Salted Caramel Protein Balls {vegan}

Salted Caramel Protein Balls {vegan}

“How many salted caramel protein balls is too many?,”

a question my friend Ashley and I asked each other every time we reached for another one from the container we had picked up at the local grocery store while traveling through Australia. We had grabbed the jar on a whim, delirious, jet-legged and hungry for anything that wasn’t airplane food. The snack ball section (Yes, there are so many kinds that there’s a whole section for them!) was borderline overwhelming, so we went with what was on-sale and a flavor you can’t go wrong with (aka salted caramel).

Now, I’m no stranger to protein balls. They have a lot of different names, energy balls, snack balls, bliss balls, but however you label them, they’re all essentially the same thing- a yummy mixture of nuts and/or nut butter, oats, sometimes dried fruit or chocolate, and a few seasonings. They’ve been one of my favorite go-to snacks for as long as I can remember and I make several batches every month. But Australia takes snack balls to a whole other level. Not only do they basically have an entire aisle at the grocery store for them (as I mentioned before), but you can also buy them pretty much everywhere you go- at gas stations, in bulk, at coffee shops, in the airport…you name it, you can probably get an energy ball there. And I, for one, am certainly not complaining. I loved being able to get a healthy snack anywhere we were (If only it was that simple and easy everywhere else…).

Much to our surprise, the protein balls we grabbed on a whim, were actually good, and not just because we were tired. Like they were actually really tasty. In fact, all the snack balls we tried were good. But the salted caramel ones. Wow! Wow! Wow! Those were on another level delicious. Like as in I-need-to-go-buy-10-more-containers-ASAP delicious. Like as in I’d-like-to-take-a-case-back-to-the-US delicious. Like as in I-need-to-recreate-these-at-home-so-I-can-have-an-endless-supply delicious.

So here I am recreating some salted caramel protein balls because 3 months later and I still can’t get that fateful container from a Sydney grocery store off of my mind.

Watch how to make salted caramel protein balls below:

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Are you a fan of snack balls? What are your favorite flavors, or mix-ins? Besides salted caramel, I also love anything with chocolate (Duh!)!


 

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salted caramel protein balls {vegan}

yields 22-25 balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (+ additional, depending on tastes)

  • 2 1/2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup cashews (I like to use roasted, unsalted cashews)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a Cuisinart, blend together the cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and sea salt until smooth and creamy. Add the oats and cashews and pulse, about 15-20 times, or until everything is well-combined. You want the oats and cashews to partially break down but still have some texture, so be sure not to puree the mixture for too long. This is also a good point to stop and taste test, and if you prefer a saltier taste, feel free to add additional sea salt, then pulse a few seconds to combine. You should easily be able to form the mixture into a ball without it being too crumbly (aka too dry) or too liquidy (aka too wet).

  2. Form the mixture into balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon per ball, placing them on a lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, or until the snack balls have hardened, then transfer them to a storage container and keep them in the refrigerator. They will last about a week (that is if you don’t eat them all sooner!).

NOTES

  • I like to make and use my own cashew butter for this recipe, with unsalted, roasted cashews, but feel free to use the cashew butter (or other nut butter) of your choice.

  • To switch up the recipe, feel free to play around with adding things like vanilla, dates, flax seeds, chia seeds or cinnamon.