How To Make Delicious and Healthy Protein Balls.
If you spend any time on Pinterest, no doubt you’ve seen plenty of protein ball and energy bite recipes floating around. Once you start making some of these protein balls at home- and you realize how easy it is to make homemade protein balls- and how perfectly portion-sized they are — you’ll understand why EVERYONE is obsessed with making homemade healthy protein balls. (Please note: this post was originally published on FitFluential, I’ve updated it and added my own ingredients/ideas)
Honestly, I now make a batch for my man and me about every other day. I don’t make HUGE batches, and I’ve become comfortable enough with the ingredients/ratios to experiment a bit and come up with my own “recipes” if you will.
These little nuggets of deliciousness not only taste great, but are super easy to make and so good for you. And in non-quaratine times, they are outrageously portable too. A perfect way to control the ingredients in what you eat (avoiding added sugar or preservatives), these bites will serve many purposes throughout your busy week. This is really a key point to consider- especially if you are like me and have to avoid specific foods/ingredients due to food reactivity or food intolerances.
To summarize, based on the Oxford Technologies food reactivity test I had done– I currently have to avoid: Corn (most reactive for me- and OMG y’all, corn is in EVERYTHING packaged– as corn syrup and even corn starch is in a lot of things), Wheat, Yeast, Flax, Soy, Bananas, Mangoes, Turkey, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and a few others– oddly enough, I did NOT test reactive to DAIRY and I’ve been avoiding dairy most of my adult life!! When I realized that so many of these things that I need to avoid (and many of you- if you are Celiac or you are working on your gut health etc.– you have to be diligent about not consuming ingredients/foods that will aggravate your gut and cause distress or an autoimmune response) are in even some fantastic healthy foods (for example, my favorite healthy brownies from Flax4Life have…..FLAX in it- I can’t have it)- I realize that for me, if I want to satisfy my raging sweet tooth, it’s best for me to make homemade healthy snacks where I KNOW exactly what is in them. Hence, the protein balls addiction has become a thing.
NOTE: The folks from Oxford Labs will be on our podcast coming up- because every time I share how life-changing that test was, EVERYONE asks me about it and how to get it- be sure you are subscribed- on iTunes or Spotify, I Heart Radio etc. Or you can simply catch all new episodes here on TheKellyOShow.com. BOOYA.
I also LOVE the portion size: most of the recipes I’ve made are about 125-150 calories per ball– so you can’t go eating them without restraint. For me, ever since I started focusing FIRST AND FOREMOST on caloric deficit in order to lose weight (and realizing that this is what WORKS- FYI I am down 5lb in my first 2 weeks of my new challenge. Details in the next blog post coming up- be sure you are subscribed!!) — AND now that I am weighing myself every morning (huge accountability factor!) knowing the calorie count for each protein ball keeps me in check- both my man and I have given each other permission to make sure we only eat 2-3 at a time.
Want to eat sweet treats and still lose weight? I’ve got you.
Ok- so smack dab in the middle of this post I must call this out. My passion is getting FIT and healthy and helping YOU do the same. So I want to be sure I direct you to some of the best and most relevant posts/podcasts I’ve published on WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BUST THROUGH THAT PLATEAU– because I don’t want you to make the mistakes I made for too long- like thinking “oh if I just eat CLEAN- and make healthy sweets recipes like this one on Kelly Olexa’s blog– I’ll lose weight!!”- nope. I’ve broken through all the fitness BS I’ve been listening to for too long and I’m losing weight! (5lbs in the past 2 weeks y’all by keeping the main thing the main thing! I want to HELP you do the same!)
So-here are some links — I STRONGLY URGE you to listen/read all of them- because once you have the huge A-hA moments I did- and you get that caloric deficit is the #1 most important thing for you– then you can come back here and make protein balls every day- and not be scared about bingeing on them– because your mind is in the right place.
- CLICK HERE to read why you need to cut out snacking, in my opinion (hint: the man and I eat protein bites yes but 90% of the time it’s our DESSERT. I occasionally have a snack but never mindless snacking- and more often we have treats like this as DESSERT after a meal)
- CLICK HERE to listen to my podcast with Bonnie Pfiester on why we need to get a grip and learn that we must DIET and DIET RIGHT for a short period of time to lose the weight.
- CLICK HERE to read my detailed blog about why you probably aren’t losing weight and how to fix that.
