Satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free with these Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Balls (No-Bake in 5 Minutes) packed with plant-based protein and made with simple, healthy ingredients. In just 5 minutes, you can whip up a batch of these delightful no-bake treats that will energize you. The sprinkle of poppy seeds adds a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor. Unlike other no-bake bite-sized recipes, these protein balls are made without Medjool dates, providing a lighter texture while offering 6 grams of protein in each bite.
Searching for an easy way to up your protein for the day? These six-ingredient protein bites are great for lunch boxes, after-dinner desserts, or the perfect midday snack. With a generous 6 grams of protein per bite, they can easily bolster a low-protein meal with added plant-based protein.
Healthy no-bake bites are great meal prep foods to have on hand when a sweet craving hits. They're like a little lemon poppy seed muffin!
In this post, I share the following:
- My go-to plant-based protein powder and why I choose it, plus instructions for adjusting the recipe to your preferred brand!
- Tips to ensure you get the perfect texture of each bite!
- Recommendation for my favorite handy tool to zest citrus.
Use this section to jump to areas of interest within the post.
Just 6 simple ingredients stand between you and enjoying the fresh flavors of a lemon poppy seed snack. These no-bake bites are ready to pop into your mouth in just a couple of steps.
- Almond flour - is gluten-free and grain-free while packed with healthy fats. I used this super-fine ground almond flour from Bob's Red Mill; one cup has 32 grams of protein.
- Vanilla protein powder - the brand I use is Truvani, which is a pea protein that has 20 grams per scoop. For this recipe, I used 2 scoops, totaling a ½ cup, with 40 grams of plant-based protein in the entire batch. Whichever protein powder you use, you'll need about a ½ cup to maintain the smooth texture of the energy balls.
- Maple syrup - brings the right amount of sweetness to each bite!
- Lemon juice & lemon zest - adds the classic lemon flavor.
- Poppy seeds - bringing in a nuttiness and mild crunch to each bite.
See the recipe card for full quantities and instructions.
Chia seeds can replace poppy seeds 1:1 in this recipe, although you'll miss out on the classic lemon poppy seed flavor.
Agave syrup can be used instead of maple syrup 1:1.
Pick whatever vanilla protein powder you prefer, but I recommend sticking with the vanilla flavor. I use Truvani since it was tested clean in their publically-shared CoA and only has five ingredients.
Place all ingredients, except the poppy seeds, in a mixing bowl and mix with your clean hands until combined into a warmed, crumbly mixture.
Add the poppy seeds and continue mixing until the dough looks smooth and moldable.
Start making the dough into small balls using a tablespoon, a cookie dough scooper, or an ice cream scooper! Aim for the same size as donut holes.
If necessary, take a half-teaspoon amount of coconut oil and rub it between your hands. Then gently roll the dough into 10-12 smooth balls.
Hint: There are a couple of reasons why the dough might turn out dry. If the almond flour is not ground fine enough, the maple syrup is too cold, or your protein powder absorbs too much liquid, etc. But it's an easy fix!
First, you can take about a ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and coat your hands before rolling. After working the dough with your hands and warming it, assess the dough.
If it crumbles, flakes, or falls apart when handling, add 1 tablespoon of filtered water. The dough should be smooth and easily molded into a ball without crumbling.
Note that once chilled in the fridge, they will get firmer.
You can leave the oven off for this no-bake, quick, healthy snack recipe. You'll only need a mixing bowl and microplane or veggie scraper and, optionally, a cookie scooper or tablespoon.
I use this handy microplane for all my citrus zesting needs; it makes things super simple. You can also use a vegetable grater.
Place the lemon energy bites into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 1 week!
For longer storage, make a mega batch and freeze them in a freezer-friendly container or bag for up to 1 month.
The moisture of the lemon poppy seed energy bites can be influenced by the individual production methods of the protein powder you use. With Truvani, ½ cup (2 scoops) is the perfect measurement for texture. If you're using a different brand, you can add ¼ cup, then slowly add more until you reach the moldable, smooth dough.
Still having trouble? Lightly oil your clean hands with coconut oil before rolling them into balls for a smooth-formed ball. This also prevents them from sticking together in the storage container.
Should I use fresh lemon juice for this recipe?
Yes. If you can, use fresh juice versus bottled. You'll also need lemon zest, so get the zest off the rind, then juice the lemon.
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Lemon Poppy Seed Protein Balls (No-Bake in 5 Minutes)
- microplane or fine veggie grater for the lemon zest
- 1 cup super-fine almond flour
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder (I used Truvani - 2 scoops)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (adjust for desired lemon flavor)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Optional for molding the energy balls:
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil
- First, place all ingredients, except the poppy seeds, in a mixing bowl and mix with your clean hands, warming the dough, until combined into a warm, crumbly mixture.
- Next, add the poppy seeds and continue mixing until the dough looks smooth and moldable.
- Once the dough is smooth, start molding the dough into small balls using a tablespoon or a cookie dough scooper. Aim for the same size as donut holes.
- If necessary, take a half-teaspoon amount of coconut oil and rub it between your hands. Then gently roll the dough into 10-12 smooth balls.