Easy No-Bake Chocolate Protein Balls Recipe
Protein balls are such an easy-to-make and convenient high-protein snack. If you follow this recipe, each ball should contain 19g of high quality protein. A no-bake method is used, which is super handy and more time efficient. Also, since no heat is involved, this may also reduce any possible damage to the added protein.
These little snacks can be made in advance, and in bulk, and simply stored within a freezer until required. They can be eaten as they are, or combined with various nutritious toppings. I always seem to have coconut or nuts in the cupboard, so I’d often use these as toppings. I guess you can be as adventurous as you wish, just try to keep it healthy.
This part is totally optional, but since I am a fan of health supplements and superfoods in general, I decided to add acai powder to this recipe. Again, this is optional! Acai is so versatile and you can literally add it to anything. In Brazil, the homeland of acai, they use it in both sweet and savoury recipes. From what I hear, the savoury recipes are more common up north and they combine them with beans. They are a little bean crazy in Brazil btw and will combine anything with beans.
If you cannot source acai, then you could also try wheatgrass powder as a nutritional additive. Again, this is totally optional and not required, but it could be a good option if you wish to make a more well-rounded and nutritious snack. Wheatgrass contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and also a small amount of protein. Apparently, wheatgrass contains more vitamins and minerals (weight per weight) than other green leafy veg or salad. Now I will say this, it does taste a little like a cross between green tea and freshly cut grass, so if you do not like this type of flavour, then do not add it to the recipe.
The recipe discussed below, is for chocolate protein balls, but if you are not a fan of chocolate, no problem, you could easily adapt this recipe to make peanut butter protein balls (or protein bars). To do this, just leave out the cocoa powder, use an unflavored or vanilla protein powder and, to the mixture, add a little more peanut butter (around 1/3 cup extra).
These chocolate protein balls are good to keep refrigerated for a few days, although for longer term storage and convenience I would recommend to freeze them. Simply let defrost for approximately 10 minutes before consumption and bob’s your uncle!
|Serving size: per protein ball|
|Calories from Fat||81|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 9 g||14%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Carbohydrates 17 g||6%|
|Sugar 6 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 19 g||38%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
- 1 1/2 cup (135g) Oats, coarsely processed
- 1 1/2 cups (135g) Protein powder, chocolate, vanilla or unflavoured. I use ON Gold standard WHEY protein powder
- 1/3 cup (87g) Peanut butter, alternatively use almond or cashew butter
- 2 tbsp (45g) Honey
- 2 tbsp (15g) Cocoa powder
- 1/3 (80ml) Almond milk, may use regular milk or water
- 2 tbsp (15g) Acai powder (OPTIONAL)
- Sprinkle Pecan nuts (OPTIONAL), chopped
- Sprinkle Desiccated coconut (OPTIONAL)
1) In a food processor, roughly process the oats for a few seconds. You want to obtain a coarse meal, not a fine powder. It is better to process in short bursts.
2) Add the almond milk (or regular milk, or water) to the food processor. Combine the honey, peanut butter (alternatively use cashew or almond), cocoa powder and acai powder (optional). On a high setting, process to incorporate all ingredients. If adding acai, it is better to add during this liquid step.
Note: I add the acai powder to give it an extra nutritional boost. The acai berry is a Brazilian superfood, which contains a high concentration of antioxidants. According to recent literature and information found online, acai may have anti-ageing and anti-cancer properties. This powder also adds some extra protein and fiber to the recipe.
Instead of acai, you could add wheatgrass powder for added nutritional benefit. As I mentioned previously, it does taste like green tea, so if that's your sort of thing then feel free to experiment!
3) To a mixing bowl, add the coarse oat flour, the whey protein powder and thoroughly mix.
Note: In this recipe I use the protein supplement ON Gold standard WHEY protein. If you are not using chocolate flavour powder, then unflavored or vanilla is OK, just ensure you add sufficient coco powder.
4) Pour the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Fully incorporate using your hands or a durable metallic spoon. Alternatively, if your food processor is large enough and powerful, you may combine these ingredients in the processor. I use the mixing bowl as my poor little processor couldn't handle all of these ingredients.
Note: Due to the high protein content, the mixture may have a very glutinous texture. You may find it hard to mix but this is normal!
5) Place the protein mixture into a freezer for 20 minutes to set. This makes the mixture much easier to separate into portions and to roll into balls.
6) Remove from the freezer and immediately separate the mixture into 8 evenly-sized pieces.
7) Between the palm of your hands, quickly roll each piece into a ball shape.
8) OPTIONAL: Add a healthy topping of your choice to the protein balls. Personally, I enjoy adding desiccated coconut or coarsely chopped pecan nuts. Walnuts, hazelnuts also work really well. Note that the calculated nutritional information in this recipe article does not include these optional toppings.
9) Once complete, you may enjoy these protein balls right away. Although for best results, it is best to let them rest in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, your protein balls will gain a chewy fudge-like texture, which is much more satisfying.
10) These balls should be okay to store in a sealed container within your refrigerator for a couple of days. If you wish to keep for longer then I would advise freezing. They defrost very quickly so this is a perfectly fine option. Enjoy!
© 2017 David Branagan