I’ve Got (Protein) Balls

by on March 27, 2011

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been trying to amp up my protein intake. As a pescaterian it’s pretty easy for me to get a good amount of protein at each meal, but sometimes it’s hard to find protein packed snacks that I WANT. There are a ton of options out there, I’m just more partial to sweet or carby snacks.

Plain Greek yogurt with stevia (to take away the tartness) and granola has been my go-to for a while, but I was still in need of something else.

I searched high and low for protein bar recipes but never found anything that looked great. I tried the microwaved protein cake recipe that’s been floating around the blogoshpere. <– It ended up being tossed after a few bites because it tasted like I was eating a sponge. I was about to give-up but then I saw Mama Pea’s Protein Truffles and Gina’s Amaze-Balls and decided these ladies might be on to something.

Protein Snack Balls.JPG

I made a batch of both.

Protein Balls.JPG

Mama Pea’s recipe was easy PEAsy and made about 10 Truffles (the darkest ones in the photo). I really enjoyed the chocolatey flavor! Although, I would not recommend using raw cacao powder instead of the cocoa powder like I did. My balls turned out a little on the bitter side. Next time I’ll plan on adding some stevia to the batter or just use regular cocoa powder.

Gina’s balls (the tan ones) were easy to make as well and resulted in 4 balls. I followed her recipe for the most part but left out the chocolate chips, reduced the maple syrup and added 1/2 T of water. They turned out to be delicious- the almond butter flavor is prominent (YUM!) and I love the crunchiness of the coconut pieces.

Being inspired, I decided to make a protein ball recipe of my own (the lightest ones).

Coconut Protein Ball Ingredients.JPG

I’ve had a jar of Nutiva’s Coconut Manna, a creamy coconut spread very similar to what other companies call coconut butter,  in my pantry for ages and decided it would be a good base for a ball. After liquifying the manna (like coconut oil and butter, it becomes solid at temperatures below 70°), I combined it with protein powder and hemp seeds (extra protein!!) and added some sweetness. The end result turned out great so here’s the recipe.

coconut protein balls.JPG

Coconut Protein Balls

Makes 4 balls / Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder**
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut manna (or coconut butter)
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Put all ingredients in a mini chopper/processor and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  2. Give the dough a stir and start to roll the mixture (with your hands) into 1 tbsp sized balls. It should make about 4. **If the dough is too crumbly add a few drops of water.
  3. Eat right away or store in an airtight container at room temp.

Nutritional Facts: 1 ball has approx. 100 calories, 7g Fat, 2g fiber, 5g carbs, 1.8g sugar, 8g protein

** You can use any type of vanilla protein powder. I’ve been using Sun Warrior Vanilla Protein Powder ever since Isaac’s mom got me hooked on it a year or so ago. It’s pricey, but it’s also the best tasting protein powder I’ve found. It’s raw, vegan brown rice protein powder, which is easier to digest. I also like that it’s sweet without any sugar and doesn’t taste chalky like other brands I’ve tried. I buy Sun Warrior online and always stock up when Gina has special Open Sky deals on it.

If you like coconut, you’ll love these balls! They’re perfect if you have a sweet tooth because they taste sweet, but are also super satisfying and filling. As it turns out, all of these balls are great as a pre or post workout snack, mid-afternoon pick me up or even an after dinner treat.

protein balls.JPG

Definitely try these balls, but if you’re looking for other protein packed snack ideas that are on the sweet side, here’s a little list I complied after asking my twitter friends for advice:

Alright friends, I’m off to enjoy my snowy Sunday (I can’t believe it’s snowing!!). I hope you plan to do the same.

PS- Thank you for all the kind comments, emails and tweets about my medical news. I’ll be doing a lot of research and getting a second opinion in the next few weeks. As always, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m staying positive. :)

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl March 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

Oooh, love the flavors!

So sorry I missed your medical news post – I’m praying that all gets better.

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Eating Bird Food March 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

Thanks Liz!

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Abby March 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

These look great! :)

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Mama Pea March 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

I must try your version! As soon as I get some coconut butter :)

I don’t know if you’ve tried dry-roasted edamame (Sea Point Farms makes a dry roasted and a wasabi flavor) but I love snacking on them while I’m watching TV.

Continued prayers for your back troubles :(

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Eating Bird Food March 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thank you lady, I really appreciate it.

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Angela March 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

How many carbs are in the protein balls?

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Eating Bird Food March 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

5g sis! How many points are they?

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Angela March 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

3 points per ball

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lynn @ the actor's diet March 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

ah good – something to do with that giant jar of coconut manna i still i have!!!

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Krystina (Organically Me) March 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Your balls look great! (heh heh)

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Eugenio March 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Those look like a great snack, cool you created your own version.

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J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) March 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I love (snack) balls! Never added protein powder to them, but would love to try. Yummy!

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Jess March 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I love sweet hummus, plus I’ll put peanut butter on almost anything!

