Snacks

December 15, 2021

No Bake Healthy Gingerbread Protein Balls

Made with oats, almond butter, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, and protein powder, these healthy no bake Gingerbread Protein Balls are the perfect Christmas snack! They taste just like a gingerbread cookie but with clean eating ingredients.

Can you believe we are less than two weeks out from Christmas? This year has gone by so fast. Well, just these last few months at least. Having a baby will do that to you!

I didn't get as many "Christmas" recipes on the blog this year because, well, I just had a baby, and we just finished our first annual Cookie Week! It was so fun to share five brand new cookie recipes with you and I hope you love them as much as my family does!

One of the Christmas recipes I did finish was these Gingerbread Protein Balls. I actually had a few different ideas for protein bites this year but everyone on Instagram voted for this flavor! And I'm so glad they did. Each little bite tastes just like a gingerbread cookie or molasses cookie!

Rows of Gingerbread Protein Balls

Ingredients for healthy gingerbread protein balls

  • Original Cheerios: I realize this might seem a little odd, but hear me out. I wanted these high protein energy bites to also be naturally gluten-free. I obviously started with a combination of oats and oat flour, but hated the final texture the oat flour gave. I also didn't want to use all-purpose flour because that's not as nutritious, so I started thinking and landed on turning Cheerios into flour. Not only is the nutritional profile better, but so is the texture!
  • Quick oats: yes, these are different than rolled oats. They're smaller in size, chewier in texture, and they actually act as a partial binding agent for this recipe, where regular rolled oats would just be a "mix-in." Make sure you get quick oats!
  • Protein powder: the key ingredient that makes these high protein energy bites so nutritious and protein-packed! I just use a regular whey protein, but if you need this recipe to be vegan, you can use your favorite vegan vanilla protein powder. Just make sure to use the same amount of protein powder, weighing it if you can.
  • Warm spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg make these gingerbread energy balls really taste like a gingerbread cookie at Christmas time.
  • Stevia: to add a bit of calorie-free sweetness to these protein balls
  • Applesauce: for some natural sweetness and a low-calorie replacement for sugar
  • Almond butter: a perfect compliment to the ginger and molasses. It's also a source of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, and fiber that replaces oil or butter. Make sure you use the natural kind that has an oil separation on the top. Thick almond butter will not work!
  • Molasses: the other key ingredient for that classic "gingerbread" taste. I use unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap.
  • White chocolate chips: I always use this brand of chocolate chips (not sponsored) because they're naturally sweetened with Stevia but retain the flavor and consistency of chocolate we all love.

Ingredients for healthy gingerbread energy bites

How to make gingerbread energy bites

I love these low calorie protein balls because they're so easy to make and they taste just like a gingerbread cookie or a molasses cookie! This recipe can be broken down into four simple steps:

  1. Make the flour: in a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the Cheerios until they resemble a fine flour. Blend in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt until well mixed.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients: whisk together the almond butter, applesauce, molasses, and almond milk until well combined. Mix in the Stevia until smooth. Finally, mix in the protein powder until smooth. It's important that you consider those three sentences as three separate steps. The Stevia needs to be thoroughly mixed so it doesn't clump together and the protein powder needs a strong arm. If you try and do everything at the same time, it won't all mix together properly!
  3. Combine all ingredients: fold in the Cheerio mixture until well combined. Lastly, fold in the oats and chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky.
  4. Shape your energy bites: scoop and roll the dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls (I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Pro tip: if the dough is too sticky for you, lightly spray your hands with cooking spray before rolling into balls. This will prevent the dough from sticking to you and help the dough roll into smooth balls!

Healthy gingerbread protein bites surrounded by gingerbread cookies

Frequently asked questions

Do protein bites need to be stored in the fridge?

Not necessarily, but keeping your no bake energy bites in the fridge does two things: one, it extends their shelf life; and two, it helps them keep their shape.

How long are protein balls good for in the fridge?

They can stay fresh for one week if stored in a plastic container, such as a tupperware or a ziploc bag. If you use an airtight glass container like this tupperware, they can stay fresh for up to two weeks!

Can I make these high protein energy bites without Cheerios?

I don't recommend substituting another type of flour in place of the Cheerios. I originally tested with oat flour and didn't like the texture at all, and I haven't tried any other option. Luckily, Cheerios are widely available and very affordable, so it shouldn't be too hard to get some!

How do I make my gingerbread energy balls vegan?

Simply use your favorite vegan protein powder and vegan chocolate chips. You can also omit the chocolate chips completely if you want!

More protein recipes you'll love

5-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Healthy Mint Chocolate Protein Donuts

Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins (high-protein!)

Healthy Maple Pecan Protein Donuts

Sugar-Free Birthday Cake Puppy Chow

A gingerbread energy ball with a bite out of it

I hope you love these gingerbread protein balls as much as I do! I've been snacking on them for the last few weeks and I won't be tired of them anytime soon!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below so other readers know how you liked the recipe! You can also tag me on Instagram. I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen!

No Bake Healthy Gingerbread Protein Balls

Made with oats, almond butter, cinnamon, ginger, molasses, and protein powder, these healthy no bake Gingerbread Protein Balls are the perfect Christmas snack! They taste just like a gingerbread cookie but with clean eating ingredients.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

30

min

cook:

0

min

total:

30

min

servings:

14

Ingredients

  • 2⅔ C Original Cheerios
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ C 100% natural almond butter
  • ¼ C applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk
  • ¼ C Stevia
  • 6 Tbsp vanilla protein powder*
  • ½ C quick oats
  • ¼ C Lily's white chocolate chips*

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the Cheerios until they resemble a fine flour. Blend in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the almond butter, applesauce, molasses, and almond milk until well combined. Mix in the Stevia until smooth. Finally, mix in the protein powder until smooth.
  3. Fold in the Cheerio mixture until well combined. Lastly, fold in the oats and chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky.
  4. Scoop and roll the dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes

*To make this recipe vegan, use your favorite vegan protein powder and chocolate chips.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of one protein ball, including chocolate chips.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ball / Calories: 88 / Fat: 4g / Saturated Fat: 0.5g / Carbohydrates: 11.7g / Fiber: 2g / Sugar: 2.4g / Protein: 3.7g