Snacks

July 31, 2021

The Best 5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls are the perfect healthy meal-prep snack. Each bite has 100% whole grains, 5g of protein, and heart-healthy fats to keep you fuller longer. They're also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and easily vegan.

Chocolate peanut butter is a match made in heaven, am I right? So it's no surprise that one of the first no bake energy bites recipes on the blog was these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites! (If you're allergic to peanuts, I apologize in advance.)

My husband is currently in a calorie surplus to build muscle. He's training to join the Department of Homeland Security, and let me tell you, the feds have high physical expectations!

Basically, between me being 9 months pregnant and Tyler needing 3000 calories a day to hit his fitness goals, we go through a lot of food and have to get really creative with our choices of protein. One can only have so much chicken and protein shakes before you go crazy haha.

That's where these Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls come in! A lot of the recipes on Pinterest were mostly simple carbs and healthy fats but low in protein, so I set out to write my own recipe that made sure there was actually a significant amount of protein in it!

Better yet, you'll love these protein bites because they're incredibly easy to make (only 5 ingredients!) and have no refined sugar in them. They really are the best!

A chocolate peanut butter protein ball with a bite out of it

Ingredients you'll need

Another thing that sets these peanut butter energy bites apart is that there's NO bananas. Almost every other recipe I found called for bananas! While bananas are healthy, they're also fresh, which means you might not always have them on hand. Every ingredient in this energy bites recipe is found in your dry storage! You'll need:

  • Rolled oats: a gluten-free whole grain packed with nutrients like fiber, protein, and all the essential B vitamins. It also gives that signature "protein balls" texture. If you're gluten-free, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free!
  • Chocolate protein powder: I use this brand of protein powder (not sponsored) because they have great flavors at the best price point on the market. They're protein powders are also NOT grainy, which is a huge turnoff for me. If you can't find the chocolate peanut butter, just plain chocolate will be great too! You can also use any brand you like, as long as it's chocolate.
  • Chia seeds: one of nature's superfoods, chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and omega-3 fats. They are also a great binding agent in place of eggs or bananas for recipes like these peanut butter energy bites!
  • Natural peanut butter: the word "natural" is key, here. Instead of processed peanut butter like JIF or Skippy that is "no stir" and full of extra ingredients you don't want, use a 100% natural "drippy" peanut butter like this one. It's only ingredient is peanuts, it's smooth, it has the best flavor, and it's the only brand I'll buy!
  • Sugar-free maple syrup: using sugar-free instead of regular maple syrup keeps the calories lower and the macronutrients more balanced. Don't worry, these energy bites are anything but bitter!

A plate of chocolate peanut butter protein balls

How to make homemade PB energy bites

I've said it once and I'll say it again: you are going to LOVE these protein balls because they are SO EASY to make! No baking required and only five ingredients!

I don't like the super chewy texture of whole oats, so for this energy bites recipe we're going to pulse rolled oats until they resemble a course flour. This not only makes them easier to mix but improves the texture dramatically!

After the oats are ground up, whisk them together with the protein powder. That's it for the dry ingredients!

A bowl of ingredients for chocolate PB protein bites
Chocolate PB energy bites on a baking sheet

Add the dry mix to a large mixing bowl and gently fold in the remaining ingredients. I strongly recommend using a silicone spatula for this because the dough is thick and sticky, but you don't want to scrape your mixing bowl with a metal spoon or snap a plastic one in half.

Spray your hands with cooking spray and rub all the way to your fingertips, then spoon out a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball with your hands. You should end up with exactly 24 balls! Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.

Note: you'll see in the pictures that I've drizzled my peanut butter energy bites with extra chocolate and peanut butter, but it's not written in the recipe. That's because they look prettier with the drizzle but the drizzle doesn't harden enough in the fridge to not make a mess. If you want those drizzles, go for it! Just know your snack will be messy :)

Frequently asked questions

Are protein balls healthy?

In most cases, yes! They are meant to be a quick snack to raise your blood sugar and give you a boost of energy. Most recipes focus on wholesome ingredients with simple carbs and healthy fats. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls have been specially created to have a high protein content in addition to healthy carbs and fats, so they're the best recipe you'll find!

A plate of chocolate peanut butter protein balls

Do protein balls need to be refrigerated?

No, but I highly recommend it. At room temperature, the energy balls will not stick together well and will only keep for about 48 hours. Keep them refrigerated in an air-tight container and they'll last up to one week!

How do you coat energy balls with chocolate?

Scoop a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. Melt for 45-60 seconds in the microwave and stir until the chocolate and oil have combined. Your chocolate should be very thin and drippy.

Do I need a food processor to make energy bites?

No! Some recipes call for just folding in the oats, but for these Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls, I like my oats ground up. You can totally do this with a food processor, but you can also grind them in a high speed blender until they resemble a grainy flour.

How do I keep my protein balls from sticking to my hands?

Spray your hands (and fingertips) with cooking spray! It works like a charm. I also use a regular spoon to scoop the dough (instead of a cookie scoop or silicone spoon) so I don't have to scrape the dough off the utensil with my hands.

Are these energy balls vegan?

They can be! They're naturally gluten-free, but to make them dairy-free, you need to use a vegan protein powder.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein balls with drizzles of chocolate and peanut butter on top

If you love these peanut butter energy bites, I know you'll love these Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites too! One can never have too many healthy snacks on hand!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below if you tried this recipe! It helps other readers know what you liked and it helps me know what type of recipes to make in the future. I can't wait to hear what you think!

The Best 5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls are the perfect healthy meal-prep snack. Each bite has 100% whole grains, 5g of protein, and heart-healthy fats to keep you fuller longer. They're also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and easily vegan.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

30

min

cook:

0

min

total:

30

min

servings:

24

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
  • 1 C Chocolate Peanut Butter protein powder* (about 100g)
  • ¼ C chia seeds
  • ⅔ C sugar-free maple syrup
  • ½ C 100% natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Line a large platter or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Pulse the oats in a food processor or high-speed blender until they resemble a grainy flour. Add the protein powder and pulse until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and fold in the chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter. The dough will be very thick and sticky, but continue to fold the dough together until it is well combined.
  4. Spray your hands with cooking spray and spread all the way to your fingertips. Scoop out one heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue until all the dough is rolled into protein bites. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

*This brand is the most affordable per ounce of protein powder on the market without sacrificing flavor or texture (not sponsored). However, you can use any chocolate protein powder you like, as long as it's 1 cup (or about 100g).

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of one protein ball, not including any chocolate or peanut butter drizzles.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ball / Calories: 84 / Fat: 3.9g / Saturated Fat: 0.5g / Carbohydrates: 7.7g / Fiber: 1.9g / Sugar: 0.8g / Protein: 5g