These Chocolate Protein Balls are super delicious and so easy to make. Made with unsweetened cocoa powder, shredded coconut, and dates, you will love this recipe that is perfect as breakfast or an after workout snack. Best of all, they’re no bake, paleo friendly, gluten-free, raw, vegan and refined sugar free.
Chocolate Protein Bite Recipe
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Looking to switch things up? Be sure to check out this Protein Balls post that includes more healthy protein ball recipes.
Ingredients For Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls
Many protein ball recipes use a combination of old-fashioned rolled oats, natural peanut butter, honey and maple syrup Since we are trying to keep these protein balls vegan and grain-free, we are going to be using:
- Unsweetened shredded coconut – for that nutty flavor and additional subtle sweetness
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened or can substitute with your favorite cacao powder
- Dates – pitted; for that healthy sweetness – to make these protein balls keto, simply omit the dates and swap with a liquid sweetener such as Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple Syrup
- Almonds – blended in a food processor for that nutty texture and boost of plant protein
- Vanilla extract – for additional flavor and well rounded sweetness
- Protein Powder: we like NuZest Just Clean or Sprout Living Pea Protein but you can use your favorite. We have not tested this with a Whey protein powder since we wanted to keep this recipe vegan but feel free to do so if it fits with your dietary preference.
How to Make Chocolate Protein Balls
- FOOD PROCESSOR: In the bowl of a food processor, add almonds and pulse until they are finely chopped (be careful not to pulse too long or they will start to turn into a paste).
- MIX INGREDIENTS: Add dates, coconut, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Continue to pulse the mixture for about 2-3 minutes (scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed) or until the mixture easily holds together and sticks to the bowl.
- SCOOP MIXTURE: Using a measuring spoon or a small cookie scoop, measure out 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture. Roll into a ball and flatten.
Place an almond in the middle.
- ROLL INTO BALLS: Scoop another 1/2 tablespoon of the date mixture on top and roll into balls.
- COAT WITH COCONUT: Roll the ball into the bowl of shredded coconut topping. Repeat with rest of mixture.
- STORE & SERVE: Store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Variations and tips for making the best healthy protein balls
- Wet hands slightly before rolling into balls to avoid sticking
- Add a touch of liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter treat
- Add cinnamon, pistachios, dried fruit, hemp or chia seeds, or flax meal for additional benefits
- Feel free to add a spoonful of natural peanut butter, nut butter or seed butter of your choice to bump up the protein and healthy fats if not paleo
- Toss in a handful of dairy-free chocolate chips
Storage and Freezing
The great thing about making your own homemade protein snacks is that you can make a batch ahead of time and store them for later. To store these healthy protein bites, simply transfer these chocolate protein bites into an airtight storage container and place in the refrigerator. These healthy protein bites will last in the fridge for up to two weeks!
Did you know this recipe is also incredibly easy to freeze? Make a double batch and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to set. After the energy bites set, we like to store them in freezer-friendly storage bags or containers.
Are protein balls healthy?
These energy bites are filled with wholesome ingredients that are full of protein, fiber, and other nutrients. We recommend these for a nice well-rounded snack!
More Healthy Snack Recipes You May Enjoy
Energy Bites that taste like Almond Joy candy bars made with healthier ingredients to beat that chocolate craving! They are gluten-free, raw, vegan and refined sugar-free.
- 2 cups dates , pitted (I used pitted Medjool dates) - swap with liquid low carb sweetener for keto (Lakanto Sugar-Free Maple Syrup)
- 1/2 cup almonds plus 15-16 extra almonds set aside for the filling
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 Tablespoons cacao powder OR sub with unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (feel free to use all one variety - I use a mixture for more depth of flavor
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- In the bowl of a food processor, add almonds and pulse until they are finely chopped (be careful not to pulse too long or they will start to turn into a paste).
Add dates, coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and protein powder (if using). Continue to pulse the mixture for about 2-3 minutes (scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed) or until the mixture easily holds together and sticks to the bowl.
- Using a measuring spoon, scoop out 1/2 tablespoon of mixture. Roll into a ball and flatten.
- Place an almond in the middle.
- Scoop another 1/2 tablespoon of the date mixture on top and roll into balls.
- Roll the ball into the bowl of shredded coconut topping. Repeat with rest of mixture.
- Store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
*I used pitted Medjool dates but you may substitute with any other pitted date but you will need to soak them for 20 minutes in water to soften first. Drain the water prior to using the soaked dates.
*I use a mixture of toasted and untoasted shredded coconut for more depth of flavor and a pretty contrast of color. Feel free to use just one variety.