These fudge pitaya protein cups are made with white beans and are easy to blend up, freeze and eat, before or after your workout or busy day.
Fudge Pitaya Protein Cups (white beans, vegan)
These fudge pitaya protein cups are the perfect workout booster.
Workout snacks became very important to me the day I noticed a serious difference in the benefit of a 45-min workout when I had had a healthy snack before beginning my workout one early morning earlier this year.
I generally workout in the morning, spinning for about 45-min, and I used to start with my ginger-lemon shot before beginning since I have a 7 am wake up, but one morning in January I was just hungry!
I needed something, so I had some of my 2-ingredient white bean strawberry bites here, and wow, what a difference! My spinning session lasted an hour and could have gone much longer!
I’ve always felt better and recovered faster with a post-workout snack.
But this was the day I realized how important pre-workout snacks are. And I began in earnest creating several workout snacks that could serve as both: Boost energy and support recovery.
And in this protein cup recipe, I decided to use white beans for a strong source of protein and fiber.
Why White Beans Make The Perfect Protein Cup
White beans are an excellent to boost protein in workout snacks because they add both protein and fiber. But they are especially useful in desserts because they serve as a blank palate, allowing the sweet bright dessert flavors to stand front and center.
White beans also full of a slew of other nutritional benefits, including potassium and iron, good for shiny hair among other effects; thiamine for a boost to your cognitive abilities; heart-supporting folate and magnesium, and copper to fight inflammation and antioxidants galore!
I chose to use organic canned beans though I’m sure freshly cooked beans would work as well. If you use canned, be sure to use organic, to be sure the beans don’t have additional ingredients. And I chose unsalted so I could control the sodium.
The fruit I chose to sweeten these protein cups is dragonfruit or pitaya. I wanted a gorgeous pink color so I used frozen pink pitaya, since I can only find fresh white pitaya on the East Coast.
In case you are looking for frozen pink pitaya too, the only brand I ever see in the frozen area of my Whole Foods is PitayaPlus.com.
How Healthy is Pitaya or Dragonfruit?
This strange looking tropical fruit is bright pink on the outside with little green triangular scales. Dragonfruit looks quite foreign and is often used as other-worldy food on film sets of outer-space movies.
Beneath that beautiful peel, is a white or dark pink pulp that tastes like a mild kiwi.
And, like kiwi, the nutrition is vast.
It is loaded with antioxidants, magnesium, iron, protein and vitamin C. And also has metabolism-booster vitamin Bs.
In general, the fruit fuels energy, and boosts tissue and cell re-growth, and supports maintenance and repair of muscles.
What is an Additional Protein in These Protein Cups?
For additional protein, I used almond flour to make the crust for these protein cups. So the crust literally tastes like a cookie.
I mixed the almond flour with coconut oil (healthy fats) and maple syrup, and froze that before pouring on the creamy no-bake pitaya and white bean filling.
Wow! So energizing!
Sometimes I top them with coconut yogurt, but on treat days, as pictured here, I pipe on vegan fudge frosting!
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Fudge Protein Cups (vegan, gluten-free, white beans)
A fudgy protein cup made with white beans and dragonfruit, easy to blend up, freeze and eat, before or after your workout or busy day. This recipe makes 6 regular cupcake-sized cups or 12 small cupcakes
Pitaya (dragonfruit) Layer
- 1 can (15oz/425gms) of white beans, organic & precooked (navy beans;I have used Eden and Whole Foods 365 brand)
- 2 pkgs (3.5oz/100G) frozen Pitaya packages (found at Whole Foods)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional - pitaya tastes like bland kiwi but if you like things sweet, you might want to add this maple syrup)
Almond Cookie Base
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Line a cupcake tin with paper liners or use a silicon mold.
Mix base in bowl with spoon. Press 2 tbsp into each cupcake paper. Freeze while you make pitaya filling.
Blend up rinsed beans and the contents of the pitaya packages. I melt mine by dropping them in a pot of hot water (stove turned off).
Pour filling over base and freeze cups overnight.
To eat, thaw 10 minutes and keep frozen until ready to eat! I piped vegan frosting swirl on top with a 1M tip.
Dee Dine is the recipe developer and writer behind Green Smoothie Gourmet. She shares her super healthy wholesome recipes on her blog and her Instagram that she feeds her family and friends. She gravitates toward recipes that are fast to create, plant-based, nutritious, easy, and use familiar ingredients. And chocolate is always a good idea! More about Dee.