Salted Caramel Protein Balls

by | May 20, 2021

Salted Caramel Protein Balls make the perfect energizing snack. They are packed with plant based protein to power your day. Plus, they are gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars!

These Salted Caramel Energy Bites make the perfect energizing snack. They are packed with plant based protein to power your day. Plus, they are gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars! #VeganSnack #SaltedCaramel #EnergyBites #ProteinBites #Dates

This post was first published on May 20, 2021. It was updated on July 28 2023.

Is this a healthy snack?

It’s important to make sure you are fueling your day properly, especially between long stretches between meals. Try to choose snacks that contain a mix of carbohydrates and protein.

I like to make a bunch of these quick protein bites, put them in the freezer, and then take them out one-by-one to pack for my day. They are a grab and go snack to bring for:

  • Long work days
  • Between classes
  • Hiking
  • Workouts
  • Road trips
  • Traveling
  • Between meals

What ingredients do I need to make these salted caramel energy bites?

  • Cashews provide the base to our ‘caramel’ taste. Cashews are often used in lots of other vegan treats too.
  • Dates sweeten our bites. They contain no added sugar – only the sugar naturally present within the fruit 
  • Coconut comes in several different varieties like flaked, shredded, or grated. Just be sure to look for unsweetened.
  • Protein powder helps pack in extra protein to keep you fuller longer.
  • Seeds provide healthy fats and fiber.
  • Peanut butter gives it that silky feel and helps keep them together. Sub sunflower butter if you are nut free.
  • Almond milk helps everything stick together.
  • Salt and cinnamon provide an extra pop of flavor.
These Salted Caramel Energy Bites make the perfect energizing snack. They are packed with plant based protein to power your day. Plus, they are gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars! #VeganSnack #SaltedCaramel #EnergyBites #ProteinBites #Dates

How do I make these date protein balls?

Simply blend your ingredients together in a food processor, roll into bites, and store in the fridge for up to 1 week until you’re ready to enjoy! You can also freeze them for up to 3 months to eat later on.

Customize these protein energy bites your way

For this recipe, I like to add hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) into these bites. These can typically be found in the bulk section or the baking and cereals aisle of the grocery store. Just 3 tablespoons of them packs in 10 grams of plant based protein! You can also use chia seeds or ground flax seed instead. These are also a great source of omega 3 healthy fats and protein. 

Peanut butter is one of my favorite ingredients to use in recipes. It mixes great in these healthy energy bites. However, if you are nut-free, feel free to substitute it with sunflower seed butter instead.

What protein powder should I use?

You can use any protein powder of your choice. I recommend using a vanilla flavored one to add to the salted caramel flavor. If you are using an unflavored one, that works too! You just might want to add a dash of vanilla extract or a spoonful of maple syrup to add a layer of extra sweetness. I’ve also made these using unflavored collagen peptides. They will be a bit more oily and sticky with collagen, but just as delicious!

Close up of protein energy bites

Is this recipe vegan?

To make this recipe fully vegan, be sure to choose a plant based protein powder like pea protein or soy protein. If you’re not vegan, feel free to use any type of vanilla protein powder you like.

These Salted Caramel Energy Bites make the perfect energizing snack. They are packed with plant based protein to power your day. Plus, they are gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars! #VeganSnack #SaltedCaramel #EnergyBites #ProteinBites #Dates
Salted Caramel Protein Energy Bites 9 scaled

Salted Caramel Protein Balls

Mackenzie Burgess, RDN
Salted caramel protein energy bites make the perfect energizing pick me up. They are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and have no added sugars!
4.64 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 18 – 1 inch bites
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw or roasted cashews, unsalted
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, about 8 dates
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder of your choice if vegan, choose a plant-based protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons seeds of your choice (hemp seeds, chia seeds, or ground flax seed)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla almond milk or water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • In a food processor or Vitamix, blend cashews and dates until mostly broken down into a crumbly consistency.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until mostly smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Roll into 1-inch bites. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

I often like to make a double batch of these energy bites to freeze. Then, I will take them out a few at a time to thaw for a quick snack that’s already ready to go!

Nutrition

Serving: 1biteCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 48mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6g
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2 Comments

  1. Jen

    Not a big coconut fan, could you recommend a swap?

    Reply
    • Mackenzie Burgess

      Hi Jen! You can try substituting the 1/2 cup coconut flakes with an equal amount of chopped nuts or rolled oats. You could also use other ingredients such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds to add a similar texture and bit of crunch to the recipe. Let me know if you end up trying out this recipe – enjoy!
      ~Mackenzie

      Reply
4.64 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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