These Peanut Butter Protein Balls are a healthy snack that remind me of cookie dough, only more filling. I love that you don’t need any special equipment to make them– just a bowl and a spatula for stirring. No protein powder required, either!
How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls
This recipe is incredibly easy and takes only 10 minutes to prepare. All you need to do is stir the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a sticky dough, then roll that into balls.
Since there are no dates in this recipe, you won’t have a food processor to clean up afterwards. If you prefer date-sweetened energy bites, be sure to try one of my fruit-sweetened energy balls:
How to Get Protein Without Using Protein Powder
I haven’t found a protein powder that I love (so many of them are sweetened with a zero-calorie sweetener or have a chalky texture), so these peanut butter balls get their protein from simple whole food sources. Here’s how they stack up:
- Peanut Butter: 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
- Ground Flax Seeds: 2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
- Hemp Hearts: 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons
- Rolled Oats: 5 grams of protein per 1/2 cup (dry)
As written, this recipe packs 4 grams of plant-based protein per ball, so you can decide how many of them to eat based on your needs.
Do Protein Balls Need to Be Refrigerated?
Storing these peanut butter protein balls in the fridge will extend their shelf life, but it’s not 100% necessary with this recipe. As long as you keep moisture out of the equation (for example, don’t add water or any sort of fresh fruit to help them mix together) these energy balls are made with shelf-stable ingredients that should last for several days on your counter.
However, I’ve noticed that these protein balls dry out after roughly 3 days on the counter, so if you want them to last longer I’d store them in the fridge, in an airtight container.
How Long do Protein Balls Last in the Fridge?
My family eats all of these balls in about a week, so I haven’t tested the shelf life of these past that, but I image they would last at least 2 weeks in the fridge. Be sure to store them in an airtight container!
Can I Freeze Protein Balls?
Since there’s no added moisture to this recipe, these protein balls freeze well. You can store them in your freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container, and then thaw them in the fridge overnight so that they are easy to bite into.
This recipe makes only 12 balls, so be sure to double or triple the recipe based on your needs. I always like to make a smaller batch if I’m trying a recipe for the first time, so you may want to try these and see if you like them before committing to a large batch!
How to make Peanut Butter Protein Balls (1-Minute Video):
Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (or ground chia seeds)
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- pinch of fine sea salt
- Combine the oats, peanut butter, flax seeds, hemp hearts, honey, and salt in a large bowl and stir it all together with a spatula. The dough should stick together, without being so sticky that it sticks to your hands.
- If the dough feels too sticky to roll into balls, add one more tablespoon of ground flax seeds and stir again. The mixture should hold its shape when pinched between your fingers.
- Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, and then roll them between your hands to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and place the balls on a pan lined with parchment paper as you go.
- You can serve these right away, or store them in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Once firm, transfer them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (They can be frozen for up to 3 months, too!)
Per ball (1 of 12): Calories: 113, Fat: 7g, Carbohyrdates: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g
- If you use old-fashioned rolled oats, these balls will have a hearty, slightly chewy texture. If you want something a little softer and more uniform, try using quick-cooking oats instead. (My kids prefer it with the quick cooking oats so there isn’t as much texture.) *Choose organic oats if possible due to their possible glyphosate exposure.
- This recipe works with any other nut or seed butter you like. Try homemade almond butter or sunflower seed butter!
If you try something different with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know how it worked out. We can all benefit from YOUR experience!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite healthy snack to keep on hand?
Questions and Reviews
Could I sub instant oats?
Yes, I would think so!
Hi Megan! I ran out of hemp hearts so can you use chia seeds instead?
Sure! They’ll just add a little extra crunch if you use whole ones.
I saw this post last night, did a mental inventory, realized I had all of the ingredients and sprinted to the kitchen to make them. It was a bit late so I didn’t try them until this morning and they are oh-so perfect! I can see how they would be a great snack option, but I had 3 for breakfast 😊. So pleased with this recipe!
I made these this morning and they’re already half gone! They are soooooo good. Definitely remind me of cookie dough! I think next time I’ll add a few mini chocolate chips to half the batch for a treat.
I love peanut butter protein balls! I like to add dried, unsweetened coconut to mine. 🙂
I tried it with chia, ginder power, dates, coconut oil, dark chocolate, carcuma, black pepper,pepper ment, sesame seeds, organic oaks and almond butter. I did not added honey because I am diabetic. But I separate a some to added semisweet chocolate for my dauther. And she told me today that it was the perfect breakfast.
These are great! I also made a version with sunflower seed butter and added shredded coconut…amazing!
I’m thinking about adding brewer’s yeast to this recipe to turn these into lactation protein balls. Any thoughts on how much yeast to add?
I used peanut butter powder, made an 1/2 cup of that and used it as a peanut butter substitute. I also added dried cherries and dark chocolate chips. They are delicious! Might also add pepita seeds next time…
Excellent and SOOOOO easy! With chocolate chips, they taste JUST like Perfect Bars, but healthier!
What would be the measurements if using pbfit protien powder?
My daughter is four and already a definite foodie. She ate one of these protein balls and patted me on the shoulder saying: “You’ve done it, Mom.” These are good!”
Thank you, Megan. You’ve done it again!
This is a great post work out snack! My dog really likes them too! Lol
these are DELICIOUS! my 8 yr old also loves them too (and its a fun recipe to make with kids). just made a new batch where we replaced half of the oats with brown rice crispies and the added crunch is great.