Have you tried roasting chickpeas? You can give them a cinnamon sugar or honey coating.

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Eating Bird Food March 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Hi Jess. Great suggestion for roasted chickpeas. I love those as well!

What type of sweet hummus do you make?

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Jess March 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I like orange-coconut, cinnamon or honey flavored hummus. I’m sure as my baby blog grows (I’m only a week in!) some hummus recipes will pop up on there :)

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Eating Bird Food March 27, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Awesome! I’m excited to check them out.

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe March 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Mmm…they all look great. I’ve been meaning to try both of those recipes, I add yours to that list!

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Jess @JessCantCook March 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

These look really good, and you know I love anything that is cook-free :)

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Craig@cspinhealthyc March 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Love this post and can’t wait to try these. Many thanks.

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LauraJayne March 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I’ve been assuming that I get enough protein, but I’ve been doing some reading lately, and I’m going to start tracking my nutrition more carefully so I can make sure I’m getting enough! Your recipe looks delicious!

Best of luck for your health-related news. I’m definitely thinking of you and will look forward to an update after you get the second opinion!

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BroccoliHut March 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Ooh! I am all for any recipe calling for coconut butter:)

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natalie @ http://healthybalancingact.blogspot.com/ March 28, 2011 at 2:54 am

yum yes please!! i shall have to make these

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Nicole @ Fresh & Fit March 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

These look yummy, I’ve been trying to add protein to my meals to, What a great snack!

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janetha @ meals & moves March 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Those are some good lookin balls.

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Susi May March 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Love the title! Made me smile and I needed that on a Monday morning!

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Eating Bird Food March 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm
Liz @ IHeartVegetables March 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Wow, those look really good!!! And pretty protein packed :) These would be a great snack on the go!

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ChristinaAnne @ RegularGirl{Running} March 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Definitely going on my ‘must make’ list for this weekend!

I’m totally with you in regards to having trouble finding good and filling snacks (fellow pescaterian, here!), and I’m always shying away from protein bars because of how much sugar they tend to include. Plus, I’m learning to follow the whole ‘no more than 5-6 ingredients’ rule when buying pre-made stuff ….
Also if I can’t pronounce it/have no idea what it is … should I really be eating it? (think riboflavin …. ?!)

Can’t wait to try these!!! :)

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Eating Bird Food March 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Hi ChristinaAnne. I complete agree with eating whole foods and limiting packaged products have a laundry list of ingredients! Although ribolflavin is one ingredient you don’t need to worry about – it’s just vitamin B2. :)

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elise March 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

im so so sorry about your scoliosis :( ill keep you in my thoughts, but like you said, a second opinion never hurts.

as for the balls…im definitely going to have to give them a try. im craving coconut in a major way, so your adaptation looks like a winner. i need to get hemp seeds, this is, like, the 100th post ive starred with it as an ingred.

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Aggie March 28, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I’m pescatarian too and get concerned about my protein intake at times too. There are only so many nuts you can snack on right, lol. I do love hummus and greek yogurt so I try to stick to those for snacks, but sometimes I just want something quick and no fuss on hand. I like the sounds of these truffles….have to try them.

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

I posted a similar snack a few weeks ago. I only used raisins and almonds in a food processor then rolled in oats. These variations look great!

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Lea @ Healthy Coconut April 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I am the same with you that I like to snack on food that have some protein in them, I like adding protein for staying power and keeps me full.

Have you tried Simply Bar protein bars? I’ve tried them and they are great for when you are on the go. But of course, homemade is always better when you can make them because you can control the ingredients.

I want to try these balls. I have some hempseed that I haven’t opened because I don’t know what to do with them.

Thanks for the recipe

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Doe April 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Love your blog!

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Andrea June 8, 2011 at 2:18 am

WOW! THIS IS REALLY GREAT! THANKS FOR THE RECIPE AS ALWAYS! I have been buying “nut protein balls” at the health food store for 2$ each. Its nice to have a recipe to make them now.

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Nicole July 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Hi! I’ve been working out in the eeeeearrrrly a.m. and have been struggling to find something I can eat quickly that is packed with nutrition and doesn’t take long to make. My search led me to your blog, which in turn led me to this recipe… I made them for the first time today and they turned out so delicious! I had to substitute creamed coconut, which – when liquified – didn’t re-solidify as much as I’d like, but the taste is wonderful! I think if I refrigerate them overnight they’ll be just fine and if not, I’ll spread it on seed bread :) Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us :)

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Eating Bird Food July 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Hi Nicole and welcome!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the coconut protein balls. :)

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Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

I’ve been looking for some protein ball recipes and these look great, thanks!

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Mona April 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Nice and informative website.

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Courtney April 15, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I need to make these!! They look amazing!! :)

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Brittany Mullins April 16, 2014 at 7:03 am

Let me know how they turn out if you do! :)

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