These Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Balls are little bites of fall flavor! They come together super quickly (don’t you just love no bake desserts?!), are Paleo, Gluten Free and Grain Free, plus they’re just absolutely delicious.
Why We Love It
In my opinion, I think these Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Balls are best with a steaming hot cup of coffee, ideally enjoyed on an early chilly morning while you’re still in sweatpants. Get the recipe and make them today!
I mean, what’s not to like? These Protein Balls are totally Paleo compliant, packed with protein, and they come together so quickly, with hardly any hands-on time at all!
I also really love that they’re not overly sweet or overly pumpkin-y. Does that make sense? Don’t get me wrong, I like a sweet treat, but I don’t want a sugar bomb. Or a a pumpkin bomb, for that matter. It captures all the lovely pumpkin flavor without being overpowering.
I’m sure you know by now that I really try to keep my cooking fairly simple (I have an entire section of my site dedicated to 20 Minute Meals). And this recipe is no different!
These Paleo Protein Balls are made with just a few really delicious, clean and whole ingredients:
- Pumpkin puree
- Raw cashews
- Cocoa powder
- Chia seeds
- Vanilla collagen, or substitute any other protein powder you like.
- Pumpkin pie spice.*
*Note: You can substitute baking spice for a less pumpkin pie-like but still totally delicious flavor! I’ve done it and works awesome!!
Making the Recipe
This Paleo Protein Balls recipe is a no bake dessert recipe, meaning you don’t spend any time doing any actual baking, boiling, roasting, microwaving, or any kind of cooking at all.
- Add all your ingredients to a blender
- Blend until broken down, combined and smooth, but not too smooth. You still want a little texture.
- Spoon the mixture into a bowl or leave it in the blender cup, cover and refrigerate to chill it.
- Form the chilled mixture into balls in your hands, and roll lightly in cocoa powder.
- Set on a plate with a little space between them.
I think the easy factor is the best part about this recipe– you just blend the ingredients, chill the mixture in the refrigerator, roll into balls, and enjoy!
Why add collagen?
Adding collagen to your recipes is a quick and easy way to get extra protein into your diet without much work or thought.
I supplement with grass fed collagen in my coffee every morning, but it’s nice to branch out a bit and add it in other recipes too (Have you tried my Collagen Kombucha Slushie Mocktail or my High Protein Overnight Oats)? Because WOW it’s good, and so good for you!).
So yeah, collagen is one of my favorite products of all time, and it’s something I’m always looking to incorporate in recipes. For this recipe, I used Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Creamer.
If you don’t have it, don’t buy it just for this recipe (although it is really tasty in your coffee)! Just use whatever collagen peptides you have plus a tiny splash of vanilla extract, or any other protein powder you like.
And if you don’t like collagen or don’t have it, feel free to omit it!
Choosing the best pumpkin puree:
When you’re at the store buying pumpkin puree to use in these Pumpkin Protein Balls, double check the ingredients for any extra junk. I usually buy Libby’s because it’s at pretty much every grocery store, and there’s just one ingredient: pumpkin.
If you’ve got pumpkins or are feeling ambitious, go ahead and make your own homemade pumpkin puree!
Make sure you chill them!
Once you’ve got all your ingredients blended, chill the pumpkin/nut/date mixture in the fridge. It allows the flavors to meld, but more importantly, they’ll be much firmer and much, much easier to roll into balls without getting your hands super sticky.
If you don’t like pumpkin:
I mean, I get that theoretically, there are people out there who don’t like pumpkin… but who are you? Do you really exist?
Well, if you do, or if you just don’t have pumpkin handy (the more likely scenario, right?), feel free to substitute sweet potato puree! That’s an easy swap!
I’d love to connect with you more! Please come find me on Instagram @cookathomemom. And if you make my recipes, please tag me so I can see!
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Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Balls (Paleo)
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup raw cashews unsalted
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree canned pumpkin
- 3 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 2.5 Tablespoon cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup more for dusting
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or substitute baking spice
- 2 Tablespoon vanilla collagen creamer or substitute unflavored Collagen Peptides plus 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Paleo Pumpkin Protein Bites
- Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients.
- Blend on medium speed for about 45 seconds. You may need to stop halfway through to scrape down the sides. The mixture should be smooth but still have texture to it. Don't overblend.
- Put the mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill it.
- Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to a small dish.
- Using two spoons, scoop out bite-sized amounts of the pumpkin and date mixture into the cocoa powder, one at a time. Turn it with the spoons to lightly coat it, then use your hands to roll them into a ball. This helps keep it from sticking to your hands.
- Set the balls aside, and keep chilled until you're ready to enjoy them!