As a mid-day snack or to boost your energy before going to the gym, these little protein balls are packed with high protein and heart-healthy fat and fibre. If you’re busy and on the go, popping one or two balls will keep you going until your next meal.
There are so many ways to make protein balls, but what they all have in common are the healthy raw ingredients. The next time you make them, use your imagination and add those raw foods that you like.
You can substitute the dates with dried prunes, figs or apricots or add the nuts or seeds that you prefer. For extra taste, I sometimes add grated ginger or grated orange peel.
In this recipe, for extra protein, I’ve added chia seeds and powdered hemp heart seeds. According to Dr. Axe, hemp powder is loaded with more healthy omega fatty acids and fiber than many other common protein powders. Hemp also improves fatigue and helps build up the immune system. For an overview on seeds and how to incorporate them into your foods, here’s an infographic on “Ten Healthy Seeds“.
Protein balls are easy to make with a food processor and can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in fridge or in freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Energy protein balls
Makes 30 to 35 balls
Caution: to avoid overheating the motor of your food processor, don’t process all of the ingredients at once. Just process the ingredients under “Paste” below and add them to the “Dry”.
- 3 tablespoons (tbsps) hemp powder
- 3 tbsps chia seeds (white or brown)
- 2 tbsps 100% cacao powder
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup or 12 fresh/soft medjool dates, pitted
- 6 tbsps pure almond butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2-4 tbsps warm water (if needed)
Soak the pitted medjool dates for 5 minutes in a small bowl of hot water (they should be very soft). Remove the dates from the water and roughly chop them. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix them with a fork. Set aside.
In the bowl of your processor make the paste. Add the cashews, softened dates, almond butter and maple syrup and process until all ingredients are blended and the nuts have broken down into small pieces. You may need to stop the processor and push your ingredients a few times and/or add a little warm water, if need be. Don’t add too much water or the mixture will be too sticky.
Remove processor blade and combine the paste mixture with the dry ingredients. Mix this with a fork until the ingredients are well blended. Put in fridge for 30 minutes to chill or in freezer for 10-15 minutes. The chia seeds will expand.
Take out mixture, wash your hands and roll a tablespoon-size of mixture between the palms of your hands to form little balls. Place them on a baking sheet or parchment paper. You should have 30-35 protein balls. Store them for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in fridge or in freezer for 3 to 4 months.