Enjoy the Holidays Year Round With These Chocolate Peppermint Protein Balls
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There’s something nostalgic about the cool, refreshing flavor of peppermint that makes us want to grab our snowboards and hit the slopes. In the spirit of winter reverie, our Chocolate Peppermint Protein Balls roll all the goodness of cold-weather fun into a healthy treat.
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How to Make Protein Balls
The only equipment you need to make these protein bites is a food processor and a refrigerator. The first step is tossing six ingredients—dates, almond butter, rolled oats, hemp seeds, peppermint extract, and Openfit Plant-Based Protein Shake—into a food processor, then pulsing until a dough forms.
Next, roll the dough into 14 walnut-sized balls and coat them in cocoa power — just like fancy chocolate peppermint truffles! Once you’re done with that step, place them in the fridge until they’re firm.
And that’s it! Then you have perfect peppermint protein balls, each with 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 169 calories.
Chocolate Peppermint Protein Balls
- 10 Medjool dates (pitted)
- ¾ cup all-natural almond butter
- 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (for an option without added sugar try Iconic Protein Powder)
- ¼ cup dry rolled oats
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (for coating; optional)
Place dates, almond butter, protein powder, and oats, hemp seeds, and extract in food processor; pulse until smooth dough forms. Scrape down sides as needed.
Shape mixture into 14 walnut-sized balls.
Place cocoa powder in shallow bowl; roll balls in cocoa powder to coat, if desired.
Place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
Serve immediately, or store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.
The Power of Peppermint
Among the different varieties of mint, peppermint stands out for its high concentration of menthol. This is a natural compound that triggers our cold-sensing receptors and creates a cooling sensation.
During the time before air-conditioning, hard candies could only be made during the winter because summer humidity spoiled their texture, leading to their wintertime popularity. And even on the iciest days, minty treats, such as candy canes, peppermint bark, and mint chocolates, keep our tastebuds happy.
But tasting good isn’t the not the only benefit of peppermint. This cooling treat has actually been linked to improving alertness and increasing athletic performance, along with a slew of other health benefits, such as soothing headaches, settling upset stomachs, and relieving sore muscles (all good things after a day of shredding).
How to Enjoy Healthier Peppermint Protein Balls
Unfortunately, while those red-and-white-striped candies make us feel confident that our breath still smells kissable after a date at a spicy Indian restaurant, they don’t have much nutritional value. (OK….they don’t have any nutritional value because they’re essentially sugar and food coloring).
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the sweet flavors of peppermint! Enter: our recipe hack. Instead of refined sugar and glucose syrup, our fudgy, chocolate peppermint protein balls get their sweetness from Medjool dates and only take about 10 minutes to make (plus, 30 minutes to chill in the fridge).
For the ultimate DIY Valentine’s Day gift for your partner or best friend, buy a heart-shaped box or tin and roll up a batch of our Chocolate Peppermint Protein Balls. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Photography by Meghan Hensley.