These Tahini Coconut Protein Energy Bites are the perfect nut-free, on-the-go snack using natural sweeteners like dates.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Date caramel – make you own by blending dates with water.
- Maple syrup – you can also use honey, molasses or cane sugar (keep in mind it will alter the nutritional information).
- Tahini – if you can’t find any tahini, use a nut or seed butter instead.
- Rolled oats – steel cut oats, quick oats or quinoa flakes will all work in place of rolled oats.
- Brown rice cereal – use a store-bought version or make your own.
- Vanilla protein powder – use any protein powder brand that you like. If you’re allergic to dairy, use vegan protein powder.
- Unsweetened coconut – sweetened coconut will also work but will increase the calorie count.
- Sesame seeds – chia seeds are a protein-packed alternative.
- Sunflower seeds – swap out for another seed like pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, hemp seeds or flax seeds.
- Chocolate chips – use semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate chips, or swap them out entirely for cacao nibs or a chopped chocolate bar.
How to make energy bites
- Make the date caramel.
- Combine the tahini, vanilla and maple syrup.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix together the caramel-tahini and oat mixture.
- Form into balls and refrigerate.
- Roll in coconut, serve and enjoy!
Choosing a protein powder
When it comes to protein powder, I like using a whey-based vanilla protein powder. The vanilla adds a hint of sweetness without all the extra calories. Make sure to pick a protein powder that has the fewest ingredients possible where protein is listed as the first ingredient. If you’re dairy-free, you can swap out the whey protein for a vegan protein powder of your choice instead.
Here’s the protein powder I use if you’re looking for a good one!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Protein bites are a healthy and filling snack. This homemade recipe is much healthier than the version you might buy at a store, because the protein bites are made of whole ingredients with natural sweeteners.
These energy bites are made of date caramel, maple syrup, tahini, rolled oats, brown rice cereal, vanilla protein powder, shredded coconut, seeds and chocolate chips. The date caramel acts as a natural sweetener so you don’t have to add in too much maple syrup!
The total protein count will vary based on what kind of protein powder you use, but each bite should have about 5 grams of protein per ball.
Storing and reheating
Store these energy bites in a large container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This recipe makes a big batch, so you’ll have lots to snack on!
Can you freeze energy bites?
Once the protein balls are chilled, they can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bag for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy your frozen energy balls, let them thaw at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. If you're in a rush to leave the house, microwave them for 30 seconds and they will be ready to enjoy right away!
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More healthy snack ideas
- Stuffed Caramel Apples with Chocolate Drizzle
- Easy Garlic Parmesan Popcorn
- Open Faced Naan Samosa Bites
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Use these Ziploc bags if you want to store your protein balls in the freezer!
- Here is the protein powder I use.
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls to store these protein balls.
Tahini Coconut Protein Energy Bites
- 1/2 cup date caramel see recipe below
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup brown rice cereal
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/2 cup water
- Using a food processor or a Magic Bullet, mix together dates and water until well combined and creamy.
- Microwave or heat tahini, vanilla and maple syrup together in a small saucepan until smooth.
- Add oats, rice cereal, protein powder, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips and coconut to a large bowl.
- Add caramel-tahini mixture to oat mixture and mix until combined well. Form into little balls, then refrigerate for at least 30 min.
- Roll balls in unsweetened coconut before serving (optional). Store in the fridge up to 2 months and enjoy!
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