No Bake Coconut Protein Balls contain just 6 ingredients with no added sugar and take just 20 minutes to make. Loaded with delicious flavors, this protein balls recipe is perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack!
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While I didn’t grow up eating healthy snacks between main meals, these no bake coconut protein balls seem to be on repeat in our household.
Made up of just 6 all natural pantry ingredients they fuel the body with healthy nourishment!
You may also have also heard these called energy bites, protein bites, or power balls. Regardless of name, nutrient-dense energy balls are loaded with healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, and various other vitamins and minerals.
They are also gluten free and refined sugar free using only dates to naturally sweeten them!
What You Need to Make Protein Balls
This grab-and-go snack is a great way to easily up your protein and fuel the body with healthy nourishment rather than just grabbing the nearest snack available!
- Medjool dates: Medjool are the best date variety to use for texture and flavor! You could use other date varieties if needed but they will need to be soaked to soften. Also similar dried fruit like apricot or fig will work.
- Almonds: Cashews, pecans or walnuts could be substituted. To make this recipe nut free, use sunflower seeds instead.
- Cacao powder: Or unsweetened cocoa powder packs in antioxidants and chocolate flavor to the coconut protein balls.
- Protein powder: I use unsweetened whey protein powder. It can be unflavored, vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder! I recommend using a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably organic and grass-fed.
- Chocolate chips: I like to use dark chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips. You could use semi sweet chocolate chips or even sugar free chocolate chips. Cacao nibs would also work but won’t add sweetness at all, I love them in cacao nibs brownie bites.
- Shredded coconut: I use unsweetened shredded coconut.
How to Make Coconut No Bake Protein Balls
These no bake protein balls take just 20 minutes to prepare. Really, it’s a win-win situation all around!
Process the almonds then dates: Add the almonds to your food processor and process into a coarse almond meal texture.
Add the dates and water to the food processor and process until combined. Pause the machine to scrape down the walls if needed.
Add the remaining ingredients: Add the protein powder and cacao and process until well combined. Finally, add the chocolate and pulse just a few times to distribute them evenly.
Form one pile with your dough: The mixture consistency should be thick but pliable and rollable. Remove the blade and use spatula to scrape the dough into one pile inside the food processor bowl.
Shape and roll in coconut: Spread the coconut onto a plate. Use a small cookie scoop to portion the mixture into balls, drop them into the coconut, and gently roll into a round ball, covering it in coconut.
You can enjoy the no bake protein balls immediately or chill them to serve later!
Tips for Best Results
- If you find the batter too wet: Each whey protein powder will react differently and have different absorbency levels, so you may need to tweak amounts. If the mixture too wet, try chilling it in the freezer shortly to thicken it up slightly, or add some oats for additional texture and fiber.
- If you find the batter too dry: If it’s too dry, try adding a small amount of water, some nut butter, creamy peanut butter, or if you would like sweeter taste add maple syrup or honey.
- Dry dates: Soak them in very hot water for 15-20 minutes. This will help soften and plump them up. The dates are critical to achieving the correct rollable consistency of the balls.
- For coconut protein bars: If you want to skip the rolling time, press the mixture onto a parchment lined dish, pressing the shredded coconut to the top, and then chill and cut it into bars. Easy!
- Avoid using a blender: I’ve found the dough just gets stuck and won’t properly blend into a smooth mixture.
Ways to Customize Energy Bites
There are so many ways to make these no bake energy bites your own! Try adding in:
- Seeds: Add 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax seed, chia seeds, or hemp seed.
- Dried fruit: Dried cranberries, raisins, blueberries or your favorite.
- Vanilla extract: Just a teaspoon of vanilla extract would be delicious.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin spice, or ginger.
- Zest: Orange would be a great complement to these coconut protein balls.
You can also use flavored protein powders or other nuts to switch up the taste!
How Long Can You Keep These?
Store the prepared coconut energy balls in a spacious glass container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes! I suggest doubling up on the recipe and freezing these no bake protein balls in an airtight glass container for up to 3 months. Place parchment paper between the balls so they don’t stick together as they freeze.
Allow the coconut date balls to thaw for just 10-15 minutes from the freezer before enjoying!
No and yes. Whey protein dissolves into the batter where as plant-based protein powder is very liquid absorbent. To follow recipe as is, you have to use whey protein.
However, a reader has let me know that she used plant-based protein and just increased the water in the batter slightly until it was rollable.
No but you will have to make up for it. Add a bit of quick oats, rolled oats or oat flour until batter is rollable consistency.
Unfortunately I do not think this recipe will work then. I don’t think chopping everything finely will work but you can try.
Yes. These no bake energy balls are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fat, antioxidants, and several vitamins and minerals.
More High Protein Recipes
- No bake protein cookies
- Chocolate protein cookies
- Healthy homemade protein bars
- No bake peanut butter oatmeal bars
- Protein cookies
- Protein muffin recipe
You might also like to check out all 65 of my healthy snacks for more ideas!
No Bake Coconut Protein Balls
- In a food processor, add almonds and process until coarse almond meal texture (bigger pieces are OK). Add dates and water, process until combined, pausing and scraping the walls if necessary.
- Add cacao powder, protein powder, and process until well combined, pausing and scraping the walls if necessary. Add chocolate chips and give a few pulses to distribute evenly.
- Remove the blade. Using spatula scrape the dough off of the blade and walls pulling into one pile inside the food processor bowl.
- Spread coconut flakes on a large plate. Using small cookie dough scoop, drop balls of dough onto it, cover with coconut flakes (from the plate) and gently roll around a bit.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Medjool dates: You could use other date varieties if needed (soaked to soften) or a similar dried fruit like apricot or fig to sub some or all the Medjool dates.
- Almonds: You could substitute the almonds for another nut like cashews, pecans or walnuts. For nut-free balls, try sunflower seeds instead.
- Protein powder: I use unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder. You have to use whey protein for recipe as is. You can experiment with plant-based protein powder but will need to add more water.