Who said that healthy things can’t taste great?
And, more so, that healthy things can’t have delicious ingredients... like salted caramel?
If you’re looking for ways to amp up your protein intake, whilst indulging your sweet craving, then you have found it! In this article we’ll give you a mouth-watering, and easy to follow, recipe for salted caramel protein balls.
Then we’ll tell you exactly why each of these ingredients is a great way to support your healthy, active lifestyle.
Ready? Let’s roll!
How to make salted caramel protein balls in 3 easy steps
Before you get started, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make 15 protein balls:
- 1 cup (or 175g) Medjool dates
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 1 scoop salted caramel protein powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup (or 50g) of rolled oats
It’ll only take about 15 minutes to bring this recipe together, and an extra 30 minutes for the balls to set in the fridge. You don’t need an oven. Just a bowl, a food processor and a tray lined with baking or parchment paper.
Step 1: Throw the dates into the food processor and hit ‘on’. You want the dates to get creamy, but not be totally pulverised! A few small pieces should still be visible.
Step 2: Mix in the almond butter, protein powder, sea salt, chia seeds and rolled oats. Give the mix another quick pulse with your food processor, until everything is combined.
Step 3: Grab a handful of the mix and roll with your fingers into 1-inch balls, before placing on the tray. Once you’ve rolled all 15 balls, place the tray in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
These delicious protein balls are super good for you! Here’s why...
They say that good things come in small packages, and that’s definitely true for these salted caramel protein balls.
With only 6 ingredients, and a super simple to follow recipe, these sweet treats are punching well beyond their weight when it comes to the benefits they deliver.
Medjool dates — one of nature’s most overlooked superfoods
The main ingredient to these salted caramel protein balls is Medjool dates.
The date is a hugely under-rated fresh fruit. Not only are dates packed with goodness, they offer enough nutritional benefits to be considered part of the superfoods group.
Whilst there are over 1,500 varieties of dates, growing all over the world from West Coast USA to the Middle East, Medjool dates are one of the most popular because of their big size and juicy texture.
Using Medjool dates in this protein ball recipe gives a sweet, caramel-like flavour — perfect to complement the salted caramel protein powder.
But the date’s role doesn’t stop there...
100g of dates packs 7g of fiber and 2g of protein, which means that these salted caramel protein balls will really aid your digestion and, therefore, promote weight loss.
What’s more, Medjool dates also have a high antioxidant count, to keep your body in great shape from head to toe.
Almond butter — a delicious, lower fat alternative to peanut butter
A jar of nut butter is a cupboard staple for anyone who works out a lot.
One spoonful before or after exercise delivers slow energy release and supports muscle repair. But if you’ve been limiting yourself to peanut butter alone, then you’re missing out on a great alternative: almond butter.
We know that all nut butters contain a large amount of fat, but that’s not necessarily something to worry about. In essence, fat isn’t something to shy away from — it’s the type of fat that’s important to consider.
When it comes to saturated fat, you want to watch how much you’re consuming. Too much can raise your cholesterol and add calories to your daily diet.
Happily, almond butter has half the amount of saturated fat compared to peanut butter. So whilst we definitely aren’t saying to cast your peanut butter jar aside, it’s great to eat almond butter too.
Chia seeds — big nutrients, tiny calorie count
There may only be 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in this salted caramel protein ball recipe, but that’s enough to deliver big nutritional benefits.
The name ‘chia’ goes all the way back to the Aztecs and Mayans, who were the first to recognise the power of these tiny black seeds. In the ancient Mayan language, ‘chia’ actually means strength — but chia seeds won’t just help your body stay strong.
Almost all of the carbohydrates found in chia seeds are fiber, so although chia seeds are pretty high in terms of carb count, these carbohydrates react very differently in the body compared to starch and sugar.
Put simply: whilst other carbs are demonised for making weight loss tricky, the carbohydrates coming from chia seeds can actually support your weight loss goals.
Well if you’ve ever mixed chia seeds with water, you’ll have seen how super absorbent they are — chia seeds can take up to 10-12x their weight in water, forming a sort of globby gel. Many people who follow a plant-based diet will use this chia mix in recipes, to replace the binding texture of eggs.
Once inside the body, chia seeds do the same thing — soaking up water and expanding in your stomach. This helps you feel fuller for longer, so you automatically eat fewer calories.
That’s our super simple, crazy delicious and nutrient-packed salted caramel protein ball recipe...
Go ahead and try it for yourself!
Not only will you reap the nutritional benefits of these superfood ingredients, but you’ll also have a great stash of tasty snacks to hand, for a post-workout pick-me-up.
And when you do get round to mixing up your own at home, why not show us on Instagram? Tag us @luxefitness — we’d love to see what you create!
For more protein boosting recipes like this, head over to our blog. We particularly recommend the chocolate coconut protein balls — it’s almost unbelievable how something so tasty can also be good for you.