I’m a busy person, and I’ve found that sometimes protein shakes can get boring especially when you have them every day. I found a way to keep my protein intake interesting by making my own protein balls at home.
It’s a perfect way to ensure that I get enough protein into my diet while not consuming too many calories. Protein balls are quick and easy to make just like protein shakes.
I don’t have to worry about what kind of ingredients are in protein balls when I make them myself. I know that they are healthy and use high-quality ingredients.
If you are coming from a very high sugar diet and often reach out for cookies and chocolate, then energy balls is a better option. They can help keep energy dips away when eating them.
- Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Nutritional Therapist
Here’s a compilation of some of my favorite protein ball recipes and a few tips from me.
Our Top Vegan Protein Balls Recipe
1. Peanut Butter Protein Balls via Texanerin
Peanut butter is a good source of protein and other vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
This is one of my favorite peanut butter protein ball recipes. It has vegan alternatives which make it a great option for protein balls. It’s also naturally gluten-free, whole grain, and dairy-free.
It’s also pretty simple to make. Unlike other recipes, it’s not required to have a food processor to make these protein balls. Simply mix all ingredients in a bowl, and roll the mixture into small balls.
The only issue is that it needs a little extra support to help the ball keep its shape. Adding a little bit of water did the trick, but adding vanilla might be a better choice for more flavor.
You don’t really need extra vanilla flavor though as the chocolate peanut butter taste is amazing.
When choosing the perfect peanut butter for this recipe, choose one that only contains peanuts and salt. Otherwise, it will have extra fat and sugar which won’t make these healthy peanut butter balls.
Here are the ingredients that you will need:
- 1 cup of natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup of honey or brown rice syrup for a vegan substitute
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups of rolled oats
- ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cups of mini vegan chocolate chips
2. Vegan Cookie Dough Protein Balls via V Nutrition and Wellness
Vegan Cookie Dough Protein Balls are delicious snacks for those with a sweet tooth. They have a lot of protein and are a tasty treat for the whole family.
You may be wondering if these are actually healthy for you, but I think these are a better choice compared to raw cookie dough. Raw eggs aren’t a safe option to consume, so this prevents getting any sickness.
For starters, it has no processed flour or sugar. The ingredients are still wholesome while still providing sweetness.
It contains a lot of protein with a combination of almond flour, vanilla protein powder, and peanut butter.
One or two of these protein balls will surely help keep you feeling full between meals.
The protein and healthy fat of the ingredients help with reducing blood sugar spikes.
Even though this has a lot of good nutrients for you, I would still exercise some self-control and consume in moderation.
These are the ingredients that you will need:
- ¾ cup of almond flour
- ½ cups of vanilla protein powder
- 3 tablespoons of mini vegan chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons of almond butter or peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons of dairy-free milk (I used almond milk)
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Simply mix the ingredients together and roll into balls.
3. Chocolate Protein Bliss Balls via Sweet Simple Vegan
If you are looking to enjoy a pure chocolate option, then this might be the right recipe for you. These vegan-friendly chocolate protein bliss balls are great for the taste buds.
They are also easy-to-make if you have a food processor. It’s also gluten-free and oil-free. There’s also no refined sugar. It’s practically made for people who focus on whole foods with their vegan diet.
The protein balls are a little harder to make compared to other recipes. You need to put the oats through a food processor to get small and consistent pieces that are easy to mix and don’t take over the whole chocolate ball. Even then, it only takes an extra 30 seconds. Afterward, you can put everything else into the food processor until the dough forms.
Here’s what is going to end up in your bowl:
- 1 cup of almonds
- ½ cups of quick oats or rolled oats
- 2 scoops (about 46 grams) of vegan chocolate protein powder
- ¼ cup or about 2 medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ cup of coconut water or non-dairy milk
4. Peanut Butter Cup Energy Bites via Minimalist Baker
The Peanut Butter Cup Energy Bites are pretty simple with only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make it.
There’s not a lot of protein in this because it doesn’t have any protein powder, but do you get a little protein from the peanut butter and chia seeds. Overall, it’s not a great resource for protein, but it does contain other nutritional elements that are good for you.
