Vegan Vanilla Protein balls
5 from 6 votes
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Sarah Tanner | Holistic Wellness Advocate

A healthy snack, a pick-me-up, an easy gift idea – there’s nothing these vegan vanilla protein balls can’t be (and, as a bonus, they’re ready in just a few easy steps!). These protein bites, also called bliss balls, are a great snack made with simple ingredients.

coconut butter and cream

Why You’ll Love These Vegan Protein Balls

  • They’re easy to make!
  • They include healthy fats and plant protein for the ultimate satiating snack
  • They’re sweet but not too sweet (tip: if you have a sweet tooth, try adding a little maple syrup to this recipe)
  • They contain no refined or added sugar (which is great for balanced blood sugar levels)
  • You don’t need any special equipment, just a large mixing bowl!
desiccated coconut for protein balls

Tip: You can use shredded coconut to make your own desiccated coconut by grinding it in a coffee grinder!

Ingredients You’ll Need To make these protein Balls

  • Desiccated coconut: desiccated coconut has the perfect texture that allows the ingredients to just easily come together without needing a food processor. Note: coconut flakes are slightly different and usually bigger and dryer, so they’re not a good substitute for these no bake energy balls (nor is coconut flour!)
  • Coconut butter: coconut butter is thick and creamy, similar to seed and nut butters like sunflower seed butter or creamy peanut butter, which you could also use in this recipe (note: make sure you use natural peanut butter (or any other runny nut butter) that don’t include any added oils, sugars, etc).
  • Coconut cream: coconut cream, not to be confused with coconut milk, has a very thick and creamy texture (that’s a bit lighter and less dense than coconut butter). It’s the perfect dairy-free addition to recipes that would traditionally use heavy cream and it makes for a perfect creamy and moist texture in these protein balls.
  • Plant-Based vanilla protein powder: this easily adds protein and makes these snacks even more nutrient-dense. Use vanilla flavored powder or use your favorite protein powder of choice! Note: to ensure your protein powder is vegan, make sure it excludes dairy, casein, and whey.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is excellent here because it firms up when refrigerated or frozen, so it’ll help keep the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla powder (or vanilla extract): vanilla powder, with is dark in color, is scraped directly from the fresh vanilla bean, then dried and conserved in jars (it’s what add the tiny little black dots to vanilla ice cream and other vanilla desserts). Because it’s so pure, it’s usually quite a bit more expensive than vanilla extract. So if you prefer, you can absolute use vanilla extract or essence instead. Just beware that pure vanilla extract often includes alcohol, so if that’s a no-go for you and/or you’re making these treats with kids, be sure to scan the ingredient list and opt for an alcohol-free version instead.
  • Vegan sugar-free chocolate: for chocolate to be vegan, it can’t include any dairy (which most dark chocolate variations do not). If you don’t mind sugar, then there’s no need to look for a sugar-free variation. In terms of sweetness, some sugar-free brands add sweeteners like stevia or xylitol to replace the sugar, which means you’ll still get some sweeteners, just minus the refined sugar. Others, however, simply omit sweeteners all together. In this case, the bites may be on the bitterer site, so keep that in mind and add some natural sweetener to make it less bitter if need be.

Tip: In the mood for even more chocolate? Try swapping the vanilla protein powder for chocolate protein powder to turn these into chocolate protein balls! To take it to the next level, you can also add some vegan & sugar-free mini chocolate chips and/or cocoa powder.

melted dark chocolate

Tip for melting chocolate

To ensure your chocolate doesn’t burn, use the Bain Marie method when melting your chocolate to dip your protein balls in. The Bain Marie method, also known as a double boiler, is a gentle and controlled way to melt chocolate without direct heat. It’s a preferred method because chocolate is sensitive to high temperatures and can easily scorch or seize. Here’s how you can use the Bain Marie method to melt your dark chocolate:

  • Fill the bottom of a saucepan with a few inches of water. You’ll be topping it with a heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel or glass) that fits snugly on top of the saucepan, so make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl when it’s placed on top.
  • Place the heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan, ensuring that it fits securely and forms a seal to trap the steam.
  • Break the chocolate into small, evenly-sized pieces (or use chocolate chips) and place them in the heatproof bowl.
  • Heat the water in the saucepan over low to medium heat until it simmers. The steam generated will gently melt the chocolate in the bowl above.
  • Stir the chocolate occasionally with a silicone or wooden spatula as it melts. This helps ensure even melting and prevents overheating.
  • Keep an eye on the chocolate’s temperature using a candy or instant-read thermometer. Ideally, you want to melt dark chocolate to a temperature of around 115°F (46°C) and milk or white chocolate to around 110°F (43°C).
  • Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan. Be careful as the bowl might be hot.
  • Let the melted chocolate cool for a few minutes before using it in this protein balls recipe. This helps it set properly.
bain marie to melt chocolate

The Bain Marie method provides a gentle and gradual heat that prevents the chocolate from burning or seizing. It’s particularly useful when working with delicate chocolates and is commonly used for tasks like making ganache, dipping fruits, or coating truffles.

