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Healthy, tasty snacks can be hard to come by, and it’s easy to get tempted by something sugary or salty when hunger strikes between meals. That’s where protein balls recipes come in. These little guys are a favorite of the wellness set—they’re filling, tasty, and packed with natural ingredients.
It takes as little as 10 minutes to whip up a batch at home, and some recipes use as few as three ingredients. Plus, you can freeze them, store them, and keep them for weeks at the office or at home.
Here, 10 of the most delicious and easy protein ball recipes from Pinterest.
Dark Chocolate Protein BallsPhoto: Tiny Inklings
Make dark chocolate protein balls by mixing the below ingredients by hand or with a food processor. Then roll the mixture into 1.5 inch balls and roll each ball in shredded coconut to coat. Leave in the fridge for a few hours before eating.
1/4 Cup chia seeds
4 Tablespoon almond butter
3 Tablespoon protein powder (I used vanilla)
3 Tablespoon dark cocoa powder (or cacao powder to keep it raw)
1/8 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (melted, but not hot)
1/4 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Chia Protein BallsPhoto: Hello Natural
Whip up chocolate chia protein balls by mixing all the below ingredients into a bowl or food processor. Let the mixture cool in the fridge for five minutes, and then roll into balls and serve as is or coated with shredded coconut. This should make about 10 balls.
1/4 Cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter or tahini
1/3 Cup hemp protein powder (Nutiva or Living Harvest recommended)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 Cup chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
25 Drops plain liquid stevia
3 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder or cacao powder
Salted Caramel Protein BallsPhoto: Nourish and Inspire Me
Salted caramel protein balls are super easy to make—and super delicious. Just blend the ingredients in a food processor, roll some in coconut and leave some without, set in the fridge, and serve.
1 Cup cashews
1/2 Cup dessicated coconut
1 Scoop of quality protein powder of your choice (pea, rice or whey)
15-16 Medjool dates
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Tablespoons raw pepitas
2 Tablespoons water
Good pinch of salt
Extra coconut for rolling
Carrot Cake Power BitesPhoto: The Kitchn
Carrot cake power bites taste just like cake, but are way healthier—double tick! There are two stages to this recipe: First, create the power bites by boiling the chopped-up carrots in a saucepan over medium heat. When the carrots are tender start to simmer on a very low heat for 10 minutes, then drain the water and set the carrots aside to cool. Next, combine the cooked (and cooled) carrots with the remaining ingredients in a food processor, and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge. You can get started on the icing while the mixture is setting.
4 Medium carrots (1/2 pound), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 Cup (3 ounces) coarsely chopped Medjool dates, firmly packed
1/2 Cup (128 grams) unsalted creamy almond butter
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Cups (180 grams) almond meal, firmly packed, divided
To create the icing, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and stir until there’s a thick paste. Scoop the icing into an icing bag and squeeze the mixture into a corner—getting rid of air inside the bag—and seal.
1/4 Cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
1/8 Teaspoon ground vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 Teaspoons water (plus more if needed)
Now, you will need to roll the bites using your cooled mixture. Sprinkle a little more almond flour on the sides and top of the dough to coat completely, then roll into a ball. Finally, drizzle icing over the tops of the balls by snipping off a small corner of the sandwich bag.
Cranberry Coconut BallsPhoto: The Wheatless Kitchen
Cranberry coconut balls are a sweet and healthy snack that take zero effort to make—they only use six ingredients. In fact, all you need to do is combine the below ingredients in a bowl, roll into small balls, and chill in the fridge.
1/3 Cup sunflower seed butter (or almond/peanut butter)
1/4 Cup ground flaxseed
1/3 Cup vanilla protein powder (I used brown rice protein)
1/3 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 Cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoon honey
Photo: Simple Green Moms
To make healthy energy bites, mix the below ingredients together in a bowl, roll the mixture into balls, and eat!
Almond butter (or peanut butter)
Healthy Peanut Butter BallsPhoto: Desserts With Benefits
Make these healthy peanut butter balls by stirring together three ingredients, roll into balls with your hands, and refrigerate to harden.
1 Scoop vanilla whey protein powder (vegans should use soy protein)
2 Tbs honey or agave
2 Tbs natural peanut butter (no added sugar, salt, or oil)
Blueberry Lemon Energy BitesPhoto: Dishing Up the Dirt
Blueberry lemon energy bites take just 10 minutes to prep. Use a food processor to blend the shredded coconut and cashews, then add the blueberries, dates, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extra, and salt, and continue to process until the mixture holds together. Roll into small balls (about 1 or two inches) and add some more coconut and lemon zest to the top. Store these in an airtight container in the fridge to keep them fresh for up to a week.
1 1/2 Cups cashews
1/2 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut and additional for rolling
1/2 Cup dried blueberries
3/4 Cup medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoo lemon zest + additional for rolling
1/2 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
Crunchy Protein BallsPhoto: One Green Planet
This recipe for crunchy protein balls is both vegan and gluten-free. Combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor and mix until they are crumbly and pasty in consistency. Roll the mixture into small balls and top with either sesame seeds, cacao nibs, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or coconut flakes. Finally, refrigerate until firm, and try not to eat them all at once.
1 Cup almond flour
1 Scoop raw protein powder
1/4 Cup organic sesame seeds
1/4 Cup organic chia seeds
1/4 Cup raw cacao powder
1/2 Cup organic nut butter
2 Tablespoons raw organic honey (or other liquid sweetener for vegan)
2 Tablespoons organic grade B maple syrup
Pinch pink himalayan salt
Sunflower Seed Protein BallsPhoto: Healthy Seasonal Recipes
You’ll only need to set aside 15 minutes to whip together these sunflower seed protein balls. Mix together the banana, sunflower seed butter and honey or maple in a food processor. Then, pour in the whey, coconut flour, cinnamon and salt and process until the mixture is a dense paste. Finally, toss in the sunflower seeds and cranberries, and pulse until fully incorporated. Roll into balls, and refrigerate until firm.
1 Very ripe banana, mashed
½ Cup sunflower seed butter
¼ Cup honey or maple syrup
4 Scoops unflavored whey protein powder
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
½ Teaspoon cinnamon
½ Cup toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
½ Cup dried cranberries, preferably fruit juice sweetened
Originally published April 2015. Updated March 2017.