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Holiday-Inspired Homemade Protein Ball Recipes

Protein bars are a convenient way to refuel after a hard workout or keep hunger at bay between meals, but they are expensive and often packed with all sorts of fillers, processed ingredients, and artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. It is actually quite easy to throw together your own no-bake protein bites at home, and they travel really well. They also make a great substitute for sugar-laden, conventional protein bars, and we’ve specifically created some protein ball recipes to celebrate the flavors of the holiday season.

Now, you can make your own healthier protein-packed version of holiday treats like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and candy canes. Each recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, and does not contain refined sugars or oils. So, if you want to try your hand at holiday-inspired healthy treats, keep reading for four fun and easy recipes for festive homemade protein balls.

Gingerbread Cookie Protein Balls

No bake protein bites balls sitting in a pan.
Dayvision / Pexels

These gluten-free and vegan protein balls have all the familiar flavors of classic gingerbread cookies in a nutritious, chewy bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • .75 cup almond butter
  • .5 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup plain or vanilla pea or rice protein powder
  • .25 cup dark molasses or pure maple syrup
  • .25 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • .75 tsp ground ginger
  • .25 tsp allspice
  • .25 tsp ground cloves
  • .25 tsp sea salt
  • Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until fully mixed and sticky. Add more almond milk if it is too dry to hold together.
  2. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls.
  4. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture if desired.
  5. Enjoy right away or store up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Chocolate Peppermint Bliss Balls

If candy canes are your favorite holiday treat, you’ll love these tasty chocolate peppermint protein balls. They are gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup SunButter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate or plain protein powder
  • .5 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 crushed candy canes

Method

  1. Add everything except the crushed candy canes in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. If the dough is too dry, add more almond milk. If it is too wet, add another tablespoon or two of protein powder.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll each ball in the crushed candy canes.
  4. Chill balls in the fridge 20 minutes or until firm.
  5. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

pile of Pumpkin pie protein balls in a bowl sitting on a counter.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many homemade energy balls use dates, which impart a pleasant chewy texture but are high in natural sugar. These easy pumpkin pie balls are date-free, vegan, gluten-free, and only contain a few ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashew butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • .75 cup plain or vanilla pea or rice protein powder
  • Rolled oats or almond flour (optional)

Method

  1. In a large saucepan over low heat or In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the nut butter and maple syrup until liquid and warm. Whisk until combined.
  2. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined or a thick, firm batter has firmed.
  3. If the dough is too loose, add rolled oats or almond flour, a little at a time until firm.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Chill the balls in the refrigerator until firm.
  6. Enjoy!

Coconut Cranberry Snow Balls

cranberry coconut protein balls sitting on a shallow plate on top of a checkered hand towel.
Pixabay

These protein balls have chewy cranberries, nutty coconut, and a bit of orange zest for a tart and sweet festive bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup natural almond butter or cashew butter, warmed
  • .25 cup maple syrup
  • .5 cup plain or vanilla protein powder
  • .5 cup plus 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • .5 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Zest of two oranges

Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, orange zest, cranberries, nut butter, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, and melted coconut oil until a dough is formed.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop or clean hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls.
  3. Roll each ball in the remaining shredded coconut.
  4. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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