– vegan – gluten free – refined sugar free – oil free –
These 6-ingredient peanut butter balls are the perfect on-the-go snack, packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Each little ball boasts 4 grams of protein!
A mixing bowl
A cookie scoop (optional)
To make these peanut butter balls, you will need:
- Gluten-free rolled oats: a good source of protein and vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of rolled oats has 5 grams of protein, 82% of your daily manganese, 24% of your phosphorus, 21% of your selenium, 18% of your zinc, 18% of your copper and 17% of your vitamin B1. If you’re interested, I have a lot more information about rolled oats and other types of oats here. Substitutions: instant/quick-cooking oats will work for this recipe, however, they are more processed so I do not recommend. Rolled oats that aren’t gluten-free will also work.
- Hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds): a great source of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats. Just one tablespoon of hemp seeds has 3.2 grams of protein, 0.9 grams of omega-3, 2.9 grams of omega-6 and 0.6 grams of fiber. Substitutions: you can replace hemp hearts with more oats.
- Natural creamy peanut butter: a great way to sweeten your recipe and get some added protein, healthy fats and fiber. However, peanut butter is also high in calories, so it is best to adhere to the recommended serving size if trying to lose weight. Be sure to choose a peanut butter brand that is least processed to prevent added ingredients liked sugar and trans fat. Look for peanut butter that contains only peanuts and maybe salt. Substitutions: any nut/seed butter will work but will change the taste of the balls.
- Pure maple syrup: although high in sugar, is loaded with 24 antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to protect against chronic diseases, brain inflammation, intestinal inflammation, and nerve inflammation. Therefore, pure maple syrup is a great natural sweetener when used in moderation. Fake maple syrup is made with high fructose corn syrup and provides zero health benefits. Substitutions: agave nectar.
- Dairy-free dark chocolate chips: although normally brought up with negative connotations, chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) in moderation has many health benefits, as it is loaded with minerals. Just 2 ounces (1/3 cup) provides 100% of your daily copper intake, 37% of your iron, 42% of your magnesium, 61% of your manganese, 25% of your phosphorus, 23% of your zinc and 16% of your potassium. Not many other foods can boast this many minerals! I recommend buying high quality, organic dark chocolate that is free from vegetable oils and artificial colors & flavors that disturb the digestive system. Furthermore, look for chocolate that is made with cacao rather than cocoa, since cacao is richer in magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium. For this recipe, I used dark chocolate chips made with 72% cacao. Anything above 70% cacao will provide you with the healthful benefits in chocolate. Remember to check the serving size of your chocolate, as very little is needed to get its benefits and over-consuming is not good for health.
- Sea salt: a natural alternative to table salt, which is more heavily processed and contains additives. If you follow a strictly vegan diet, I recommend choosing iodized sea salt to satisfy your iodine needs.