Peanut Butter Nutella Protein Balls are the perfect middle-ground when you need a high protein snack, but you really want a sweet indulgent treat! They are irresistibly delicious, made in the food processor in 15 minutes with a handful of healthy ingredients. Keep them stashed in the freezer for whenever you need a quick bite of energy!
- These Nutella Protein Balls are an Absolute Favorite in Our House! Grabbing one from the basement freezer makes me actually want to head down to switch a load of laundry! Super delicious, they are the perfect guilt-free afternoon sack, bedtime treat, or tiny dessert when you're trying to eat healthy!
- These are Vegan, No-Bake Nutella Peanut Butter Balls, packed with high-protein ingredients like nuts, seeds, oats, raisins and peanut butter with pretzels for that salty crunch. You can eat them refrigerated, but I think they are best eaten frozen! All in all, the perfect little treat-snack!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Nuts and Seeds - This recipe is really versatile, use whatever nuts and seeds you have on hand, in any combination. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, peanuts, sunflower, chia, or pumpkin seeds are all great. They add the fiber, protein and lots of nutrition to this little treat! I like raw nuts, but roasted are fine too. Just be careful using salted nuts, as your energy bites might turn out too salty. A few won't hurt, but not the whole cup. Whole nuts, sliced, slivered, or pieces are all fine since they will be chopped in the food processor.
- Pretzels - The pretzels add the salty component for that well-loved salty sweet taste! Pretzel shapes or pretzel sticks are both fine.
- Chocolate Chips - You can use any kind of chocolate chips or a combination of chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter or white chocolate chips. Whatever you have and whatever you like! I also love the opportunity to use up a few fun size candy bars from Halloween! Any kind is ok! You may want to add these in when you are blending the nuts and pretzels in step one. Some candy bars, like health and snickers don't quite get broken up and incorporated if you don't pulse them a few times first.
- Oats - Regular rolled oats add protein, fiber and a bit of nutrition to the recipe. Same oats I use for Homemade Granola!
- Shredded Coconut - For flavor, texture and sweetness.
- Raisins - The raisins help with texture, to bind the bites together while adding fiber and protein. You can substitute other dried fruit such as prunes or dates.
- Peanut Butter - That lovely marriage of Peanut Butter and Chocolate! Peanut butter adds a lot of protein and is one of the main flavor components of these vegan protein balls. I prefer the taste of natural peanut butter with all that oily goodness, but any peanut butter will do. You can also substitute almond butter or any nut butter.
- Nutella - The star of the show! Who doesn't love Nutella? It's a little protein, not super healthy I know, but we're only using a quarter cup!
- Coconut Oil - A healthy fat that binds everything together.
- Cocoa Powder - Adds a little extra chocolatey flavor and color. I like the dark chocolate cocoa powder.
- Maple Syrup or Honey - This adds just the right amount of sweetness. To keep these Vegan Chocolate Protein Balls, use maple syrup.
Step 1 - Add the nuts and pretzels to the base of a food processor. If you are using candy bars instead of chocolate chips, you can add those too to make sure they get chopped up. Pulse 5 or 6 times to grind into a crumb.
Step 2 - Add all other ingredients and process until well combined. You may need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides with a spatula or mix things a bit so the blade can get everything incorporated.
Step 3 - Use a small portion scoop to make 32 to 34 balls. You can roll them with your hands, but with a portion scoop there is really no need to. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Step 4 - Set the sheet pan in the freezer for at least and hour, then transfer the Nutella Peanut Butter Balls to an airtight container and freeze. Best eaten frozen!
Storage - I love popping these chocolate hazelnut protein balls straight into the freezer and eating them frozen (so delicious) whenever I need a quick snack. They can be eaten at room temperature right after portioning, or stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. But, I think they hold together best and have a delicious texture when frozen! Keeps in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.
Use Any Chocolate You Have! - You can use chocolate chips, but I also love to use up Halloween candy, extra chocolate Easter eggs, Hershey bars from last summer's s'mores, really any chocolate will do! If you are using larger chunks or pieces, let them pulse in the food processor with the nuts and pretzels first so they get broken up.
These bliss protein balls are Super Kid-Friendly, like I have to hide them from my kids in the back of the freezer if I want them to last all week! Great to throw in a lunchbox and a perfect dessert when you don't want them to overdo it! Kids love to help make them too!
A portion scoop is the BEST to form energy bites into ball shape! You can roll them with your hands but it's really not needed. If you don't have a small portion scoop, you can form them into equal sized balls with a spoon and roll them with your hands, but it's a lot more work! A portion scoop is a great kitchen tool, you just might want to get one! I have a couple sizes, they are great for getting equal sized Cookies, Muffins, or Meatballs!
More Healthier Treats!
Peanut Butter Nutella Protein Balls
- 1 cup nuts and seeds any combination of almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, peanuts, sunflower, chia, or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup pretzels
- ¼ cup chocolate or white chocolate chips (or 3-4 fun size candy bars)
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup raisins
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup nutella
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- Pulse nuts and pretzels (and candy bars if using) in the food processor 5 or 6 times. Add all other ingredients and process until well combined. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula a few times to get everything incorporated.
- Use a portion scoop to form mixture into bites and lay on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the whole tray in the freezer for at least and hour before transferring to a container to freeze. Best eaten straight from the freezer!
- Store in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. Delicious when eaten frozen! Can also be eaten raw when first made, refrigerated for 2 weeks, or frozen then thawed.
- A portion scoop works well to form into ball shape. You can roll them with your hands but it's not needed. If you don't have a small portion scoop, you can form them into equal sized balls with a spoon and roll them with your hands.