I’m always on the lookout for great ways to get healthful nutrition without completely sabotaging my nutrition goals, and protein energy balls are a sure-fire winner.
There are days when no matter how much we resist, those sugary cravings can crop up late in the afternoon. In my former life, a sprint to the office vending machine for a candy bar would have done the trick – albeit left me slumped over my desk after I came down from the sugar high.
Cure the Cravings
Today, I keep a batch of homemade energy balls in the fridge to stoke that sweet tooth without completely burning my health goals.
Pop one or two of these puppies when for that surge of late-afternoon energy or for an after-dinner treat instead of other, less-healthy choices.
Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes for protein/energy bites that won’t come back to bite you in the bum.
Sunflower-Coconut Energy Balls
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup sunflower butter
- 4 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- Cinnamon, 1 tbsp.
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- ¼ c. unsweetened, flaked coconut
Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls. Optional: roll in unsweetened coconut flakes after forming the balls. Refrigerate and keep stored either in the refrigerator or freezer.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Protein Energy Balls
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 3 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. Himalayan sea salt
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
- ½ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- 30 drops of caramel-flavored stevia
Grind up the almonds in a food processor, until you have a coarse consistency. Add in oats and blend until ground. Next, add protein powder, cocoa and sea salt and pulse until mixed. Blend in dates and almond/cashew milk until mixed. Finally, add stevia and pulse. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, form into balls and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Peanut-Butter Chocolate Protein Energy Balls
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 scoops chocolate-flavored protein powder
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup dark, mini chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Roll into balls and place in a container lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set. Keep refrigerated.