I wouldn’t exactly say it tasted like a peanut butter cup, but it does have a nice chocolate peanut butter combination. I love the natural sweetness from the dates and the crunchy bite from chia seeds. Overall, it had a great taste.
Let’s take a look at what you need for these protein balls:
- 1 cup of pitted dates
- 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- ⅔ cup of oats
- ¼ cup of dairy-free dark chocolate
This is another recipe that you will need a food processor, and you’ll start by chopping up the dates before adding the other ingredients to create the dough.
5. Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls via Cotter Crunch
Coconut can be good for you due to its nutritional value. It has carbs, protein, manganese, copper, iron, and selenium.
So I was excited to find try using coconut as one of the star ingredients. They are pretty delicious. If you need a nut-free vegan option, then you can replace the nut butter with sunflower seed butter.
The ingredients manage to have little to no amounts of sugar, but the overall taste was still sweet.
Of course, this sugar amount might change if you have to add maple syrup. If you don’t have a food processor, then you will need it to help mix the ingredients together.
The recipe uses coconut oil as a binder which helps bring out the coconut flavor. It does take a bit for the coconut oil to smooth out the ingredients, but it doesn’t take up too much time.
You will have to chill the batter in the fridge though before you can roll them into balls. It’s an extra step to consider, especially if you have limited fridge space.
If you want to enrich the chocolate flavor, add a pinch or two of cacao powder made by Navitas Organics.
Cacao powder tastes slightly bitter, although many people come to love its rich flavor
- ⅓ cup of ground flax meal
- 4 tablespoons of nut butter of choice
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 scoops (about 60 grams) of unsweetened chocolate protein powder
- ⅓ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (plus extra if you want to roll the balls in it as a topping)
- 2-3 tablespoons of dark chocolate morsels or cocoa nibs
- 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey (optional)
Is It Better To Make Your Own Vegan Protein Balls?
Let’s break down the pros and cons of making your own protein balls.
- You know exactly what is in your protein balls
- They are made fresh
- Flexibility with what ingredients you use and how much
- You can decide how much protein and calories are in each ball
- Despite being quick to make, they do take up some time to make
- Most recipes call for a food processor which is something you may or may not have
At the end of the day, it’s up to your own personal needs. Maybe grabbing pre-made snacks is quicker for you compared to spending a few minutes making protein balls.
However, I think the time investment is worth it considering how much control you get over the ingredients and the quality of those ingredients.
It's also nice to combine this with a vegan muscle building meal.
What Are the Best Ingredients for Vegan Protein Balls?
One of the great things about vegan protein balls is that they are easy to customize. It’s hard to find an ingredient that won’t work. There are a few basic ingredients though.
- Binder - The most important is choosing the right binder ingredient. It’s an ingredient that will help the ingredients stick together and keep the ball shape. Binder options include coconut oil or nut butter.
- Protein - You will also need to choose a protein, perhaps a vegan one. Some ingredients naturally have protein in them, but you may want to consider using a vegan protein powder if you are looking for high-protein balls. In fact, some studies claim that since plant-based proteins have reduced amount of limiting essential amino acids, it provides a preventive effect against cardiovascular disease (6)
- Texture - The last consideration is choosing an ingredient to roll the balls in. It’s completely optional, but I love adding a little texture this way. Popular choices include shredded coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and pure (vegan) cocoa powder.
What Vegan Protein Powder Should I Use?
Some of the recipes call for a specific flavor of protein powder. Most call for either chocolate or vanilla.
My favorite protein powder to use for protein balls is Transparent Labs. It mixes well with other ingredients and didn’t add any gross flavors.
I also love knowing that this product has 24 grams of protein in each serving and is organic with no artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives.
It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors which makes it a great choice for most recipes that call for protein powder.
Protein balls are a quick and easy way to get protein into your diet.
If you are a vegan athlete who is sick of protein shakes, then this may be a good option for you. Incorporating protein balls as snacks will help you stay on track and not veer off into unhealthy eating habits.
There are a lot of great recipes to choose from online, but it’s simple to make your own too.
Want more snacks? Check out the best vegan protein cookie recipes too.