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Raw Cacao Protein Balls

I have done the hard work here testing; and sampling; various protein ball combinations. It was really tough….

What I decided was that I was seeking a not-too-sweet option packed with protein and good fats. Only a few ingredients, a simple recipe, NO COOKING or BAKING and something that kept well in the fridge or freezer.

This recipe has been adapted fromย The Healthy Chefย who is a wonderful resource for all things clean!

These balls are gluten-free, dairy-free, delicious and the most popular recipe on this website so clearly others agree with me! Anything that can be made so quickly and with such wonderful and natural ingredients gets a big tick from me and this recipe is on high rotation in my house…

Raw Cacao Protein Balls - makes 25 small balls

Gluten-free / Refined sugar-free
  • 175g raw almonds
  • 175g raw walnuts
  • 15ย Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 1/2 tablespoon natural vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 scoops protein powder of your choice (pea, brown rice, whey)
  • 1 tablespoon black or white chia seeds


  1. Place nuts, cacao, cinnamon and protein powder into the food processor
  2. Blend until the mixture looks crumbly
  3. Add in the dates, vanilla extract & chia seeds processing again until the mixture begins to come together
  4. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor to ensure that all of the mixture is processed
  5. If you notice that the mixture is not soft enough to form a soft ball, add a splash of water and continue to process
  6. Once processed, form into 25 small balls
  7. These balls can be stored in the fridge or freezer for as long as 4 weeks (the freezer is the best!)
  8. Enjoy!

Raw Cacao Protein Balls | Nadia Felsch

Sweetness factor

If you have not yet had the pleasure of sampling Medjool dates, you simply must! In my opinion these are the ONLY dates and of course the fresher, the better! These incredible little bites are all natural and incredibly sweet; in many recipes I use dates and no other sweetener is needed! You should not have any issues finding them and I can tell you that the Natural Delights brand is sold at Harris Farm Markets.

Which Protein?

Plant or animal based proteins, go with what you feel like. Should you choose whey – go with a clean and unprocessed Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), the options are varied!

Would love to hear how you go with these… and whether you find the self-control to not eat them all in a week!

Nadia xxx

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Have you tried these: ? They come in loads of flavours and are all cold pressed (no cooking :)) really yummy. I love them but they are a bit pricey though. Think it’s time I made my own!

    August 3, 2013
    • I have not tried these as I love making my own!

      You should definitely give this recipe a go and let me know how you go… x

      August 3, 2013
  2. Reblogged this on livingonsaturn and commented:
    these look so good, AND healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 31, 2013
  3. Roz #

    Yummo, just tried one and asked for the receipe. Will be shopping for the ingredients tonight to make for myself..

    October 2, 2013
  4. Priscila #

    Is there any substitute for cacao? I can’t eat it.

    October 9, 2013
    • Hi Priscilla thanks for your message!

      We are currently reviewing some options for you… The first thing that comes to mind is coconut (without preservative 220) though let me get back to you ๐Ÿ™‚

      October 15, 2013
      • Priscila #

        Thanks a lot Nadia!
        I will try to make with coconut and I let you know the result. ๐Ÿ™‚

        October 15, 2013
  5. Chrissy #

    Do you need to soak the chia seeds before adding them?

    October 16, 2013
    • Hi Chrissy no you do not need to soak the chia seeds before adding to the recipe.
      When we soak chia seeds they enlarge – taking all the water up with them and for this recipe that is not required.


      October 16, 2013
  6. Lydia #

    How many carbs are there?

    November 12, 2013
    • Hi Lydia

      An average ball size of 34g has the below macronutrients:

      Protein – 5.4g
      Fat – 9.5g (high nut content)
      Carbs – 11.3g (almost entirely from the date content so adjust this quantity if the carbs are too high)


      November 14, 2013
  7. Jodie #

    Thanks so much for this Nadia. I made these for Christmas and used a bit of rum instead of vanilla essence = rum balls which are at least mostly healthy. They were a hit with everyone and have just made another post-Christmas batch sans the alcohol – just as tasty. Cheers.

    December 28, 2013
    • Great to hear Jodie and thank you for sharing!

      Clean rum balls sound like a great (and delicious!) idea so go you. Enjoy the new batch x

      December 29, 2013
  8. brooke #

    Hi !, what if we don’t use the dates & only almonds.. what would the macros be then?

    April 13, 2014
    • Hi Brooke – thanks for the question!

      I would recommend a few dates or a high quality oil (macadamia or coconut for example) to hold the ingredients together. Additionally the dates are the “sweet” factor in this recipe.
      However should you choose to use the recipe WITHOUT the dates the nutritional guide is below:

      Average weight of a ball – 34g
      Calories – 200
      Protein 9.2g
      Fat 16.8g
      Carbs 2.3g


      April 15, 2014
  9. Judy Clarke #

    I have a REALLY healthy version of PROTEIN BALLS. Great for kids to snack on that will build them up, give them energy, concentration, health with NO sugar, No preservatives, Nothing bad.
    with Maca powder, protein powder, Hemp powder, coconut,pureed dates, a beaten egg, coconut oil, raw cacao,real vanilla and almond meal.

    July 11, 2014
    • Good one thanks for sharing Judy!
      For anyone wanting to try this one out, be sure to test egg allergies first especially with kids as often whole raw eggs can cause a reaction.

      July 11, 2014
  10. Karen #

    These are awesome thanks! What is the calorie per serving for the original recipe posted?

    October 22, 2014

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