We specialise in gut health at the JCN Clinic, therefore we often need to create diet plans that cater for not only food intolerances but additionally for gut healing. Post clinical testing for suspected adverse bacteria, yeast and parasites, we often need our clients to follow specific types of dietary protocols. Now I cannot stress enough that this is a short term dietary protocol and not a way of life. These diets are monitored by us and we aim to reintroduce certain food groups as soon as feasibly possible. One of these requirements relates to sugar and certain starches. When we create a food plan for a client that requires minimal sugar and carbohydrate intake, we often find that off setting the restrictions with some genius snack options can be really helpful. That is where these cookie dough protein balls come in.
These cookie dough protein balls are made with vanilla plant based protein powder ‘sweetened’ with stevia. The remaining ingredients are low in carbohydrate/starch (especially if a stevia sweetened chocolate or 100% chocolate is used). The result is a sustaining snack that still gives the taste buds a pretty fantastic hit of deliciousness.
I wasn’t sure about these cookie dough protein balls when I first made them, as I’m not a massive fan of stevia to be honest. I’d rather have the natural sweetness of fruits of honey if I can. Stevia can have that weird after taste. However this isn’t all about me is it.
So, I gave one to my harshest critic to try, aka my husband. He took a bite, chewed away for what seemed like an eternity then looked at me not saying anything. I was like “what!?, is it not your thing? You don’t like it?”. He finally replied, “I’m trying to find something wrong with it, but its perfect…the texture, the flavour. It’s delicious! Can I have another one?”
*insert panic* “No! They are mine. You can eat anything. Stick to your melting moments!”
I then proceeded to hide them at the back of the fridge.
Needless to say, if he likes them you are bound to like them. Nothing gives me more confidence than Hubbard wanting to steal my newly made recipes.
Even though I mentioned above these are great for restrictive diet plans, they are by no means limited to this parameter. Honestly anyone will enjoy these cookie dough protein balls and they are a fabulous on the go snack option. They really are best cold however, so if possible enjoy them straight from the fridge in all their buttery fudge like goodness. X
cookie dough protein balls (sugar free)
- makes approximately 9 balls
- preparation time
- 10 minutes
- cooking time
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup grated cacao butter, melted (you can use coconut oil, but cacao butter is divine!)
- 2 tablespoons mesquite powder
- 2 tablespoons macca powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder
- 40 grams of sugar free dark chocolate, finely chopped ( you could also use cacao nibs or 100% dark chocolate)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 pinches sea salt
In a mixing bowl combine the protein powder, almond meal, mesquite, macca and salt and mix well. Add to the ball mixture the melted cacao butter, peanut butter, chocolate and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands till really well combined.
Once the mixture comes together use your hands to give the mix a bit of knead to ensure everything is well pressed together. Now make your balls by breaking off pieces of the dough and forming into balls around the size of a 20c piece.
Store the cookie dough protein balls in the fridge until they are nice and firm. These balls are best eaten when cold to maintain their fudge like texture.
- These cookie dough protein balls are high in protein and contain relatively no natural sugars at all. This makes them ideal for individuals following dietary plans that require minimal sugar/carbohydrate intake. Please ensure as stated above in the blog post that you monitor this type of restricted diet with a practitioner (reach out to us at The JCN Clinic if you need guidance). Food plans that exclude major food groups or foods should always be been as short term and not a lifestyle.
- Cacao butter and peanut butter provide the major fat content for these protein balls. Cacao butter is rich in saturated and mono unsaturated fat. The saturated fat content means it will set hard, especially when stored within the fridge. Please do not be put off by the saturated fat content, as this fat is essential for our cells and for the health of our hormones. For those following restricted diets with minimal carbohydrates having a large intake of fats to compensate is also often necessary.
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.