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15 Yummy Protein Ball Recipes That Let You Fill Up Without Blowing Your Diet

Protein balls are your newest snack savior
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If you're making an effort to eat healthy, protein balls are kind of a must. Packed with nutrients, flavor, and protein, they're both filling and delicious. They're a great way to start off a busy day, plus they make for great pre/post-workout snacks. Perhaps best of all, they can be a great way to sate sweets cravings -- after all, many protein ball recipes happen to be inspired by your favorite desserts, from Almond Joy candy bars to fudgy brownies to good old fashioned cookie dough.

They're usually quite easy to put together, with most recipes having few ingredients and short prep times -- so, when you think about it, they're pretty much the perfect snack. Ready to get snacking? Here are 15 yummy protein ball recipes that will fill you up... without blowing up your diet.

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5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites
As long as we're talking protein ball recipes, let's start with one of the classics: Peanut butter and chocolate chip protein balls. These are supereasy to whip up, and they're as tasty as they are filling.

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons honey

1. Combine all 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes so they are easier to roll.
2. Roll into 12 bites and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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Raspberry and Coconut Energy Balls
In addition to being naturally sweetened with dates, these energy balls combine the delicious flavor profiles of coconuts, almonds, and raspberries for something truly special.

3/4 cups shredded coconut, plus more for topping
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup almond butter

1. Add all the ingredients remaining to the food processor.
2. Process on high speed until the ingredients are evenly processed and stick together.
3. Scoop out approx. 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball using your hands.
4. Press the ball into the coconut, coating all sides.
5. Place the ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining raspberry mixture, making 8 balls.
6. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to harden.

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Cookie Dough Protein Bites
Here's a protein bite recipe that truly feels like a decadent treat -- it tastes like cookie dough, but without the guilt (or salmonella risk).

1 cup quick oats
1 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, protein powder and chocolate chips. Add the cashew butter and vanilla extract. Fold together as best you can.
2. Add the milk, in 1/4 cup increments and using those arm muscles, fold together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Continue adding some milk until it reaches a cookie dough consistency (comes and holds together but not sticky.) Using your hands, grab roughly 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stays fresh for up to 5 days.

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Spirulina Energy Globes
Spirulina is basically the superfood to end all superfoods, what with all its protein, vitamins, and antioxidants -- and with the right recipe, it can actually be pretty darn tasty as well. This protein ball recipe combines spirulina with delicious ingredients like dried apricots, raw cocoa powder, and pistachio nuts for a delightfully complex final product.

1 cup organic raw almonds
1 cup organic dates, soaked (keep 3-4 Tbs. of the water you soaked the dates in)
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 cup organic raw almond butter
2 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 heaping tablespoons raw cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of shredded coconut into the mixture (have 2-3 tablespoons for rolling)
1 tablespoon organic spirulina
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (or other sea salt varieties)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all the nuts and seeds in a food processor or high-speed blender to pulse until broken down (you can choose to leave some chunks or pulse until fine).
2. Pour the processed almonds, pistachios, and flax seed into a large mixing bowl.
3. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine softened dates and apricots.
4. Add the nut/seed mixture with the dates/apricots into the blender.
5. Combine until the mixture resembles a sticky, thick "batter".
6. Place the combined mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold the remaining ingredients manually (that's right, get those hands messy...really messy!)
7. Place the "batter" into the freezer for about 10 minutes or until cooled.
8. Take a Tbs. or a small ice-cream scooper to measure the batter.
9. Gently roll the Tbs. of "batter" into your hands until a small ball forms.
10. Once you have formed all the "batter" into small balls, you may roll them into the 2-3 Tbs. of shredded coconut (this is optional)
11. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days OR you may keep them in the freezer and grab and go for a quick snack.
12. Enjoy!

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