This healthy and fun snack is loved by kids and adults. It provides 5 grams of protein per ball for lasting energy in a delicious and nutritious form and is great for lunch boxes, after-school snacks, or a quick energy boost anytime.
- These no-cook, no-bake monster cookie protein balls are the perfect way to make the school day and the work week better.
- Each protein-packed ball contains 5 grams of protein.
- Our recipe includes 3 grams of fiber per protein ball to help boost your daily fiber intake.
- We balanced these protein balls for the perfect amount of sweet without any potentially inflammatory sweeteners. Even the candy-coated pieces we recommend are made with minimally-processed ingredients!
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free. (However, if you avoid gluten due to a severe allergy, it’s a good idea to get certified gluten-free oats that have been tested and certified by a third party.)
Health Benefits of Monster Cookie Protein Balls
Not only are these protein balls a colorful and delicious snack to satisfy any kid or adult sweet tooth, but they’re full of good-for-you, real-food ingredients.
The ingredients include wholesome high-fiber oats, whey protein powder, plus other superstar nutrition powerhouses, including peanut butter, flaxseed, and chia seeds. This combination provides just the right nutritional balance of protein, fiber, and brain-promoting healthy fats.
Ingredients to Make Monster Cookie Protein Balls
Our monster cookie protein balls are a quick “mix and roll” recipe that comes together easily with real food ingredients:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – For the right texture, we recommend starting with old-fashioned oats, though you can use quick-cooking oats (if that’s what you have on hand) and skip the food processor step.
- Vanilla protein powder – Whey protein is our go-to for these protein balls because it’s a high-quality protein from milk that adds nutrition to each energy ball and blends in easily and smoothly without leaving a chalky texture. Plant-based protein will also work (more on that below). Be cautious using chocolate protein powder or other flavors, as this will significantly change the taste of the final product.
- Natural creamy peanut butter – You can use any seed or nut butter of your choice, from natural peanut butter to almond butter to cashew butter. When making protein balls with peanut butter, we like to use a PB that has a nice drizzly and runny consistency, such as Trader Joe’s, Target’s Good & Gather peanut butter, Whole Foods 365 peanut butter, or Old Home Peanut Butter, a refrigerated peanut butter found in the Midwest.
- Ground flaxseed – You can purchase ground flaxseed or grind your own using a spice grinder.
- Chia seeds – These nutritious seeds add a fun crunch to every bite. Plus, they’re an excellent source of fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fats.
- Honey – See the FAQs below about substituting maple syrup for honey if you’re looking for a vegan option.
- Vanilla extract
- Candy-coated chocolate pieces – We like Trader Joe’s Candy Coated Chocolate Drops or UNREAL brands, which contain no artificial colors.
- Mini chocolate chips
Ingredient Highlight: Whey Protein
Whey is one of the main, natural proteins found in dairy milk. Whey protein is typically turned into a powder after it is separated from the rest of dairy milk during the cheese-making process (remember “curds and whey”?).
Whey contains a high amount of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, including all nine essential amino acids. These no-bake monster cookie peanut butter protein balls use whey protein to increase their nutritional value, easily blending into the texture without leaving a chalky taste.
Whey protein is a flavorless addition you won’t notice, except if you choose one with an added flavor, like vanilla or chocolate. By stirring in ¼ cup of whey protein, you boost each ball to 5 grams of high-quality protein.
How to Make Monster Cookie Protein Balls
In less than 25 minutes, you can have a batch of cute and delicious peanut butter protein balls. Keep them at the ready for healthy snacks and on-the-go nutrition. Follow these easy directions:
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the dry ingredients (the oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and salt).
- Transfer the blended oat mixture to a bowl and stir in the protein powder.
- Add the wet ingredients (the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla).
- Next, stir in the candy-coated chocolate pieces and chocolate chips.
- Roll the no-bake dough into 20 balls.
- Store balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For serving size and the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories (kcals), protein, carbohydrates/carb, fiber, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, and more per serving.
Make Them Perfect Every Time
This no-bake protein balls recipe is a hard one to mess up. The ingredients come together smoothly and easily, thanks to the easy-stir texture of the whey protein powder. However, two don’t-skip steps ensure your peanut butter protein balls come out perfect every time.
- Quick-blend the oats: Place the oats, ground flaxseed, chia, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Give them a quick whirl to help break up some of the oat pieces. You’re looking for a crumbly texture. You could use quick-cooking oats and skip this step.
- Wet your hands: Keep a bowl of water nearby and occasionally dampen your hands as you’re rolling the mixture into balls. This will prevent the ingredients from sticking to your hands as you work.
Make It Dairy-Free
To make these Monster Cookie Protein Balls dairy-free, simply use your favorite plant-based protein in place of the whey protein powder called for in the recipe.
With so many options available, it can be hard to know if your plant protein powder is healthy and provides well-rounded nutrition, truly harnessing the power of plants. We did the work so you don’t have to – see which plant-based protein powders we found to be the best.
Make It Vegan
If you’re following a totally plant-based diet, you can adjust this recipe to be fully vegan by using plant-based protein powder and substituting brown rice syrup for honey.
How to Store
Store these protein energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Like cookie dough, they may also be frozen for up to 3 months for longer storage.
To thaw, simply place the desired number of protein balls in an airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight. They can also be enjoyed frozen, but do give them a few minutes at room temperature to soften before biting in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! All of our energy bites and balls can be stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. However, for best results, we recommend consuming within 3 months.
Yes! With a base of fiber-rich rolled oats, healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and a bit of natural sweetness from honey, energy bites, and energy balls are a great source of energy to fuel your workout or busy afternoon. The addition of chia seeds and ground flax seeds also helps to boost the fiber.
We recommend storing your energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You can certainly swap the whey protein powder for a plant-based protein powder, but we haven’t tested this recipe using maple syrup in place of the honey. So we can’t say for sure if it will work! If you try it, please leave a comment below and let us know how it works if you try it. Brown rice syrup would be a better option since its consistency is very similar to that of honey.
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (160g)
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (25g)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (10g)
- Pinch of fine salt
- ¼ cup vanilla whey protein powder (or vanilla plant-based protein powder of choice)
- ¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter (190g)
- ¼ cup honey (80g) (or brown rice syrup for vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1–2 tablespoons water, if needed
- To the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and salt. Pulse 10-15 times until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces, while some may remain relatively intact.
- Stir in the whey protein powder.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add in the wet ingredients, such as nut butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or mix with clean hands until well combined. If the dough does not stick together, add ½ tablespoon of water at a time and mix in until the dough sticks together easily when formed into a ball.
- Stir in the candy-coated chocolate pieces and chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough into 20 balls using about 2 tablespoons of dough per bite (about 25-28 g in dough weight per ball). Dampen your hands slightly with water to prevent sticking.
- Store balls in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. We recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper between layers to keep them from sticking together when frozen.
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If your peanut butter is more solid at room temperature, heat the peanut butter just slightly until it achieves a runny/drizzly consistency.
- Serving Size: 1 protein ball
- Calories: 142
- Fat: 7 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Carbohydrate: 16 g
- (Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 7 g)
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 1 mg
The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.
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