These lemon & tahini protein balls are a refreshing break from the standard chocolate flavoured protein balls. Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate flavoured protein balls of course, it’s just that sometimes our taste buds need a bit of a mix up. Personally I love the flavour of citrus in sweets, so these lemon & vanilla protein balls are like little balls of heaven to me.
I wanted to also make some protein balls that were extremely intolerance friendly, as often the shop bought variety are filled with nuts and dairy based protein.These lemon & vanilla protein balls use seeds as a base which makes them perfect for kids to take to school in nut free environments.
The method for making these protein balls will be influenced by the type of blender that you have. If you own a whizz bang vitamix or equivalent, then you will not need to blend the mixture much at all. If like me you own a cheap nasty blender (that really needs to just be thrown out), then you will need to give the mixture a really good blend to bring everything together. This may mean that the later type of blender results in a dough that needs a touch more liquid. Overall, its about seeing how your mix goes and adding a little more here and there as needed.
The pea protein powder used in the protein balls is actually sweetened with stevia. If your protein powder is unsweetnened you may need to add 1 – 2 more dates, however back off the lemon juice slightly so the mixture does not end up too wet. Additionally, if you do not have vanilla flavoured protein powder you could add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the mixture.
lemon & vanilla protein balls
- 12 – 14 balls
- preparation time
- 10 minutes
- cooking time
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup vanilla pea protein powder (or plain diary free protein powder + 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
- 1/4 cup hulled tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 heaped teaspoons lemon zest
- 4 medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)
Place all sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and protein powder in a blender and blend to a rough meal. Depending on your blender, the flaxseeds may not break down that well.
Add in the tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest and dates. Blend till well combined. Basically you want the mixture to come to a dough. If you have an old blender (like me) you may need to blend for a few minutes to bring the oils out of the seeds. If it is still not coming together, add a little more lemon juice or even a touch of water.
Once your dough has come together, roll into balls around the size of a twenty cent piece. Roll in desicated coconut if desired.
Store in the fridge and eat within 2 weeks, or freeze.
- The low date content in these protein balls keeps them low in sugars creating a well balanced snack option. Too many protein balls on the market are filled with at least 50-60% dried fruit which is a large amount of sugars for a regular snack option.
- I have used hulled tahini in these protein balls as the flavour is more neutral than unhulled. You could also use black tahini if you liked. Other options that would work well are cashew paste and macadamia paste.
- These lemon & tahini protein balls are filled with healthy fats and sustaining protein. This makes them a smart choice for an afternoon snack to help carry you through to dinner without demolishing the fridge when you walk in the door at night.
- Flaxseeds are a terrific source of lignans and plant based omegas. Lignans have been studied in regards to their anti cancer activity due to their ability to block growth factors that stimulate blood vessel growth in tumours.
Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.