I have to tell you right away that this protein balls recipe tastes best warm. Just saying because I know many of you do not read the post completely. And I get it, no worries, we are still friends.
As soon as I nailed this protein balls recipe and took a first bite, I almost died in heaven! These protein balls came out so soft, fluffy and tender. I didn’t expect that at all because most protein balls are dense. But because I didn’t use dates or any dried fruit to sweeten the balls, they melt in your mouth. And of course I made sure the chocolate and coconut flavours were prominent.
I’m not going to lie and pretend that these protein balls taste exactly like an Almond Joy bar. Seriously, the only way to make them taste like one would be to melt a pound of chocolate with coconut flakes. So, let’s be honest and say the balls are similar in taste to my favourite chocolate bar ever – Bounty or Almond Joy, as Americans know it.
I first ever tasted a Bounty bar when my mom brought one from England. Many years ago. It remained my favourite chocolate bar ever. I recently tried Luna protein bar that was very similar to a Bounty. In fact, these protein balls reminded me of a famous childhood Ukrainian pastry “potato” or “kartoshka”. It was as popular as brownies.:)
This protein balls recipe is super simple but a few notes won’t hurt, right?! Like with any nut involving recipe, it is important to use powerful food processor. Any blender won’t work – neither Vitamix, nor Magic Bullet. There is not enough liquid to move the dough around in a blender. Other than that, no extra tricks. Just make sure to process dry ingredients into fine powder first.
And try to use as pure and clean ingredients as possible! I linked ingredients I use or similar in the recipe below. Something like organic vegan protein powder (I stay away from whey protein), organic unsulphured coconut flakes and organic coconut milk (I’m yet to find BPA free cans). Do your best and what you can. Every little step counts.:)
Almond Joy Protein Balls
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup plant-based protein powder I used Sunwarrior*
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1 tbsp stevia extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 5 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut milk light (canned)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes + more for coating
- In a food processor, add almonds, protein powder, cacao powder, stevia extract, salt and process until fine powder forms.
- In a small bowl, stir together coconut oil, honey, coconut milk, vanilla and add to a food processor. Process until smooth dough forms, stopping and scraping the walls of a food processor. It took me about 3-5 minutes and my food processor needed a few breaks. Then add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes and process until combined, 1-2 minutes.
- Place some coconut flakes on a plate, scoop golf size amount of dough, roll with your hands into a ball and coat in the flakes. Alternatively, you could use a bag with small amount of coconut flakes in it and shake to coat the protein ball. Repeat until you run out of dough.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I liked these protein balls fresh and warm the best! So, when I want one, I warm it up in a microwave for a few seconds. You could also freeze the balls for up to 3 months.
- *I do not recommend using whey protein powder as it absorbs liquids differently than plant-based protein.
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