This recipe is sponsored by Naked PB. All opinions are 100% my own.
These chocolate peanut butter vegan energy balls are basically healthy peanut butter cups that you can eat any time you want. And they are so easy to make!
Wow, have we been snacking lately! I decided to work on this recipe for vegan energy balls, because I needed a sweet treat that was a bit less junky. These healthy chocolate peanut butter bites were just the ticket.
Not that I have a problem with a decadent dessert, but y'all. Things were getting out of hand with the late-night snacks
I needed something that tasted decadent without being so sugar-packed that I woke up with a sweets hangover in the morning.
Y'all, these healthy peanut butter cups are it!
The secret to healthy 'peanut butter cups'
Normally when you make a peanut butter cup, you mix peanut butter with a frankly shocking amount of powdered sugar to thicken it. But these treats have a secret weapon that allows you to reduce that powdered sugar to zero: powdered peanut butter from Naked Nutrition!
These energy balls contain no added sugar. In fact, you only need three simple ingredients to make them!
Naked Nutrition makes their Naked PB from non-GMO, USA-grown peanuts, and the ingredients list just reads: "peanuts".
Naked Nutrition specializes in protein powders, and they have lots of great vegan options, if that's your thing. I'm not a big protein powder person, but I am a full-on peanut butter addict. So when they asked me to help promote their company, I knew Naked PB was the product I needed to try.
You can use this powder in smoothies and smoothie bowls, too. But I wanted to do something a little bit more jazzy.
Hello, healthy chocolate peanut butter energy balls!
Ingredients and method
This recipe is sort of a mashup of an energy ball and a peanut butter cup.
Start by mixing the Naked PB with a little bit of water and a touch of salt to make a dough. First, mix with your fork until you have a crumbly mixture. Then, use your hands to knead it together.
You want to end up with a ball of cohesive dough that's not crumbly or sticky.
After kneading, the dough should form a nice, soft ball. If thats not happening, add water -- a teaspoon at a time, and kneading in between additions -- until it does.
If it's sticky after kneading, add more peanut butter powder, a teaspoon at a time, until it forms a ball. Make sure that you knead in between additions of the powder.
Now, divide that ball into 16 equal pieces, and roll those pieces into smaller balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, stick them into the refrigerator to chill for 10-15 minutes.
While the peanut powder mixture chills, get ready to melt some chocolate chips!
You can melt the chocolate chips either in a double boiler or in the microwave. I'm sure you've guessed that I used my microwave. To do that, place the chips in a microwave-safe dish, and cook them on high for 15-45 seconds at a time -- stirring in between -- until they fully melt.
Stirring in between is critical. You can pull out a bowl of what looks like totally unmelted chips, and a quick stir will reveal that they're done melting. If you try to go until they liquefy on their own, you'll burn them. That's not what I want for you!
Coat the chilled peanut butter balls in the chocolate, arranging them on the same lined baking sheet, so they aren't touching each other. Stick the coated energy balls into the freezer to set up for half an hour.
How to store them
Once the chocolate hardens, you don't have to worry about them touching anymore. That's just an issue while the chocolate is still soft, because they can stick together.
Now, you can store the chilled vegan energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for a couple of weeks this way.
I do not recommend storing them at room temperature, because the chocolate can melt.
If you want to keep them for longer, you can transfer your energy balls to a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container. There, they'll keep for up to a few months.
No-bake chocolate peanut butter vegan energy balls
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Naked PB and salt. Then, add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the water. Mix until the powder absorbs the water and turns crumbly/chunky, then get in with your hands and knead this mixture into a cohesive ball of dough. Add more water by the teaspoon, as needed, if the dough is crumbly after kneading. If it's sticky, add a teaspoon of Naked PB to thicken it up. See note.
- Divide the mixture into 16 equal pieces, and roll them into smaller balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave (See note.). Then, coat each ball evenly in the chocolate. Use a fork to roll each ball around in the chocolate, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the balls in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill before serving or moving them to the refrigerator.
- You want the peanut butter mixture to form a cohesive dough. It should not be crumbly or sticky. 1/4 cup water usually does the trick, but sometimes you do need to tweak a bit to get a nice, clean dough.
- To melt your chocolate chips in the microwave, cook them on high for 15-45 seconds at a time, stirring in between cooking times, until they fully melt.
- Store the energy balls in the refrigerator. They will keep for a couple of weeks.