This peanut butter chocolate chip low calorie protein ball recipe is so easy to make and tastes like a cookie! For only 80 calories per ball and 6 grams of protein, these are a great way to satisfy cravings and help you hit your protein goals.
These low calorie protein balls are a new favorite around these parts. They are perfect for peanut butter lovers, and this healthy treat is an easy snack that even the kids scarf down! I love this low calorie peanut butter protein balls recipe because they’re so quick and easy to throw together.
These easy protein balls are a great snack that the whole family likes when craving sweet treats. Whether your goal is weight loss or muscle building, you’re going to love these!
My husband has a pretty lofty protein goal since he is so tall and working on building more muscle. I need to find ways to add even a few extra grams of protein to everything for him–it all adds up to increase his daily protein intake! And even though my protein goal is quite a bit less than his, it helps me out, too.
What Makes this Recipe Low Calorie?
This delicious recipe uses dried deglet nour dates to improve the natural flavoring, increase stickiness, and improve texture of the protein ball mixture without adding a large quantity of honey for stickiness.
While yes, dates have sugar, this recipe just uses a few for the whole batch. I found in my recipe testing that the natural sweetness they contribute balances out the flavorings from the protein powder & sugar-free maple syrup, and they greatly improved the texture of these protein balls without having to add something thick and high calorie like peanut butter, which would raise the calories quite a bit from what powdered peanut butter contributes.
The powdered peanut butter adds tons of protein and peanut butter flavor without the fat. While nut butter is filled with healthy fats, there’s no denying that fats are calorie-dense, and my goal with these protein balls was to keep them low-calorie. There are only so many ways to reduce calories in a treat like this, and using powdered peanut butter instead of regular makes the most sense for the goals of this recipe.
A touch of sugar-free maple syrup brightens up the sweetness without adding many calories (yes, you can use regular maple syrup if you prefer!)
We also add sugar-free chocolate chips to this recipe (Lily’s brand) because nothing is better than the peanut butter-chocolate combo, and a brand like Lily’s will keep the added sugars down.
All of this comes together to make a great snack from relatively simple ingredients. Without further ado, let’s get to making this low calorie protein ball recipe!
Gather the following healthy ingredients to make these low calorie chocolate peanut butter protein balls:
- Rolled Oats – I use an organic brand of sprouted rolled oats. Sprouting offers many potential benefits, but you are free to use whatever kind of oats you prefer.
- Deglet Nour Dates – Make sure you get a pitted & dried variety. These are easy to find at most grocery stores in the dried food section. My large bag was purchased at Costco. Deglet Nour is the variety I prefer for treat-making. 🙂
- Powdered Peanut Butter – I am working through a giant jug of pbFit, but pb2 also works just as well.
- Vanilla Whey Protein Powder – This adds more protein, flavor, and sweetness to our protein balls.
- Maple Syrup (sugar-free or regular) – A couple tablespoons of syrup helps elevate the cookie-like flavors and improve the stickiness texture for rolling these into balls. I used the Lakanto sugar-free maple flavored syrup, but regular maple syrup works just as well. If you use regular maple syrup, this would add about 10 calories to your protein balls–not a huge deal overall.
- Chocolate Chips – You can use whatever brand you prefer, but I used Lily’s to cut back on sugar a bit and this brand is pretty easy to find in most stores nowadays. But yes, you can also use regular chocolate chips, and it doesn’t add many calories to do so, so just use what you like. Mini chocolate chips are best.
- Water – A little water makes this thick mixture easier to blend.
To make this delicious low calorie protein ball recipe, follow the steps below!
1. Blend Ingredients
Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips to a blender or food processor and pulse about 10 times to combine. This is a very sticky, thick batter (just like cookie dough!) You may need to scrape down the sides a time or two to get everything incorporated but do not worry too much about it being perfectly smooth. We just want it to be evenly mixed.
2. Fold in Chocolate Chips
Scrape the dough out of the blender or food processor into a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips and use a sturdy spoon to fold them evenly into the dough.
3. Roll the Balls
Scoop out the dough into balls using a spoon or small cookie scoop and roll them in your hands to smooth out. Place them on a plate or piece of parchment paper. You should get 12-14 balls.
Store these low-calorie protein balls at room temperature in an airtight container.
Tips & Variations
If you want to elevate these the next time you make them, double the amount of chocolate chips, but instead of stirring them into the protein ball dough, melt them. Roll the dough into balls and dip each one in chocolate.
This is our FAVORITE way to eat them, but it does raise the calories to add more chocolate, so the “official” recipe isn’t written this way but if you have the calories to spare, you will LOVE them that way!
I like using a simple vanilla protein powder, but you’re welcome to try this out with different flavors to make a variety of protein ball recipes. Chocolate protein balls would be delicious, too!
This recipe has only been tested with whey protein, but you can certainly try using a vegan protein powder if needed.
Need some other high-protein sweet treats? Check out my collection of Ninja Creami Protein Ice Creams!
This recipe makes 12-14 balls depending on size. For 14 servings, the nutritional information per ball is:
- 80 calories
- 6 grams protein
- 2 grams of fat
- 11 grams carbs
Store these low-calorie protein balls at room temperature in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
“Healthy” is subjective, and we are all individuals with different goals and react to food differently. That said, most energy ball recipes are high-calorie from things like nut butter, honey, and candies like M&M’s while being low in protein. There’s nothing WRONG with nut butter or honey, I eat them myself often. But they do add to the calorie count and sugars in the recipe without contributing much protein, and most people making energy balls want a healthy protein-rich snack, not something akin to a cookie. That’s why my recipe is a great choice for those looking for a healthy treat!
The point of protein balls is to have a filling snack to help you crush cravings and tame your sweet tooth.
Yes, you definitely can eat too many protein balls. Eating too much in one sitting is likely to cause some gastrointestinal distress from the high amount of protein in the powders and the fiber in the oats & dates.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Low Calorie Protein Balls
- Blender or Food Processor
- 1 cup rolled oats about 105 grams
- 5-6 sun dried deglet nour pitted dates about 45 grams
- 50 grams powdered peanut butter (PbFit)
- 50 grams vanilla whey isolate protein powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup–sugar-free (such as Lakanto) or regular 30 ml
- 3 tbsp water
- 50 grams no sugar added chocolate chips, like Lily's
- Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips to a blender or food processor. Pulse until everything is mixed evenly. This will be a thick dough.
- Scoop the protein ball dough out of the blender into a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate chips and fold them in.
- Scoop the mixture into 12-14 equal size balls.
- Store in an airtight container. These will be good for 5-7 days…if they last that long.