School is back in full swing now, which has me searching for make-ahead breakfast and lunch ideas that I can grab and go on busy mornings. These Cookie Dough Protein Balls are a new favorite!
These little no-bake protein bites make a satisfying breakfast or snack, are easy-to-make, are filled with wholesome ingredients, and taste like you’re eating cookie dough. I mean really, what’s not to love?Jump to Recipe
How to Make Cookie Dough Protein Balls
The secret ingredient in this recipe is chickpeas, but you’d never know it.
Because these little energy bites are made in the food processor, the chickpeas get blended into a nice creamy, cookie-dough-like texture.
Seriously, it’s like eating a healthier version of chocolate chip cookie dough.
Oatmeal or Oat Flour
I used regular oatmeal right out of my pantry because I almost always have it on hand. Then, I gave it a good whirl in the food processor to grind it into a fine texture. You could also use oat flour that’s already been ground for you, since it’s essentially the same thing.
Remove the ground oats from the food processor and set them aside to add back in later.
Next, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas (also sometimes called garbanzo beans). If any of the little skins of the beans start to come off, just remove and discard. This will give your protein balls a better, creamier texture.
Add the chickpeas to the food processor, along with the peanut butter. You could substitute the peanut butter for your favorite nut butter or seed butter if you prefer.
To sweeten these cookie dough protein balls, I prefer to use honey, but if you’re looking to make these energy bites Vegan, you could easily swap out the honey for pure maple syrup or even agave syrup.
Next, add some vanilla extract. I always use Watkins, especially in recipes like this with few ingredients, because the quality of the flavors is much more noticeable.
Blend the mixture in the food processor until creamy, before returning the ground oats to the mixture, along with the chia seeds.
Chia seeds pack a lot of nutritional punch for their small size. They are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients. Plus, they don’t add a lot of extra calories for all that benefit, making them a perfect addition to these cookie dough protein balls.
Next, add two scoops of your favorite protein powder. My current favorite is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It’s flavorless and soluble in both hot and cold foods, so I can use it from my coffee, to my smoothies, to this healthy cookie dough. Plus, the collagen is great for hair and nails!
Of course, you could sub this out with your favorite plant-based protein if you want.
Blend again until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth.
Add about 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips to the protein dough and pulse just a couple of times until the chocolate chips are mixed in. You don’t want to chop them up too much, so be cautious.
Shape into Balls
I used a cookie dough scoop to shape my protein bites into 16 balls.
Place the cookie dough protein balls in the fridge to firm up a bit before eating. They can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Cookie Dough Protein Balls
- Food Processor
- Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place on a paper towel and dry off. If some of the skins start to come off, peel off and discard them. This will help the cookie dough have a better texture.
- Add oats to a food processor and blend until a fine texture. Alternately, you could use oat flour, which has already been ground for you.
- Add chickpeas, nut butter, honey, vanilla, chia seeds, protein powder and cinnamon to the food processor with the oats. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add chocolate chips and pulse a few times, just until incorporated.
- Roll into 1″ balls. Can be served immediately, or stored in a zippered storage bag in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.For longer storage, place in the freezer. Thaw at room temp for 15 minutes before eating.
- Oat flour can be subbed for the ground oatmeal. I always have old-fashioned oats in my cupboard though, and since the food processor is already out for this recipe, it’s just as easy to grind my own!
- Because this recipe uses ground oats or oat flour, it is safe to eat raw. Oatmeal/oat flour has been heat-treated prior to packaging, making it ready-to-eat. For this reason, do not sub regular all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be viewed as an estimate. Ingredients can vary and The House on Silverado makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
PS. You might also enjoy my Easy Monster Cookie Energy Bites recipe below:
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