peanut butter protein ballsPeanut butter protein balls are the perfect high-protein snack (9 g of protein per ball) or to enjoy as a post-workout energy boost. They are the perfect mix between a granola bar and cookie dough – sweet, peanut buttery, and chewy. These peanut butter protein bites are vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

Many people love store-bought protein bars because not only are they convenient, but they also taste really good. I mean, have you ever tried CLIF Builders Protein Bar? Definitely not the most wholesome (or healthy) option, but I remember being obsessed with them when I was spending hours in the gym every day (as a fitness instructor and a personal trainer).

Anyway, I now know better and try to incorporate more wholesome protein-rich foods into my diet rather than processed protein isolates. Remember that plant-based diets consisting of mostly wholesome foods are considered beneficial for all stages of life, whereas those including large amounts of processed plant foods are not. (1, 2)

Some of the best raw plant-based proteins include:

  • Hemp seeds: 5 g of protein per 1 Tbsp.
  • Peanut butter: 4 g of protein per 1 Tbsp.
  • Spirulina: 4 g of protein per 1 Tbsp.
  • Chia seeds: 2 g of protein per 1 Tbsp.
  • Quinoa flakes: 4 g of protein per ¼ cup.

The benefit of the above-listed foods is that they’re considered a complete protein, meaning that they contain all eight essential amino acids in sufficient amounts.

So, what better way to make a protein-rich snack than incorporating these ingredients into peanut butter protein balls?

protein balls

How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients

These peanut butter protein balls are packed with nutrient-dense, high-protein ingredients that will keep you satisfied all day long. 

  • Peanut butter: though peanut butter is the main flavor in these protein bites, it also adds moisture to the recipe. So, always choose natural, drippy peanut butter. If your peanut butter is on the thicker side, it helps warm up in the microwave for a few seconds until it’s a bit runny. If you don’t have peanut butter, you can substitute it with any other (drippy) nut butter. To keep these protein balls completely nut-free, replace the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter. Just keep in mind that peanut butter is the highest in protein out of all nut/seed butters.
  • Quinoa flakes: quinoa flakes give these protein balls a nice bite and act as a binder to soak up extra moisture. Of course, you could use rolled oats as a substitute, but again, quinoa is higher in protein than oats.
  • Hemp hearts: while not an essential ingredient, hemp hearts have a surprising amount of protein and add a soft crunch. You could substitute them with chia seeds for a poppy seed-like crunch. 
  • Maple syrup: a little bit of liquid sweetener is essential to bind everything together. A date syrup would also work.

ingredients for peanut butter balls

How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls

The great thing about these protein balls is that they don’t require any special equipment. No food processor. No blender. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Mix the ingredients. Add the quinoa flakes, peanut butter, hemp hearts, and maple syrup to a medium bowl and mix until well combined. The mixture should be thick and dense. If it’s too sticky, place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the mixture firms up and is easy to work with. If it’s too dry, add a little bit more peanut butter.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  3. Chill. Transfer the nut-free energy bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter Protein Bites Variations

The best thing about protein bites recipes is that they’re so versatile.

If you don’t have quinoa flakes on hand, use quick oats. Try chia seeds instead of heam hearts. Craving chocolate? Add cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips!

How to Store Protein Balls

  • Refrigerating: transfer the peanut butter protein balls to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: transfer the peanut butter protein balls to an airtight container, separate each layer with parchment paper so the balls don’t stick together, and freeze them for up to 1 month.

peanut butter energy balls

More Energy Bites Recipes

Looking for more energy bites recipes? Try these next:

  • Almond butter energy bites: looking for energy bites high in protein? These almond butter energy bites taste more like a dessert than a healthy protein bite. They are sweet, chewy, tender and contain 6 g of protein per serving.
  • Nut-free energy bites: these nut-free energy bites provide the right energy boost, whether first thing in the morning or midafternoon. They have the perfect sweet and tart flavor and a tender, slightly crunchy texture.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

peanut butter protein bites

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 14 bites
Peanut butter protein balls are the perfect high-protein snack (9 g of protein per ball) or to enjoy as a post-workout energy boost. They are the perfect mix between a granola bar and cookie dough - sweet, peanut buttery, and chewy.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (120 g) quinoa flakes
  • 3/4 cup (187.5 g) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Mix the ingredients. Add the quinoa flakes, peanut butter, hemp hearts, and maple syrup to a medium bowl and mix until well combined. The mixture should be thick and dense. If it's too sticky, place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the mixture firms up and is easy to work with. If it's too dry, add a little bit more peanut butter.
  • Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  • Chill. Transfer the nut-free energy bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover protein balls keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 14, Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keywords: peanut butter protein balls, peanut butter protein bites