As most of us know by now, the key to keeping kids (and adults!) full is protein. With a bit of experimentation and planning, I came up with these simple peanut butter protein balls. Not only is this an easy snack to make in 5 minutes or less, but my kids (and I!) love them. Win-win.
I’ve been trying to feed my kids healthier foods with more protein, especially at snack time. Consequently, that means replacing the oh-so-tempting processed boxed stuff with homemade snacks. About a month ago, I started experimenting and came up with this yummy recipe: 5-Minute peanut butter protein balls.
Easy Snacks to Make in 5 Minutes that are Naturally Sweetened
The one thing I don’t need to give my kids any extra of is sugar. Therefore, I chose to make these peanut butter protein balls without any added sugar. I did add a bit of honey to make these more palatable—but only 1/3 cup for the entire batch.
In addition, if you want to cut the sugar down even further, make sure to use natural peanut butter instead of your typical big-brand variety. You may be surprised to learn how much sugar is added to peanut butter if you take a look at the label!
Peanut Butter Protein Balls
These peanut butter snack balls are packed with protein. This is thanks to four of the main ingredients:
- Peanut butter – 8 grams for 2 tbsp
- Oatmeal – 12 grams for a cup of dry oatmeal
- Ground flaxseed – 1.3 grams per tablespoon
- Sunflower seeds – 15 grams per half cup
Plus, depending on the add-ins, you can boost the protein even more. My kids all love these and one or two is enough to satisfy each child at snack time.
Add-Ins for the Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Mix ins are what make this recipe fun (and tasty!). For these peanut butter protein balls, I include peanut butter, raisins, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oatmeal. It’s a winning flavor combination!
However, if you don’t have one of these on hand, or if you want to try a different flavor, here are a few other mix-ins you can add to these peanut butter balls:
- Dried cranberries (look for a variety without added sugar)
- Nuts such as walnuts or crushed almonds
- Dried unsweetened coconut
- Chocolate chips
- Cocoa powder
The sky is the limit with these! Consequently, if you are in an adventurous mood, you can even let your kids pick and choose their add-ins and make a few batches.
How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Yes, these 5-minute peanut butter protein balls really do take a mere 5 minutes to mix together. Personally, I like making these in the summer since you don’t have to bake them. Simply mix all the ingredients together, and start rolling them into balls. I like that this is one of the easy snacks to make that my kids can actually help with too.
I’m betting you probably have a lot of these ingredients on hand already in your pantry. Here’s everything you need to make these 5-minute snacks.
- oats (old-fashioned works best, but you can use quick-cooking if that’s all you have. Use gluten-free oats if needed)
- sunflower seeds, shelled
- peanut butter (I recommend natural peanut butter without added sugar)
*Note: if you don’t have certain ingredients, like flaxseed or sunflower seeds, you can omit it and use a little extra oats instead.
Instructions for Making the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls:
First, combine the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Next, add the peanut butter and honey and mix together. You may need to add a little more peanut butter &/or honey, depending on the consistency of your peanut butter balls.
It should hold together when rolled into balls without being too sticky. As a result, I usually do 1 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of honey.
Lastly, shape into 1 inch balls and enjoy!
How to Store Peanut Butter Protein Balls
There are a couple of different ways you can keep these protein balls fresh. My preferred method is to store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I do this as it keeps the balls from sticking together, but they can still be accessible to grab and go.
You can also store these in the freezer. They will thaw out well, it will just take several hours.
You can also leave them at room temperature or throw a few in a container in your purse for a day out. These peanut butter protein balls won’t go bad at room temperature for a few hours. If it’s longer than a few hours, however, I would keep them in the fridge.
5-Minute Peanut Butter Snack Balls
Packed with protein, these snack balls have no added sugar and are a yummy treat for all ages.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Total Time: 5 min
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: snacks
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 cups oats (old-fashioned oats work best but you can use quick-cooking too. Use gluten-free oats if needed.)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
- 1/4 cup flaxseed
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup peanut butter (I recommend natural peanut butter without added sugar)
- 1/3–1/2 cup honey
- Combine the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Add the peanut butter and honey and mix together. You may need to add a little more peanut butter &/or honey, depending on the consistency of your snack balls. It should hold together well when shaped into a ball without being too sticky.
- Shape into 1″ balls and enjoy!
- Store extras in a sealed container in the refrigerator
Keywords: peanut butter energy balls, protein snack
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