Skip to main content

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.


  • 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)


  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.


  • 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


  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.

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.


  • 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)


  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.

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


  • 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


  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.

Editors' Recommendations

The difference between pies, buckles, betties, and more
A crumble or a cobbler? It's time to learn the difference
5 different pies from East Bay Pie Co.

Summertime will be here before we know it, and that means pie. It also means a lot of other delicious desserts that masquerade as pie but actually have names all of their own. So if you've been making the faux paux of calling a Pandowdy a Pie, or a Betty a Buckle, it's high time to learn the ins and outs of proper pastry names. Here are a few of the most common mix-ups.

A traditional cobbler is baked in a casserole dish instead of a pie plate. The fruit filling sits directly on the bottom, without a base dough, and then biscuit dough is dropped on top and baked in large rounds on the surface.

Read more
Colombian or Kona coffee: Which is the superior drink?
Colombian or Kona coffee: Sweet and spicy, or rich and chocolatey? Which do you prefer?
Ways to Make Coffee

If you're anything of a coffee connoisseur, you're well aware that coffee beans come from coffea plants, which is grown all around the world. Depending on your preference of flavor, boldness, and acidity, you may already have a preferred location from where your coffee originates. Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Honduras, and Vietnam all grow a delicious bean. And while all of these types and their rich, complex flavors are worth exploring, the two coffee varieties that people seem to be the most drawn to at the moment are Kona and Colombian.

While there are over 120 varieties of coffea plant, and each makes its own unique bean, coffee beans are usually broken down into four categories of flavor: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.

Read more
How to make your own cold brew coffee at home (no, it isn’t just iced coffee)
Cold brew coffee: Making this popular drink is easier than you think it is
international coffee drinks that arent dalgona cold brew ice

I grew up in a house where iced coffee was made by pouring the hours-old coffee pot leftovers over a glass of ice. Maybe a little milk was added, or, if you were feeling extra fancy, a splash of flavored creamer. Embarrassingly far into adulthood (before Keurig came along and cramped my style), that's how I made my "cold brew." For years, this was how I drank my warm-weather coffee. But oh, did I have it wrong.
In case you're unaware, cold brew, real cold brew, is made using an entirely different method than hot coffee. While hot coffee is generally made by running hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, cold brew is made more like our grandmothers made sun tea - set to steep for a while, becoming flavorful and delicious on its own with nothing added but love, water, and time.
The result is a much smoother, silkier, bolder and more flavorful cup of morning magic. When coffee is steeped this way, much of the bitterness smooths to be much gentler on the palette, allowing you to really taste the flavor of the beans in a whole new way. So how do you make cold brew at home?
There are plenty of gizmos out there, like cold brew coffee makers, jugs, and infusers, but there's no need for these. Like many needless kitchen tools, these accessories end up being shoved into the back of the pantry, never to be seen again. Our favorite method of making cold brew coffee involves nothing more than a good old-fashioned French press.

How to make cold brew coffee

Read more