so half a pan??) as a snack? Just wondering if I read something wrong.

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2012 at 1:35 am

      just a regular sized one- 1.5oz is half
      and yep, you can eat a third a pan as a snack for less than 200 calls

  37. Hillary on September 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    When your job is teaching 100 thirteen year olds every day, you spend a LOT of time finishing other people’s stories with the whole “And then you found twenty dollars?” ending. Trust me!

  38. Christina R on September 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    These look so yummyyy and i love how you post the nutritional stats, thanks!!

  39. Jen on September 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    And then? Oh my goodness, you found $20?!!

    • Fitnessista on September 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm


  40. Kara on September 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Gina, have you tried the Perfect Fit protein from Tone It Up yet? It’s great for baking and I think it tastes better than Sun Warrior!

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      no, i haven’t!

  41. Samantha on September 9, 2012 at 2:42 am

    These are pretty good but I’m curious how you made them work in a 9×13 pan? I made as directed and the batter just barely formed a super thin layer on the bottom of an 8 x 8. Our 6 year old is a picky eater , but he is enjoying these as a snack with a little but butter on top. Will be a regular snack from now on!

    Also I can’t get rice flour at our commissary (and stationed oconus so no tj or wo) but I subbed in buckwheat flour with success.

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

      i think my pan was smaller than that actually. fail.
      i’ll update the recipe!!

  42. Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free on September 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy treat!!! Yummy 😀

  43. April on April 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    How do you store these? Refrigerator or counter? Can’t wait to try 🙂

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      i’d refrigerate. enjoy!

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