Pop quiz, hotshot: You’re crushing your nutrition goals, seeing awesome progress at the gym, and feeling pretty great, when you get the sudden and insatiable urge for something chocolatey and delicious. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!
I mean, you could just eat the thing you’re craving! There’s a lot to be said for portion-controlled indulgences, even if you’re trying to lose weight.
(You could also try urge surfing, if you’re trying to stay off the sweets altogether)
But if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to baked goods, these chocolate energy protein balls are a great stand-in.
I love this recipe for lots of reasons (not least of all, taste). But here’s what I love most.
Have you ever eaten just 5 peanut butter M&Ms out of a massive bag? If so, you’re my goddamn hero.
But if you’re like lots of people, you spend the rest of the day going back into the kitchen for just one more.
Here’s the deal. Lots of sweets leave you craving junk food, even after you treat yo’self. And yes, sweets are delicious, but there’s also some biochemistry going on behind the scenes.
Sugary treats can cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall faster than the last car on the Screamin’ Eagle. And when this happens, your body starts quiely nagging you to eat something sweet to bring it back up to a normal range.
So how is this recipe any better?
For starters, the sweetness comes from dates. That’s it–no added sugar.
PLUS, each chocolate energy protein ball provides 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. This protein + fiber combo slows down sugar absorption, leaving you much less likely to crave sugar later in the day.
Sounds pretty great right–a satisfying treat that doesn’t throw you off the rails all day? Here’s how to make them.
Chocolate Energy Protein Balls
Yields: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (hands off)
• ½ cup (50g) chocolate protein powder of choice (I like Ascent Chocolate Peanut Butter whey)
• 2 cups (350g) soft dates
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• ⅛ teaspoon salt
• ½ tablespoon coconut oil
Make sure the dates are soft. If not, measure out the dates and place them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow the dates to soak for 5 minutes, then drain the water and towel dry the dates.
Place the protein powder, dates, cocoa powder, salt and coconut oil into a food processor. And pulse until well combined.
If the mixture looks too dry, add a teaspoon of coconut oil. If the mixture is too wet, add an extra teaspoon of protein powder.
Roll out the balls into roughly 1.5 inch balls. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll in more cocoa powder (optional).
Want a printable version of this recipe, complete with nutrition facts and a scannable MyFitnessPal code? Click here!
That’s it! Five ingredients + 10 minutes of prep = 10 delicious, healthier chocolate treats!
Try it out and let me know what you think.