This recipe (actually I have 3 variations in this post) is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, soy-free, chocolate-free, egg-free, vegan and delicious!
Hearing bits and pieces about protein and how it is essential for building and repairing body tissue including muscle, for the maintenance of your body including your organs, skin and hair, I decided that I wouldn’t mind getting a little extra protein into my diet. I chose a snack form to get this extra protein.
The original recipe used Almonds, which makes sense as almonds are high in protein themselves. Next we add in some protein powder, there is an array of different protein powders for different needs. I have used soy, HOWEVER the recipe is SOY-FREE if you use a different kind of protein powder. A vegan option (which also means dairy-free) is veggie-carob protein powder. We add in some flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) for dietary fibre and omega-3 content. I originally made a Carob Almond protein ball with RICE syrup, but after wanting to substitute the syrup for banana or cashew cream, I needed to do two more batches. Then boyfriend (who is my guinea pig always) requested macadamia protein balls, instead of almond.
I made three recipes. Many protein ball combinations request some kind of syrup to bind, or a peanut-butter. I didn’t want to use peanut-butter or nut butter, I wanted raw nuts, and also don’t really like to use syrups as I have been told to stay away from sugar for a while. My first recipe however did contain syrup, although NONE contain cane sugar.
The combinations I put together were: Carob Almond Rice syrup, Carob Macadamia Banana and Carob Almond Macadamia with homemade Cashew nut cream.
I also have some comments about my experiences that go with them, but here is the recipe(s):
- 1 tablespoon carob powder (substitute cacao if you really want that chocolate flavour)
- 1 tablespoon flaxseeds. I tried to ground them in a mortar and pestle which sooooo did not work! I’ll work on that another time. You can use ground flaxseed meal if you don’t like them getting in your teeth.
- 1/4 cup protein powder
- 2 cups favourite raw nut mix (original: Almond, second: macadamia, third: half/half macadamia/almond)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 tablespoons syrup (rice, agave, honey [no longer vegan]) OR 1 medium banana OR 3 tablespoons cashew cream (which we will make later)
- 1/4 liquid – water / almond milk / oat milk / soy milk (not dairy milk)
- something to roll the balls in: desiccated coconut, carob powder, almond meal, coconut flour…. or a mix of all of the above!
- Put all dry ingredients (carob, flaxseeds, protein powder, nuts, and cinnamon) into a food processor
- Warn anyone around that you will be turning it on… it’s LOUD! Switch on processor and run until mix becomes very crumbly
- Stop the processor and add into the mix the binder (syrup / banana / cashew cream)
- Process again a little, then stop and add in the liquid bit by bit. You don’t want the mix too wet but don’t want it too crumbly either. You don’t need to add the whole 1/4 if you don’t need to, and can also add more if you must.
- You should be able to ball the mixture into your hand and have it stick together. The Banana mix is going to be a tad gluggy and will be the messiest!! Make balls in you hand then roll in your covering of choice, put onto a tray or container (not stacked; side by side is best) and put in the fridge for an hour or so.
Balls will keep for around a week in the fridge (if they last that long!)
Our favourite is the Macadamia Banana variety; it doesn’t use any syrups so the sugar content is lower, the banana is a great binder and has wonderful flavour, and the macadamias are delicious! Even the half/half nut blend had nice macadamia flavours, but found the cashew cream was a little dry – maybe needed more liquid.
All of the recipes will work though, so just try some out, go with your instincts and what you think will taste great to you. Although remember the point is to have a low sugar, high protein snack – something for between meals, before or after exercise, that tastes good and is good for you!
Hope you enjoy! Please comment below, I love comments and I would love to know what variations you try!