These protein balls not only taste great, but are high in protein, essential fats, and antioxidants – the perfect snack for those who need an energy boost in the middle of the day, or need to load up on protein for a long day of work ahead.
The Raw Protein Balls Recipe
- 2 teaspoons hemp protein powder (available at health food stores)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 5 tablespoons ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- extra ground almond for rolling (optional)
Grind up the almond and flax seeds in a food processor or by hand using a mortar and pestle. Once they’ve been ground up to a fine consistency, add all the ingredients to a small mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly, using your hands or or the back of a spoon to mix with a downward pressing motion. Mixing these ingredients thoroughly could take a few minutes.
Once the ingredients are completely mixed together, divide the mixture into seven teaspoon sized sections and roll each section into a ball. If you’ve set aside extra ground almond, you can roll the balls in the almond powder for garnish.
Store these treats in the fridge and enjoy them throughout the day.
How It Works
These protein ball snacks contain many beneficial ingredients. Here’s a breakdown:
Almonds are a particularly energy-dense food, rich in monounsaturated fat, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and copper. The fat composition and fiber content of almonds make them a beneficial food to have as part of your regular diet.
“The emerging evidence supports that almond consumption beneficially influences chronic degenerative disease risk beyond cholesterol reduction, particularly in populations with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus,” one review states(1).
Flax seed is one of the richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, making it a must for vegetarians and vegans as an alternative to fish and other animal-based sources of omega-3. It has also been shown to have beneficial effects when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease(2).
Sometimes called a superfood, cocoa powder is loaded with antioxidants – more antioxidants that most other fruits and plant-based products. It’s this high level of antioxidants that has made cacao powder famous for fighting off age-related diseases and even having anti-cancer properties.
“Cocoa powder and dark chocolate contain relatively high concentrations of certain polyphenolic compounds, most notably flavanols,” one paper explains.
“Flavanols, especially the monomer epicatechin and oligomers and polymers of flavanols called proanthocyanins, can act as strong antioxidants in food systems. Notably, cocoa flavanols have been associated with numerous health benefits including the stimulation of nitric oxide synthase, improving blood flow and arterial elasticity, decreasing blood pressure and platelet aggregation, and having anti-inflammatory actions.”(3)