Tip: if you don’t feel like adding all these extra steps to your protein balls recipe, simply microwave the chocolate in a small bowl for 10 seconds at a time, then mixing/stirring it, and repeating until you have a smooth, sauce-like melted chocolate consistency.

Vegan Vanilla Protein balls
© Sarah Tanner

How to Make these Protein Balls Step by Step

Follow these easy steps to make the perfect healthy & vegan protein balls!

Step one: Combine the ingredients in a bowl

Combine all the protein balls ingredients, apart from the melted chocolate, in a large bowl (a medium bowl should work too!).

Step two: Make the Dough

Using your hands or a spatula, massage the ingredients into a dough that easily holds together. If it’s to0 dry, slightly increase the amount of wet ingredients and if it’s too moist, slightly increase the amount of dry ingredients.

Step three: Shape the Protein Balls & let set in the Freezer

Using your hands again, shape the dough into 12 large protein balls. If you prefer smaller serving size, you can make 24 small balls instead. Next, place them in the freezer to set for 20 minutes. Tip: in order for them not to stick together, place them on a baking sheet (optionally lined with parchment paper), leaving a little space between them.

Step Four: Dip in Chocolate, Garnish & Enjoy

Dip the protein balls in the melted chocolate, sprinkle with a little extra coconut, enjoy right away and/or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-3 days.

TIP: Experiment with other ingredients to find the perfect combo. Not sweet enough? Add some maple syrup. Don’t like coconut or can’t find coconut butter? Try almond butter or cashew butter! There are so many delicious and nutritious ingredients that make for perfect additions to vegan protein balls.

vanilla protein powder

Did you know? Getting enough protein on a vegan diet is not as hard as some may think! As long as you make sure you eat enough sources of plant protein, such as legumes, nuts & seeds, or plant protein powder, getting your daily intake is easy! A scoop of protein powder made with plant-based ingredients, for instance, usually includes anywhere from 10 to 30 grams of protein.

Protein Balls – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add chia seeds to this Protein Balls recipe?

Technically, yes! We’d recommend soaking the chia seeds in water first or grinding them up, however. They can be difficult to digest otherwise.

Can You bake protein balls?

This recipe is no-bake, which means that baking is not required. It would also turn some of the ingredients liquid, so even if you might be tempted to bake them, it’s better not to. If you’re in a baking mood, check out our baking section here.

Can I use whey protein powder?

Whey is a dairy by-product, which means that the protein balls recipe would no longer be vegan. We recommend using a plant-based protein powder instead, but there are tons of variations to choose from: hemp based, pea based, soy based, etc.

Can i make my own Desiccated coconut?

Yes! You’d need dry, shredded coconut meat that you would then grind up in a coffee grinder.

How can i keep My protein balls from sticking to the surface when freezing them?

They’re only in the freezer for 20 minutes, so you should be fine! But if you want to be extra cautious, simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place the protein balls on top. This will keep them from sticking to the baking sheet and each other!

How should I store these Protein Balls?

These protein balls are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will last for 1-3 days, but they’re best consumed right away!

Are these Keto-Friendly?

Yes! Because they’re so low in carbs and high in fats, they’re keto friendly. That said, many keto recipes also include a lower amount of protein, so you may need to adjust the amount of plant protein used if you’re wanting to keep it strictly keto.

What makes these Protein Balls Vegan?

These protein balls include no dairy, no honey, as well as no other animal products or by-products, which is what makes them vegan.

How do i choose a good vegan protein powder?

Scan the protein powder’s ingredient list. You want the ingredients to be simple and easy to identify. Be sure to also read customer reviews to see what other people think of the products. Whether you’re choosing a hemp based, soy based, pea based, or other protein powder depends on your personal preference. Tip: some companies either sell or distribute sample sizes, so if you’re not sure, try a few different ones in order to find your perfect match!

