These delightful little gluten free protein balls take just a few minutes to make, last for weeks in the refrigerator, are a little bit sweet but not overly so, and are packed with the flavors of peanut butter, oats, coffee, and (if you add it) chocolate.
This recipe is a paid partnership with Naked Nutrition. I've worked with them to create these no-bake chocolate peanut butter breakfast cookies and these homemade gluten free cheese crackers and you will almost always find both in our kitchen at all times. I already know I love their products so was eager to dive in to a recipe that uses their delicious Naked Protein Coffee.
I am a daily coffee drinker and I can tell you right now this is a habit I have no intention of giving up for love or money. You'd have to pry that morning cup from my cold dead hands to get it away from me. Too dark?
Anyhoo, what I really want to tell you is that it should be no surprise that I have recently begun a love affair with these coffee flavored balls of peanut butter, oat, and coffee goodness. As a not-so-insignificant bonus, they are high in plant based protein, something I am increasingly interested in getting more of.
These little balls of protein packed goodness take just a few minutes to make, require no baking or cooking of any kind, and can be dressed up in any way you like, which for me always includes chocolate.
Easy + options + healthyish + delicious = true ❤️
Ingredients needed to prepare this recipe
- Use either flavor of Naked Protein Coffee - Mocha Latte or Vanilla Latte. Or, highly recommended, do what I did here and make some of each.
- Oats. Old fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats, work better in these protein balls than those labeled "quick cooking".
- Peanut butter. Use whatever brand you like, creamy or crunchy.
- Any kind of seeds. In the crackers you see pictured here, I used flax seeds and chia seeds but other good options include sesame, pumpkin, flax, and poppy seeds. Use all one kind or a mixture.
- Honey. Just one tablespoon of honey in these protein balls helps to hold them together and gives them a delicious sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor. If they're not sweet enough for you, just add more.
- Optional: Chocolate, chocolate chips, and/ or chopped peanuts. I usually do one of three things when I make these protein balls: mix in some mini chocolate chips, cover them with melted chocolate, or top them with some chopped peanuts. Sometimes (often) I do all three of these things. When covered in chocolate, they're like little truffles. 😋
About Naked Protein Coffee
Naked Protein Coffee contains 20 grams of grass-fed whey plus 95 milligrams of premium Colombian coffee (one cup of coffee). As with their other whey protein products, the ingredients are responsibly sourced and as few of them are used as possible. The brand isn't named naked for nothing.
Naked Protein Coffee gives these little protein balls a healthy dose of protein and flavor plus a super light caffeinated boost (only about 7 milligrams of caffeine in two small protein balls). Use either flavor - Mocha Latte or Vanilla Latte.
In the photos you see here, I used mocha latte to make the dark chocolate covered protein balls and vanilla latte to make chocolate chip protein balls and some with a white chocolate drizzle. Why relegate yourself to just one option when you could have three?
Step-by-step photos and instructions
And, by "step-by-step" I mean one-and-two. Two whole uncomplicated steps to making these tasty little treats.
#1. Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and...
mix it together. Use a spoon if you like, but I used my hands. We are not fancy around here.
#2. Roll them into balls and you're done. Unless you want to...
dunk them in melted chocolate, or...
drizzle them with white chocolate.
And if any of the aforementioned dunking or drizzling happens, I strongly suggest that you also sprinkle them with some chopped peanuts and a sprinkle of salt.
Additions, substitutions, and other tips
You really can add whatever you want to these little protein balls. If you add so much stuff that they aren't sticking together well, just add a bit more peanut butter. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate - milk, dark, or white. Or cacao nibs. Smaller pieces is better. So, mini chocolate chips or small pieces of chopped chocolate.
- Sprinkles. Want to do something really fun? Make funfetti protein balls by mixing in some rainbow sprinkles. They'll be kinda like funfetti cake, but with significantly more nutritional value.
- Any kind of chopped nuts. It's easiest to incorporate chopped nuts into these protein balls if they are very finely chopped or even ground. I usually use my food processor for this.
- Dried fruit. As with the nuts, you'll also want to chop any dried fruit into small-ish pieces. And, you'll probably need to add a bit more peanut butter and/ or honey to get them to stick together. My favorites are dried sour cherries and dried apricots.
- Sweetened shredded coconut. Blitz the coconut in the food processor to chop it up a bit and then just mix it right in. Sometimes I toast the coconut lightly in a dry skillet before adding it.
- If you want your protein balls to be creamier and less chunky, leave out the seeds or grind them in a food processor before mixing them in.
Store these protein balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
We mostly like to eat a couple of these in the afternoon, either as a dessert after lunch or as an afternoon pick-me-up, especially when our lunch didn't include a lot of protein.
Or, when we just need something sweet but don't want to eat a lot of sugar. Or, when we need a teeny-tiny caffein boost. Or, for any other reason but mostly just because we like them which is the best reason of all.
They also make a great breakfast treat. Especially for grab-and-go mornings. Or, for that matter, grab-and-go lunches or afternoon snack situations. Going to be out and about all day and want to be prepared? Toss a couple of these in a baggie and bring them with you.
For anyone new here, my husband and I are full time travelers who live in an RV. We move about the country quite frequently and these little protein balls are one of the things I pack to take with us on travel days.
The whole thing is usually eaten in the truck in a gas station parking lot because while we spend a lot of time at truck stops while hauling our 43-foot 5th wheel across the country, we do our best to avoid truck stop food. You really only have to make that mistake once. (Or twice. We are not always fast learners, but we usually get it in the end.)
I also like to serve these protein balls whenever I've made something kinda decadent for breakfast like...
I mean, sure, we're eating cake and pastry for breakfast, but we've got some protein in there too, right? 😉
Just kidding. No justification necessary. Eat what you like, friends. No apologies, no excuses.
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- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup Naked Protein Coffee, mocha latte or vanilla latte
- ¼ cup seeds (I used flax and chia seeds but pumpkin, sesame, hemp, and poppy seeds are also great options)
- ⅔ cup peanut butter (more to taste), creamy or crunchy
- 1 tablespoon honey (more to taste)
- Optional: melted chocolate, chopped peanuts, and salt
- Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. I usually use my hands to do this, but you can use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula if you prefer.
- Taste the mixture and decide if you'd like any additional honey or peanut butter.
- Roll the mixture into balls. I like them to be small-ish, about 20 grams each, which will give you 20 protein balls that are the size of a chocolate truffle. But, you can make them whatever size you like.
- At this point, you can dip or drizzle them with chocolate if you like. While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle them with chopped peanuts and a little pinch of salt. All of this is optional- the protein balls are also delicious plain.
- You can add pretty much anything you like to these protein balls. Scroll up for a list of additions.
- If you find that all the ingredients aren't sticking together as you'd like them too, just add a bit more peanut butter and/ or honey to the mixture.
- Store these protein balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
- Nutritional information is for plain protein balls without any added chocolate or peanuts.
- Each serving - 2 protein balls - contains 7 grams of caffeine.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 protein balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g