9 whole ingredients make these healthy protein balls. Dates and fresh ginger are the key to making these balls stick together and be full of flavor! This snack is high in protein from the almonds, oats, and hemp hearts.
I am all about protein balls, raw balls, bliss bites, energy balls, energy bites, fat bombs - or whatever you want to call yours! These are all the names I've heard for nutrient-dense no bake bites that are a combination of dried fruit (usually dates), nuts, seeds, nut or seed butter. These snack balls are awesome because:
- they are customizable to your favorite flavor and what you have in your kitchen.
- they can be made in large batches and last a long time in the fridge or freezer.
- Protein balls are friendly for any special diet! They are usually dairy free, gluten free, and vegan, (like mine!) and there are many protein balls recipes that are grain free, and nut free too. If you are looking for an energy ball recipe without grains check out my lemon bliss bites.
When I am wondering if a recipe is healthy or not, I look at the ingredients. I want something with whole, simple ingredients that have not been processed - the foods are pretty close to their natural state. This recipe for protein balls with dates and ginger is one of those healthy recipes.
- Almonds are one of the main contributors to protein in this recipe. I use raw unsalted almonds to make these protein balls.
- You can use (old fashion) rolled oats, or quick oats for this recipe. Either way, the oats will be blended down into small granules.
- Hemp hearts also largely contribute to the protein in these bites as ½ cup of these little seeds have 27 grams of protein. Which is great for high energy lifestyle and activities, pregnant and breast feeding women, and those looking to increase protein in their everyday diet.
- Cinnamon increases the flavor in these protein bites and supports in stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- Salt complements the flavor, specifically with the dates. I like to use good quality sea salt as it is a good source of minerals. Here's a link to my favorite sea salt brand.
- Freshly grated ginger is the star ingredient of these protein balls, bringing out the amazing flavor. Ginger is well known as an anti-inflammatory meaning it will decrease inflammation in the body.
- Maple syrup sweetens these balls and brings out a caramel like flavor.
- Coconut oil helps these protein balls stick together well.
- Pitted dates, such as the medjool dates I like to use are big, dark, gooey, and rich in flavor. I find medjool dates in the produce section in plastic containers at my grocery store. Or you can usually find pitted dates in bags in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
See recipe card for quantities of all the ingredients.
Tips when using dates
- Remember to remove the pit if your dates are not pitted!
- Look for black when you remove the pit as they are a fruit and can go bad!
- If your dates have white crystals on them, this is purely the date's sugar crystalizing and they are still fine to use!
The photos below will show you how to make these easy protein balls step by step.
1. In a food processor or a high powder blender, blend the almonds and the oats until there are almost no chunks.
2. Add the hemp hearts, cinnamon, and salt, then blend until everything looks like coarse sand.
3. Add the grated ginger, maple syrup, coconut oil, and dates to the blender or food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form. It will become quite thick and hard to blend, when this happens dump this whole ginger date mixture into a medium bowl.
4. Use your hands to knead the dough. There will be crumbs, keep kneading the dough until all the dry ‘coarse sand’ (oats and nuts) is mixed into one dough ball. Using a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into balls.
Use wet hands when rolling these healthy protein bites into balls. This keeps the dough from sticking to your fingers!
Substitutions & Variations
Here are some alternative ways you can make this recipe:
- Take out the cinnamon and ginger and replace with ½ cup of frozen chopped berries (strawberries or raspberries) instead! Add the berries when you would add the ginger. These will need to stay in the freezer until you eat them or they will become very soft.
- Use walnuts or cashews instead of almonds!
- Replace hemp hearts with flax seeds. Or you could use half hemp hearts (¼ cup) and half flax seeds (¼ cup) to make these.
- You can use honey instead of maple syrup.
- As seen in the photos I made a glaze, this was just to make them look pretty. I mixed 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil, with 3 tablespoon sifted powdered sugar then drizzled it over the balls!
You will need a food processor or a high power blender for this recipe. This is so the dates break down into small gooey pieces and keep the protein balls stuck together.
Alternatively, you could make this recipe for the best pistachio balls (with dates) which doesn't need a high-power machine.
Store these healthy protein balls with dates and ginger in an airtight container or bag (like these awesome silicone ones!). They will last in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and up to 3 months in the freezer. I love to have these raw balls in the freezer and have as a quick go-to snack.
These balls can be eaten frozen too! Note: if you don't love how sweet dates taste, being frozen reduces the sweet taste!
Yes! This is a super easy recipe to double or even triple. This is an awesome recipe to batch prep or make ahead and have in the fridge or freezer as a quick snack or to pack along for school, work, or adventures! These _____ are another great recipe to make ahead in a big batch.
Yes, these are made to take with you on adventures! These balls are a great source of energy and nutrition for high-energy sports. They stay together well even when taken out of the fridge or freezer (they may become soft but they will not be crumbly).
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Healthy Protein Balls with Dates and Ginger
- 1 Food processor or high power blender
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup hemp hearts
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 cup pitted dates* about 10-13 medjool
- In a food processor or a high powder blender blend the almonds and the oats until there are almost no chunks. Add the hemp hearts, cinnamon, and salt, then blend until everything looks like coarse sand.
- Add the grated ginger, maple syrup, coconut oil, dates to the blender or food processor and pulse until a dough starts to form. It will become quite thick and hard to blend, not everything will be mixed together. When this happens dump this whole ginger date mixture into a medium bowl.
- Use your hands knead the dough. There will be crumbs, keep kneading the dough until all the dry ‘coarse sand’ (oats and nuts) is mixed into one dough ball.
- Using a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into balls.
- Store the ginger and date protein balls in an airtight container in the fridge (for 2-3 weeks) or the freezer (for up to 3 months).
- *I use about 10-13 medjool dates for this recipe, press the dates lightly in to the measuring cup until you get 1 cup.
- *If your dates are not soft to squish between your fingers, soak the dates in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and then use them.
- These protein balls will stay together at room temperature and work well to bring along to school, the office, road trips, or hiking.
- If you do not have hemp hearts you can use flax seeds. Or you could use half hemp hearts (¼ cup) and half flax seeds (¼ cup) to make these.
- As seen in the photos I made a glaze for these protein balls, this was solely to make balls look pretty. To make the glaze mix together 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil and 3 tablespoon sifted powdered sugar. Drizzle this thin mixture over the balls.