More Vegan Recipes You Might Like

If you enjoyed these protein balls, you might also like this Vegan “Ultra-Endurance” Protein Energy Balls Recipe by Tyler Tafelsky. Click here or on the image below for the full recipe. They’re sweetened with dates and full of nutritious ingredients that will keep you fueled for a long time.

Protein Energy Balls

For a healthier alternative to cookie dough, try this vegan cookie dough recipe by Lloyd Rose, the chef & creator or Plant Crazii. Click here or on the image below for the full recipe. It’s made with chickpeas, which may sound a bit strange, but really does work! For a mix of protein balls and cookie dough, try these Vegan Pecan Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites.

vegan cookie dough

If you’re looking to add more protein rich recipes to your weekly rotation, may we also suggest this Vegan Chocolate Protein No-Churn Ice Cream, these 15 High Protein Vegan Breakfast Ideas, and these Protein Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pancakes? Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more savory, how about trying this Protein-Rich Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup or this Shorbet Adas (vegan lentil soup).

-> For more of Sarah Tanner’s delicious treats, click here.

Vegan Vanilla Coconut Protein Balls – Recipe Card

Use this recipe card to save or print this protein ball recipe and be sure to read the full post above for additional tips, ingredient notes, and recommended equipment.

Vegan Vanilla Protein balls

Vegan Vanilla Coconut Protein Balls

5 from 6 votes
These easy protein balls are the perfect fun snack and little energy boost! A little sweetness from basic ingredients like vanilla, coconut, and dark chocolate make for the perfect mix. If you're looking for healthy options that are low carb, vegan, refined sugar-free, not too sweet & delicious, these protein balls might be the right fit!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Sarah Tanner
Servings: 12 large protein balls

Ingredients

  • 2 cups desiccated coconut plus a little extra to sprinkle on the choc top
  • ¼ cup coconut butter
  • 100 ml coconut cream
  • 2 tbs vanilla plant protein powder
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs melted vegan sugar-free chocolate to dip

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, apart from the melted chocolate. Massage into a dough that holds together.
  • Shape into balls, place in the freezer to set for 20 minutes. Dip in the melted chocolate, sprinkle a little extra coconut, and store in the fridge.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 12 large protein balls, but you can also make 24 small balls for a healthy snack that’s a little less filling.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About Sarah Tanner

Sarah Tanner Author Photo
© Photo credit – Jono Parker

Sarah Tanner is a passionate holistic wellness advocate, incorporating organic whole foods, with transformative experiences and events facilitating sound.

Sarahs journey has led her from two previous businesses, to now, for the past ten years, a passion for what it truly means to be well. 

With brand ambassador roles for leading brands such as Ceres Organics, Storm & India, Bio Blends, Dr Libby, The Beauty Chef, and Harker Herbals, Sarah creates content around how to incorporate these things into daily life. From recipe creation, to social media video production, food shows, and more, the concept of food as medicine is the foundation of Sarahs approach.

For the past seven years, Sarah has been exploring the healing and restorative benefits of sound healing. Self-taught, and led by intuition, Sarah plays the crystal singing bowls, native american flute, various frame drums, shruti box, and steel tongue drum. Here is what Emma Mulligan, Founder and owner of This Is Society has to share about Sarah on the Maman Boutique Maman Women feature…

“In a world where self-care and holistic well-being have become paramount, there emerges a remarkable individual whose journey has seamlessly intertwined the realms of wellness, sound healing, and organic food. Meet Sarah Tanner, a trailblazing woman whose passion and dedication has not only transformed her own life but also touched the lives of countless others seeking a path to balance and vitality.

Sarah’s unique blend of expertise in sound healing and organic nutrition, coupled with her knack for creating engaging content, has set her apart as a true influencer in the world of well-being. Her belief that wellness is not a one-size-fits-all journey but rather a combination of practices that encompass the mind, body, and spirit is both inspiring and transformative.

SARAH TANNER
© Photo credit – Jono Parker

On her social media channels (@sarahtannernz), Sarah shares her passion for organic recipes, from mouth-watering salads to her now iconic bliss balls. She believes that food should be a source of nourishment and joy, and her delightful dishes inspire others to embark on their own culinary adventures. (…)

In a world filled with constant noise, Sarah’s commitment to promoting organic food and sound experiences is a reminder that wellness can be achieved through simple, natural, and joyful practices. Whether you’re looking to find peace through sound, embark on a holistic wellness journey or redefine your boundaries, Sarah is the influencer to watch for inspiration and guidance… one soothing note and wholesome bite at a time!”

Connect with Sarah: website | instagram.


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