These dark chocolate chickpea protein donuts are creamy from the chickpeas, rich in chocolate flavor and full of protein, fiber and low in calories. They are also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. The perfect breakfast or snack donut!
Dark Chocolate Chickpea Protein Donuts
Protein donuts. Grain-free, gluten-free. Delicious and healthy. You are looking at donuts made from a can of chickpeas. Isn’t that an amazing concept?
But it totally works. And it makes the donuts creamy as well as cakey, and full of protein and fiber.
Plus these are also low in sugar and calories!
Why Chickpeas Are A Good Choice For Protein Donuts
Chickpeas make these donuts creamy. And add protein. One-half cup of chickpeas has 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Also chickpeas are a great source of folate, a mineral that is not that easy to find in food and which is very important for brain cell support.
And I used organic, BPA-free canned chickpeas, but you can totally just boiled chickpeas that are raw. I have never done that but I am assuming it’s easy. The cans are a bit less nutritious I assume, especially with the addition of salt.
And the chickpeas are not the only source of nutrition in this recipe. Cacao is here, too! As well as dark chocolate in the glaze.
How Healthy is Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cacao, and of course plain raw cacao powder are loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
And they are astonishingly high in antioxidants, right up there with blueberries and acai berries according to this NIH study.
And I know I have mentioned it alot, but it bears repeating: Chocolate is high in magnesium which boost cognitive function and your mood! So there is a reason you are happy eating chocolate, haha.
For this glaze, and the one I use most often, is with melted dark chocolate chips. I have linked to my favorite brand in ingredients.
However, when you can, try a quality chocolate bar that is at least 70% cacao and has cacao butter in the ingredients and little else.
The chips are more convenient, and still quite healthy, but quality chocolate bars are increasing in number and a great way to increase the healthy aspects of chocolate.
In this recipe, you’d probably need about two bars – you want to break it up roughly to fill one cup before melting in a microwave or water bath.
How to Make These Vegan Donuts
And now let’s address the fact that these donuts are also baked, not fried. So they are healthier just from that cooking method alone.
I did not make them oil-free although I know some people prefer oil-free recipes. I assume the oil in this recipe can be swapped out for apple sauce. I have not tried that though, so let me know if you do.
Also, in this recipe, I used avocado oil, because avocados are awesome and nutritious and so is their oil. However, I realize that not everyone has that in their cupboard, so I can assure you olive oil – preferably extra virgin – will work just fine.
And regarding the sweetness, as you know if you follow me, I don’t like things very sweet. (Haha, that’s ironic since I make so many desserts!) So I suggest your taste-test the batter before putting it into the donut molds and add a few tbsp more of maple syrup if you need to up that flavor.
Finally, I am a big advocate of deepening the chocolate flavor of any chocolate recipe with the addition of a tbsp or two of cold coffee. So feel free to add that here if you agree!
This Protein Donut Recipe Can Also Be Muffins
This recipe is for donuts of course, but I have made it in muffin tins with paper liners, and it worked fine. We had chocolate muffins for breakfast that day, and even dipped them in the chocolate glaze. I might try making them in Nordicware molds next.
Just in case though you aren’t a fan of chickpeas but are a fan of baked donuts, here is my Date Sugar Cinnamon Donut, a more traditional baked donut recipe!
I hope you love my chickpea protein donut recipe.
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Dark Chocolate Chickpea Protein Donuts
Donuts - dry ingredients
Donuts - wet ingredients
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Rinse off the chickpeas. You can of course cook fresh chickpeas from scratch; I typically use a BPA-free organic brand of chickpeas from Whole Foods. I also try to use brands with little added salt. Also, you can preserve the liquid from the chickpea cans to develop into aquafaba for other recipes. Just refrigerate it after you drain the can.
- Next, melt the cup of chocolate chip meant for the donut recipe (not the chocolate meant for the glaze.) I melt it by putting chips in a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup and microwaving at 60 seconds. Then stir the chips until all are melted. This melted chocolate is part of your wet ingredients.
- Spray the donut mold with cooking spray or smear lightly with coconut oil.
- Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon to make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Put the wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Remember to add the melted chocolate. Slowly add the dry ingredients.
- You want the batter to be a bit pourable, although very thick. But you do not want it to be like cookie dough so if it is too dry, add a few tbsp of almond milk or your favorite plant milk and blend again.
- Once your batter is somewhat pourable or spoonable, fill the donut rings. It is also easy to use a piping bag. You can buy them at the cake decorating center of most grocery stores. If you want a cloth one, not plastic, you'll have to go to Amazon or Michaels.
- To use a piping bag, just cut the tip off (no silver frosting tip is needed), spoon the donut batter into the bag, and squeeze the batter into the donut rings.
- Tap the donut pan to even the batter and eliminate air bubbles.
- Bake the donuts for 12-13 minutes. Let the pan cool for 3 minutes before flipping it over. The donuts should fall out.
- Let them cool another 20 minutes on a rack before dipping in chocolate glaze.
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a shallow bowl in a microwave for 60 seconds or hot water bath (use a pyrex measuring cup if melting in a water bath and pour into a bowl to dip donuts). Dip each donut to coat with chocolate on one side.
- Set the dipped donuts on a cooling rake with a parchment paper beneath to catch the drip off. Sprinkle with nuts or sprinkles or nothing - your choice!
How do they keep
- We have frozen them, un-glazed, for a month. Once glazed, I would eat them within one day. They will only get soggy as time goes on.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in biology, immunology and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.