In general, cravings come on from time to time. During pregnancy, you can find that you have new cravings or have more often than normal. I am not one to have much of a sweet tooth but since I’m pregnant, I am finding that I am getting the urge for something a little sweet, typically after lunchtime.
Cravings don’t mean you give in to a bowl of ice cream or candy bar with each craving. It is all about finding ways to satisfy your craving yet still stay in line with your nutritional efforts! If you gave in to that typical bowl of ice cream or candy every time you had a craving, the additional fat and calories can surely add up and cause unnecessary weight gain. Especially during pregnancy, when you tend to be less active, it is important to listen to your body yet be more mindful of your cravings and choices.
There is no reason why you can’t have the healthier version of something you are craving. I believe that unnecessary pregnancy weight gain can come from not being conscious of nutritional choices and giving into those cravings whenever they come up without being mindful. While there is some validity to your body craving a certain nutrient, there are always healthier versions of whatever it is you may be craving so you get what your body needs AND avoid unnecessary weight gain!
During one of my moments of wanting something that contained chocolate and almond butter, I came up with this fun variation of my black bean brownies. Beans in your brownies may sound kind of bizarre, but trust me— they are amazing! Different variations of my black bean brownies have always tasted just as good, if not better, than real, high-calorie brownies, so why go for the real thing?!
With tons of good fats, complex carbs, high fiber, a perfect touch of sweetness and ONLY 125 calories per brownie, these definitely do the trick and surely satisfy my sweet craving! One brownie after lunch has satisfied that craving and given me the energy and focus to continue on with my day without obsessing over this craving for the rest of the day.
Almond Butter Black Bean Brownies
1/2 cup almond butter
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 scoops (1/2 cup) chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup stevia
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Optional: 1 tbsp cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
Serving Size: 12 brownies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease baking dish (8×8) with non-stick coconut oil spray and set aside.
1. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to mix almond butter until creamy.
2. Mix in eggs, stevia, vanilla, and black beans.
3. Add salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, unsweetened cocoa powder (if you are using) and cinnamon and continue mixing until all combined.
4. Add protein powder and continue to mix well until powder is all combined with batter.
5. Transfer mixture into baking dish.
6. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until when pierced with a toothpick it comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool.
8. Sprinkle with stevia powder over top.
9. Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!
Great at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to make “fudge-like” brownies.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per brownie)
Net Carbs: 3 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Sugars: .5 grams