A delicious blend of coconut and vegan protein powder-coated in healthy chocolate. These coconut protein balls are the perfect blend of indulgence and fuel. Made without oats, these no-bake protein balls are the ideal way to stay full and curb a chocolate craving. They make an easy no-bake snack or mini pick-me-up mid-day!
When it comes to healthy snacks I am a huge fan of anything "bite-sized" that I can pop into my mouth and devour in under thirty seconds.
While this may not be the healthiest of habits (and not something I fully coach as a Certified Nutrition Coach), it is an effective one to stay full as a mom!
These coconut protein balls are not only easy to make but they’re even easier to eat!
Ingredients You’ll Need
These gluten-free protein balls are made with simplicity in mind. So, ingredients are minimal!
Though most protein balls use peanut butter (or almond butter) to bind them, these gluten-free protein balls use neither.
Vanilla Protein Powder: this recipe uses a vegan blend (learn more below) because it absorbs liquid the best which helps hold the protein balls together.
Shredded coconut: opt for unsweetened shredded coconut or the protein balls will be just a little TOO sweet.
Honey: used to bind the balls together and give them a sinfully indulgent flavor.
Hemp Milk: I use homemade hemp milk but any store-bought, plant-based milk will do!
Chocolate chips: the chocolate part of the coconut protein balls is made from a combination of chocolate chips, coconut oil, and cacao butter (a wicked burst of healthy fats!). Make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips to keep these balls allergy-friendly!
Step By Step Photos
How To Make Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls
1. Combine the coconut and vegan protein powder in a bowl.
2. Add in the wet ingredients and mix (it will seem dry!).
3. Use your hands to portion them into balls and place in the freezer.
4. Melt together the chocolate coating over low heat.
5. Toss the balls and place them back in the freezer to set.
Does The Protein Powder Have To Be Vegan?
Though eliminating whey powders and dairy, in general, can be beneficial (here's how to eliminate dairy and not hate life), these protein balls need a vegan protein powder for another reason.
Plant-based protein powder tends to "fluff up" and bind better as it absorbs liquid. this gives the coconut protein balls a bit of a light feeling to them... which makes them alarmingly easy to eat 😉 Learn more about the differences between whey and pea protein.
Conversely, while I think whey protein would blend into the balls well, I'm not sure they would hold together. Also, whey tends to be sweeter than vegan protein powder so truthfully I think they'd end up "sickly" sweet.
Choosing A Vegan Protein Powder For The
Coconut Protein Balls
These no-bake protein balls have been made with a few vegan protein powders (learn How To Choose A Vegan Protein Powder for your goals). Specifically, Genuine Health Fermented Powder as well as Progressives Fermented Protein Powder.
Progessive’s Harmonized Fermented Vegan Protein Powder is a blend of five non-GMO legumes, grains, and seeds.
It’s allergy-friendly (no dairy, gluten, nuts, or soy) and is sweetened with only stevia and monk fruit.
But best of all is that this protein is fermented. This helps break down the “anti-nutrient” in grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes that often causes bloating.
So this protein powder not only contains 23g of protein per serving but it also aids digestion and helps keep you bloat-free!
TIP: Make sure to use a vanilla protein powder. Because of the honey, coconut, and chocolate chips in this recipe, using a flavored (sweetened) protein powder makes them a bit too sweet.
Coating The Energy Balls In Chocolate
When making the chocolate coating for these protein energy balls, you'll want to make sure to heat the ingredients over low heat.
The chocolate uses dairy-free chocolate chips as its base and heating them over high heat will cause the chocolate chips to burn.
Likewise, make sure you move fast when coating them! Because the energy bites are coming out of the freezer, the chocolate chips will harden quickly once you start dipping them!
Important Teaching Tips
Make sure to use vanilla protein powder. Because of the honey, coconut, and chocolate chips in this recipe, using a flavored (sweetened) protein powder makes them a bit too sweet.
Every protein powder absorbs liquid differently. Using a different protein powder will affect the texture of the gluten-free protein balls and you may need to add more liquid.
This recipe does use both honey and chocolate chips (in addition to shredded coconut) for sweetness. So for some, they can definitely be too sweet and much more like dessert.
If this is the case, you can use an unflavored protein powder to cut down on the sugar level or opt not to coat the energy balls in chocolate. Or you can use sugar-free chocolate chips which may be less sweet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Protein Balls
The short version is yes! Getting more protein into your diet helps keep you full and snack less. Plus, protein helps boost our immune system and replenish muscle mass. And protein balls are an easy way to boost your intake.
Because vegan protein powder absorbs liquid, you tend to need quite a bit. If your protein balls are not sticking together, try adding a bit of water or plant-based milk. Add only a little at a time until the mixture becomes a bit more "tacky". Then really press the mixture together to get them to hold.
Most people respond well to a higher protein diet. And given that protein helps keep you full longer, people tend to snack less when consuming protein. Thus, protein balls can be part of a healthy weight loss plan.
Whether you use no-bake protein balls as a healthy snack or dessert depends on your own health goals! You'll want to check out the amount of sugar versus protein in the balls and base it around that. If the sugar is low (under five grams) and the protein is higher (over 10 grams) per serving, they serve as a healthy, protein snack.
Other Protein Balls You'll Fall In Love With
- Peanut butter and jam protein balls
- Chocolate fudge balls
- No-bake bounce balls
- Cookie dough protein overnight oats
- High protein granola
- Chocolate chip granola bars
- High protein cookies
- High protein pancakes
- Yogurt protein pancakes
- Energizing protein bar
- Easy, no-bake vanilla protein bar
- High protein snack recipes
Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls (No-Bake, Gluten-Free, No Peanut Butter)
- In a large bowl combine the shredded coconut and vanilla protein powder.
- Measure out the honey and pour it and the almond extract into the powder
- Mix and mix well- it will seem dry. Add in the almond milk, water and mix again until everything is at least combined.
- Line a tray with parchment paper and rub some coconut oil onto your hands (to help prevent sticking).
- Using your hands (grease them with coconut oil first!), portion and roll the mixture into little balls (8 them). Place them on the tray
- Place the tray into the freezer to set.
- In a small pot, melt the coconut oil, chocolate chips and cacao butter over medium to low. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the frozen balls into the pot and toss until coated. Place them back on the parchment paper and into the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
- Repeat the process and coat the balls one more time, placing them back into the freezer.
- When ready to eat, let the protein balls thaw for five minutes before popping them into your mouth.
- The brand of protein powder you use will affect the flavor and consistency of the balls
- The recipe makes 8 balls. Two balls is one serving
- Let the balls thaw at room temperature for fifteen minutes (or in the fridge for longer) before enjoying
- You will have a bit of chocolate sauce leftover, dunk some almonds in it and let harden in the fridge for a treat
- If left outside, the chocolate coating will begin to melt. These balls are best kept slightly cool
- Keep in mind the protein values may be off by 1-2 grams as it depends on which protein powder you're using. Each vegan protein powder has a different markup of ingredients which can alter the intake slightly.