Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls

By Lilian Dikmans

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All you need is a bowl and spoon to make these high protein Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls. No food processor needed. Unlike many protein ball recipes, they are actually high in protein and don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols.

It can be hard to find good quality protein balls or protein bars that also have a decent amount protein. So many of them also use artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols (such as erythritol).

I have nothing against non-nutritive sweeteners, and use them sometimes. But for some people they can cause digestive issues.

Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls drizzled with melted chocolate
Drizzle the balls with melted chocolate

If you want to avoid non-nutritive sweeteners, you can buy unflavoured protein powder to use in your recipes. Then you simply add your own sweetener, such as rice malt syrup, pure maple syrup or raw honey.

The recipe is also much faster to make if you use a food scale. You just put your mixing bowl on the kitchen scale and add ingredients by weight. This is why I have given the recipe ingredients in grams below. I’ve also included ml/cup equivalents if you prefer to measure things out that way.

If you don’t have any protein powder at home, you might like to try my Easy Choc Mint Bliss Balls. You won’t need any protein powder for that recipe. They’re gluten-free, low fructose and vegan too.

High protein balls recipe with whey protein

This protein ball recipe uses whey protein. I have been using an unflavoured whey protein isolate, which provides a high amount of bioavailable protein. Then I sweeten the protein balls with a combination of rice malt syrup and maple syrup.

I roll these whey protein balls quite small, so each ball has 335kJ (80Cal) and 5.2g protein. This way, I usually eat two balls at a time, which gives 10.4g protein at 669kJ (160Cal). Not bad if you want a small snack or something sweet after dinner.

Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls with a bite taken
Whey protein gives the balls a chewy texture

You can check out the full nutrition estimate at the end of the recipe below. I didn’t include the optional chocolate drizzle in the nutrition estimate because I often leave it out when I’m just making the balls for everyday eating. But the balls look pretty with the drizzle, and it’s only a small amount of chocolate if you want to add it!

Ingredients for Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls

Whey protein isolate: I use an unflavoured whey protein isolate in this recipe. If you only have flavoured whey protein powder, vanilla or chocolate flavour should work. You will need to use whey protein in this recipe because it’s sticky texture when mixed with the liquid is needed to hold the balls together. If you want to use vegan protein powder, you could try my Easy Vegan Protein Balls.

Almond butter: Look for a natural almond butter that only lists almonds in the ingredient list. If your almond butter contains salt, just omit the sea salt in the recipe. Cashew butter also works really well and doesn’t interfere with the choc mint flavour.

Ingredients for Choc Mint Whey Protein Balls
Almond butter, whey protein isolate, water, maple syrup, sea salt, peppermint oil, cacao powder, coconut flour and rice malt syrup

Rice malt syrup: I use rice malt syrup as the main sweetener because its thick texture adds chewiness to the balls. You could substitute honey if you prefer.

Pure maple syrup: I also add a small amount of maple syrup to boost the sweetness, since rice malt syrup isn’t super-sweet. You could substitute extra rice malt syrup or honey if you prefer.

Pure peppermint oil: Make sure your peppermint oil is suitable for ingestion (i.e. you can eat it). If you don’t have peppermint oil, you can use peppermint extract instead. You can buy peppermint extract in the baking section of most supermarkets.

Raw cacao powder: I use raw cacao powder for the added health benefits, but you can easily use cocoa powder instead.

Coconut flour: This gives the balls a chewier and more stable texture. If you don’t have any coconut flour, you can leave it out and reduce the amount of water added.

Sea salt: Adding a pinch of salt enhances the flavour of the balls. If you’re using a salted almond butter, taste the mixture and leave out the salt if needed.

Dark chocolate: To melt and drizzle on top of the balls. It also adds some textural contrast when you bite into the ball. You can leave it out if you prefer – the balls are still great without it.

Serves
16 small balls

Prep time
15 mins

Cook time
30 mins chilling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (125g) almond butter
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons (40ml/55g) rice malt syrup
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml/19g) pure maple syrup
  • 3 – 5 drops pure peppermint oil (or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon peppermint extract)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) unflavoured whey protein isolate
  • 1/3 cup (32g) raw cacao powder
  • 3 teaspoons (8g) coconut flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 teaspoons (30ml/30g) water
  • Dark chocolate, for drizzle (optional)

Method

  • 1
    Mix the almond butter, rice malt syrup, maple syrup and peppermint oil in a bowl until well combined.
  • 2
    Add the whey protein, cacao powder, coconut flour and salt and stir until the mixture starts to come together.
  • 3
    Add the water and continue to stir until you get a dough. You will need to work the mixture quite thoroughly with the spoon to get everything well combined. Keep at it, but add a little extra water if needed. If the mixture gets too wet, add a little extra coconut flour. Taste the mixture, and add more peppermint oil or extract to reach your preferred level of minty.
  • 4
    To divide the dough into 16 balls, press the mixture into one large sausage, then split it in two. Split each half into two, then repeat this two more times on each portion to get 16 portions.
  • 5
    Roll each portion between the palms of your hands to get smooth balls and place on a tray or plate. If you want to drizzle the balls in chocolate, melt about 35g chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the balls. Place the balls in the fridge for around 30 mins to firm up.
  • 6
    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, or freeze if you will take longer to eat them.

Notes

I recommend adding the lower amount of peppermint oil or extract at first, then you can taste later and add more if needed. I like it quite minty so I personally use the higher amount specified.

Since the whey protein powder is mixed with water, I only trust the balls in the fridge for 1-2 days. I store enough balls in the fridge for this amount of time, then wrap the remaining balls in foil or a ziplock bag and freeze them. Defrost in the fridge overnight as needed.

Nutrition

Serving size: 1 ball (excluding the optional chocolate drizzle)
Energy: 335kJ (80Cal)
Protein: 5.2g
Total Fat: 4.4g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 6.4g
Sugars: 3.3g
Dietary Fibre: 1.6g
Sodium: 21mg
Potassium: 37mg

Nutrition information is an estimate only. It may vary depending on the brand of ingredients used.

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Lilian Dikmans

Lilian Dikmans is an Australian model, Muay Thai fighter and founder of Real Food Healthy Body

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