Protein balls had a major moment a few years ago—and keto has totally brought ’em back.
“Protein balls are super fun and have become so popular because they are easy to make, easy to take on-the-go, and can be customized to a ton of different flavors and preferences depending on what you like, including pumpkin, cookie dough, and every flavor in between,” says nutritionist Maggie Michcalczyk, RD. (Helpful tip: Most recipes require just a food processor, if any kitchen gadgets at all.)
Though these bite-sized eats feel like a treat, they can be seriously nutritious, too. Pop one for something sweet after dinner or grab two or three before a workout, she suggests.
Your goal: Stick to recipes that provide some protein and fiber. “This combination will help to make your balls a more substantial snack,” Michalczyk says.
Many recipes get their protein from protein powder or collagen powder, or plant-based sources like nuts, seeds, chia, or hemp seeds. In addition to adding nutrition, the plant-based add-ins also give protein balls a really nice texture, says Michalczyk.
“In terms of sweeteners, stick to natural sweeteners like honey or dates,” she says. “These definitely help to give protein balls a touch of natural sweetness without going overboard,” she says.
Since many packaged varieties are loaded with added sweeteners, you’re best off whipping up your own—and with these 40 protein ball recipes, you’ll literally never get bored of DIYing.