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Vegan + No Bake + Protein Monster Energy Balls Recipe

These monster protein balls have quickly become a favorite healthy snack in my family.  I like to make these for a special after-school snack or when I know that we have a busy weekend ahead filled with youth sports and birthday parties.  These peanut butter energy balls only take 10 minutes of hands-on time, so I find it’s easy to work these into my meal prep schedule.  These are the perfect healthy snack to have on hand, and I love knowing that my kids will have a healthy and homemade option on our especially busy days.

Healthy Energy Balls

If you are looking for ways to get your children involved in the kitchen with you, this is a great place to start.  This is one of those healthy snack recipes that is so easy to make.  These no bake energy bites are full of healthy ingredients with healthy fats and protein and no added sugar.  So, you can relax because your kids will love licking the peanut butter spoon, sneaking a few chocolate chips into their mouths and helping you roll the final product into balls.  

Desired Consistency

The perfect consistency for no bake energy balls is really a matter of personal preference.  Some people prefer a firmer bite, while others prefer a softer texture.  Have fun with this recipe and experiment with ratios and add-ins until you find the consistency that is perfect for you! Here are a few tips and tricks to getting your desired consistency every time:

  1. Adjust ratio of wet to dry ingredients: If your mixture is too crumbly, add more nut butter or a liquid like coconut oil, natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup) or even some nut milk.  If your mixture is too sticky and wet, add more oats.
  2. Drippy peanut butter: If you are using natural peanut butter from the bottom of the jar, chances are that it is too thick and dry.  If that is the case, let the peanut butter come to room temperature.  Add a small amount of neutral oil.
  3. Chilling:  If you think the mixture is too sticky, be sure that you refrigerate for 30 minutes before adjusting the ingredients.  Refrigerating will help the ingredients firm up before being shaped into balls.   
  4. Shaping into balls: Slightly dampen your hands with water or oil before rolling into balls to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.  Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon to evenly portion out the balls.
energy balls
ingredients for monster energy balls

Simple Ingredients

  • Oats – You can use old fashioned oats, quick oats, or a mix of the two.  If you are needing to keep this recipe gluten free, be sure that you use certified gluten-free oats.   While oats are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination can occur when harvesting or processing the oats.  My family and I like the texture of using whole oats for this recipe.  However, if you would like a finer texture, you can place your oats in a blender or food processor and give them a few, quick pulses.  You will want to be careful not to over process the oats as whole oats quickly become oat flour using this method.
  • Protein Powder – You can use any protein powder that you like to suit your dietary needs.  I personally follow a gluten free, dairy free diet that is mostly paleo.  Our favorite protein powder for this recipe is Amy Myer’s brand and here is my affiliate link.  Any plant-based protein powder will also work.  I suggest using a vanilla or even chocolate flavor to keep with the chocolate, peanut butter flavor combination in this recipe.  If you prefer to use an unsweetened protein powder, collagen powder also works.
  • Peanut Butter – You can use any nut or seed butter that you like.  Almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter all make great substitutes to get that nutty flavor into the energy balls. The key here is using drippy peanut butter.  If your peanut butter is not a drippy consistency, you change that by adding a small amount of neutral oil like coconut oil or avocado oil until desired consistency is achieved.  If your peanut butter is stored in the refrigerator, I have found that setting it on the counter at room temperature for an hour or so before using will help make the peanut butter more drippy and therefore easier to work with. 
  • Honey – Maple syrup, date syrup or agave nectar make great natural sweetener substitutes.
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts – You can substitute sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any chopped nuts you prefer.
  • Chocolate Covered Candies – In order keep this recipe dye-free, I purchased chocolate covered candies from Trader Joe’s.  These are similar to M&Ms but are dye-free.  Unreal makes a similar product, but the product found at Trader Joe’s is a fraction of the cost.  Note: The Trader Joe’s option does contain dairy.  Unreal’s version may contain dairy.  You can omit completely and double the chocolate chips if you are needing a dairy free recipe.  Or, you can add in some dye-free sprinkles for dairy-free pops of color.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – I used Enjoy Life mini, semi-sweet, dairy-free chocolate chips.  You can use any type of chocolate chips that you like – dark chocolate chips work well in this recipe too.
  • Salt – A little sea salt is all you need, just a pinch is perfect to highlight all of the flavors.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla extract is one of my favorite ingredients when making special treats.  A little splash is perfect!

Optional add ins 

There are so many ways to make vegan energy balls.  I wanted to offer a few ideas for substitutions and swaps to customize these energy balls according to your dietary needs and personal taste preferences.

  • Seeds – You can add 1-2 tablespoons each of chia seeds, hemp seeds or ground flaxseed for some added, vegan protein.
  • Other add ins – Instead of chocolate candies, you can swap out for a quarter cup of coconut flakes, dried fruit like raisins or even diced medjool dates, cocoa powder or cacao beans.  The options are truly limitless, these are just a few suggestions to help you create the perfect flavor combination for you and your family.

Storage

Place energy balls in an airtight container.  Be sure to line container with parchment paper and also separate layers of energy balls with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.  

  • Refrigerator – These will stay fresh when stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer – These will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.  If freezing, allow time to thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying.
energy balls

Vegan No Bake Protein Monster Energy Balls Recipe

Sarah Erickson
These are an easy and healthy afternoon snack! My kids enjoy making these with me too!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup drippy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla optional

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate covered candies
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the nut butter and honey. Stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir again to combine.
  • Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes to allow it to firm up before scooping.
  • Use a tablespoon or tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to scoop even amounts of the energy ball mixture. Using your hands, roll portioned amount into a ball shape. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until finished.

Notes

Equipment:
Baking sheet
Parchment paper or wax paper
Tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, or tablespoon
Keyword after school snack, afternoon snack, energy balls, gluten free, high protein, vegan

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