Protein in food can help support blood sugar levels for those with diabetes. Large fluctuations in blood sugar levels can also contribute to changes in mood, fatigue and productivity in people without diabetes. In biomedical nutrition, one consistent message is for stable blood sugar levels, to combine carbohydrates, or sugar, with a protein. These peanut butter hemp power balls contain 6 grams of protein per ball, and are only 6 ingredients!
Good Source of Protein
The combination of peanut butter, hemp, and sunflower seeds helps bring one of these protein balls up to 6 grams of protein per serving. That is as much protein as one egg! Protein can help keep us full, help with maintaining muscle mass, and help to support blood sugar levels.
Low In Refined Carbohydrates
Another reason why these are a diabetic-friendly snack. Each energy ball contains 4.3 grams of carbohydrates and 2.2 grams of fibre. A good aim for people living with diabetes is around 15 grams of carbohydrates per snack (balanced with protein). To figure out net carbs you subtract the fibre from the carbohydrates – each protein ball contains only 2.1 grains of carbohydrates.
How To Roll
The energy balls can get sticky so it is best to start with wet hands and wet your hands in between every 3-4 energy balls. To make an energy ball take about a heaped tablespoon worth of mixture and roll it between the palms of both your hands. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
How To Store
Store your energy balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or store them in your freezer for up to 6 months. They taste great right out of the freezer!
Variations For These Protein Balls
The peanut butter and hemp are what contribute to the protein content of these protein balls. These are the ingredients that can be varied:
- Peanut butter: almond butter, tahini or cashew butter
- Honey: maple syrup (+more peanut butter)
- Sunflower seeds: sesame seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Coconut: additional smaller seeds such as sesame seeds or hemp hearts
Pre-prepping Healthy Snacks
Store these snacks in the fridge in a sealed container, and if you aren’t finishing them all within 5 days then store them in the freezer. They taste great straight out of the freezer, no defrosting is required!
Quick and Easy
Toasting the coconut intensifies the flavour of the coconut; this is not necessary and the energy balls taste just as good with untoasted coconut. If you are short on time you can skip this step.
Use tahini in place of peanut butter for a nut-free energy ball that is also school-lunch friendly. If you don’t have access to tahini try using sunflower seed butter at a 1:1 ratio.
Peanut Butter and Hemp High Protein Ball Recipe
- 1 cup peanut butter natural
- ¼ cup honey unpasteurized
- 1 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1 cup hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw
- 1/8 tsp salt optional, use if peanut butter is unsalted
- 1-2 tbsp water optional, use if mixture is not sticking
- Start by toasting the coconut. Add the coconut to a heavy bottom frying pan over medium heat. Toast the coconut for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it is fragrant and turns light brown in colour. Make sure to keep your eye on it as it can burn quickly.
- Mix the peanut butter, honey, toasted coconut, hemp hearts, and sunflower seeds (and salt if using) to a medium-sized bowl. Stir well using a spoon until everything is well incorporated.
- Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to let the mixture solidify slightly. Once rested, remove from the fridge and start rolling the mixture into 22 ping-pong sized balls. If the mixture is not sticking together, option to add 1 - 2 tablespoons of water. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or store in the freezer and take out as needed.