- CLICK HERE to read my post on what I’m doing NOW to get fit and keep losing weight during the Coronavirus Quarantine.
- CLICK HERE to read my post on how NOT to GAIN WEIGHT during Coronavirus Quarantine time.
- CLICK HERE to follow my Pinterest Board with tons of Protein Balls/Energy Balls recipes.
- CLICK HERE to follow The Kelly O Show Pinterest Board with tons of Bombtastic Balls Recipes.
Grab a couple for breakfast along with some fruit and Greek yogurt. Grab a bite before your workout for an energy burst. Hungry in between meals? These bites are your friend. In fact, any time you want to grab something quick and convenient to satisfy hunger pangs— protein bites are a perfect solution. Also: they are kid-friendly. Little hands love grabbing these little healthy bites.
Here’s what you’ll get nutrition-wise from these bites:
- a nice pop of protein, from the whey powder and the nut butters – Please note, I use Isagenix Undenatured Whey Protein- because I wanted to find a protein powder that was Sucralose-Free and offered #plantbased options- if you’d like to order some from me, use the Contact Me form, I’m happy to help as I am an independent rep for the company now, because my man and I are obsessed with their nutritional products.
- fiber from the oats and nuts
- healthy fats from the nut butters
Since there are about a million different recipes and variations, it can get a little overwhelming to know where to start. If you’ve never tried making these healthy bites before, this post will break down the basics of what types of ingredients go into protein balls.
After you make your first batch, you may want to experiment with different flavors and add-ons. There’s really no wrong way to make these, so get creative with the flavors and ingredients you like best.
Here are the basics:
- Pick a nut butter: you’ll need to choose one in this category, because of the sticky consistency. The nut butter will help to hold the other ingredients together. Some of my favorites: NUTTZO and Nuts N More and Smuckers All Natural
- Pick a protein powder: again this category is essential to the bites as it provides the protein and flavor while counteracting the stickiness of the nut butters. I use Isagenix Undenatured Whey Protein- because I wanted to find a protein powder that was Sucralose-Free and offered #plantbased options- if you’d like to order some from me, use the Contact Me form, I’m happy to help as I am an independent rep for the company now, because my man and I are obsessed with their nutritional products.
- Add an extra or two: You can choose one of more from this category. Oats, dried fruits, chocolate chips, coconut, or crushed nuts. For a flavor boost, try vanilla extract or cinnamon.
- Add seeds if desired: Superfood chia seeds, hemp or flaxseeds are great choices that provide some extra nutrition.
- Make it sweet: honey, applesauce, maple syrup are great choices for their sticky texture. Liquid stevia also works well, depending on your taste. One of the recipes I’ve been obsessing over lately uses 1 TBS of Coconut Oil too.
Now that you’ve chosen your ingredients, all that’s left to do is:
- Mix your ingredients together
- Form into bite sized balls
- Chill before eating. THIS IS KEY- and often I find if I chill the dough BEFORE making into balls, they are easier to handle.
Basic Protein Bites Recipe – yields about 18 bites
- 2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup nut butter
- 1/4 cup sticky sweetener
- 1 cup oats
- extras as desired (chia seeds, etc.)
Mix together your dry ingredients first. In a separate bowl, combine nut butter and sticky sweetener (if desired, microwave for about 8 seconds for easier mixing). Add sticky ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together. Add your extras if desired. Roll into balls and chill before eating! Enjoy!
These bites can stay about a week in the fridge, but usually they don’t last that long. Each recipe is slightly different, and you’ll want to experiment with the ratio of dry ingredients to wet, to find the right consistency for your favorite bites. If you use fewer sticky ingredients, you can always add a bit of almond milk to help make the ingredients easier to stir.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Ok- so if you are digging this post-I have some more for you. First of all, I have really been digging this recipe from Erin Lives Whole blog. CLICK HERE to check it out. This has been the one I’ve been making a lot of — notice she does not use protein powder — I am experimenting with varying some ingredients here and adding my favorite Birthday Cake flavor protein from Isagenix– stay tuned; note, it’s not as simple as just adding some scoops of protein powder to a recipe- you gotta nerd around with it to get the proportions right or you’ll have the equivalent of a bunch of sand in a bowl. 😉
So- do YOU have a favorite protein ball recipe? Let me know in the comments below or use the contact me form to send me a link, I’ll do a round up on amazing balls recipes next month if I get a good number of links!