These vegan peanut butter cherry chia balls are the perfect, kid-friendly on the go snack! Full of flavor, fiber and a hint of sweetness, these peanut butter protein balls are nutritious, easy and delicious!
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I don’t think I need to tell you about my love for snacks. These chia peanut butter balls are our new favorite!
The kids love them, they’re ready in minutes, and easy to throw together – all of my favorite things. Plus, chia seeds for kids are full of so many necessary nutrients!
These energy bites with chia seeds continue to be one of my favorite snack recipes. I made a bunch this weekend as part of my favorite easy toddler snacks but it’s safe to say I munched on most of these.
Plus, these easy peanut butter seed balls just got a new upgrade for food photos, and they look so much more delicious now!
They are the perfect balance of delicious and they make healthy no bake treats look really easy.
Why You’ll Love Peanut Butter Chia Balls
- Full of nutrient-dense ingredients – oats, nut butter, chia seeds, flaxseeds and more.
- Ready in minutes – Who doesn’t love a good, quick no-bake recipe?
- Easy to throw in kids’ lunches – If you struggle with packing a lunch for school, these peanut butter chia balls are a great addition! If you are in a nut-free school, you can use soy butter or sunflower seed butter.
- Versatile and flexible – If you don’t have an ingredient or want to substitute it out, easy enough! You can use honey or maple syrup as your sweetener, and sub out the nut butter. You can leave out the dried cherries, or use raisins or another dried fruit instead.
- Vegan and gluten free – If you make the recipe as it is, it is vegan and gluten-free, and a great plant-based protein source. Make sure to use certified gluten free oats!
- Easy to freeze for later – Part of me thinks I should keep making things in bulk to freeze for when baby gets here (like my freezer friendly meals), but the other part of me knows that snacks like this don’t last for long around our house.
- Great post workout snack – Protein, carbs and antioxidants for after your workout. Here are more benefits of chia seeds for runners.
But, at least I know these chia peanut butter balls are being enjoyed.
Ingredients For Chia Peanut Butter Balls
To make these vegan, gluten free energy balls, you just need a handful of ingredients, which I get from my monthly Thrive Market haul.
- oats – Increase the protein with these protein oats
- peanut butter
- hemp seeds (recommend buying at Thrive Market)
- chia seeds
- flax seeds
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- dried cherries – I love this brand because it has no added sugar or oils
- If you don’t have hemp, chia or flax seeds, you can leave them out or swap with adding extra of one of them. They don’t really change the taste, but add some texture and a ton of omega 3‘s + nutrition!
- Substitute peanut butter with almond butter, soy butter, or even sunflower butter.
- Try raisins or other dried fruit instead of the tart cherries
- If you suffer from FODMAP intolerance, dates can be problematic as a source of fructans and can lead to runners stomach symptoms, so it’s nice to know these are no date energy balls!
Let’s talk about the dried cherries – they are fantastic. I always have some dried fruit on hand for long runs (instant glucose).
Plus, cherries (specifically, tart cherries and tart cherry juice) can be great for reducing inflammation.
How To Make Chia Seed Protein Balls
To get started, you will need a food processor for this recipe because it does all the work for you.
To make, you’ll just mix all of the ingredients together, pulse for a few minutes and you’re done!
These flaxseed protein balls are perfect for quick, on-the-go snack ideas. Or, a fun accompaniment to your salad, oatmeal or yogurt.
They also pose as ideal pre- and post-workout snacks for athletes.
They check ALL of the boxes – carbs, protein and fats.
Finally, just make sure to allow these guys to sit in the fridge to firm them up a bit, but they can be ready in under an hour!
If the mix seems too dry, you can add more honey or maple syrup if needed.
Yes, these chia seed energy bites are great for the freezer. After you roll them into ball shape, keep them in a freezer-friendly bag or stasher bag for up to 3 months.
If your chia protein balls are too sticky, you may have too much nut butter and/or maple syrup or honey. To fix, you can add more oats, oat flour, or even add a protein powder as well.
Each bite provides about 5 grams of protein. To increase the protein, add your favorite protein powder or even protein oats.
Other Easy No Bake Snack Recipes
- Lemon Coconut Protein Balls
- No Bake Carrot Cake Bites
- Sweet potato coconut energy bites
- Chocolate peanut butter coconut bites
- Chocolate Pomegranate Energy bites
- Edible Cookie Dough Bites
- Stir all ingredients, except the dried cherries, in a medium bowl or pulse in a food processor on low.
- Transfer mixture to a small to medium bowl, adding cherries in last.
- Cover and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes to make the mixture easier to hold and handle.
- Form into 1” balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to a week.
- you may need to add extra honey or maple syrup if the mix seems too dry.
- If you want to up the protein, use protein oats or add a protein powder.
- If the mixture seems too sticky, you may need to add more dry ingredients or reduce the nut butter/maple syrup.
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Dried Cherries Unsweetened Tart Cherry, 1lb. Montmorency Tart Cherries, Dried Sour Cherries Fresh, Montmorency Dried Tart Cherries, Dried Cherries No Sugar Added, All-Natural Whole Sour Cherry 16 oz.
KitchenAid KFP1466CU 14-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice System and Dicing Kit - Contour Silver
Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed, 24 Ounce (Pack of 1)
Nutiva Organic Premium Black Chia Seeds, 32 Ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g