These cranberry protein balls come together with just 4 ingredients and make the perfect protein-packed snack!
I rarely make it from lunch to dinner without at least a little snacking.
That’s why I always make sure to have a healthy (and sweet) snack on hand in our home. So, when hunger pangs strike, I can calm them almost instantly.
Lately, we’ve been making pumpkin protein balls, snickers protein bars, and cranberry protein balls. I particularly love the flavor combination from these cranberry bites since the subtle tartness balances out the dates’ sweetness.
Table of Contents
- Ready in 10 minutes. Like protein balls and peanut butter oatmeal balls, you can have these bad boys ready in 10 minutes or less.
- 4 ingredients. Almonds, almond butter, dates, and dried cranberries are there is to these protein balls.
- Healthy and nutritious. Almonds offer healthy fats and protein, dates have plenty of potassium, and cranberries are packed with antioxidants.
What we love most about these energy balls is how versatile they are! They make the perfect pre or post-workout snack and pack easily into lunch boxes. I find even the pickiest of kiddos really love them, which makes me feel good since they’re made with only wholesome ingredients.
Protein balls are simple creatures, and these cranberry balls are no exception. If you’ve made any of my healthy energy bites before, you’ll have everything on hand.
- Almonds. These will form the bulk of the protein balls. I prefer toasted almonds for their mild, buttery flavor, but you could use cashews or a mix of both instead.
- Almond butter. Smooth, drippy almond butter will help the bars stick together and add richness. I like to make my own, but the store-bought variety will also work. If the almond butter is too firm, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it up.
- Dates. I highly recommend Medjool dates, which are WAY sweeter and caramelized than other dates. If you can’t find Medjools, you’ll want to soak the dates in warm water for 30 minutes before blending.
- Dried cranberries. For cranberry energy balls, of course!
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make cranberry protein balls
Step 1- Blend almonds. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend your almonds until a crumbly texture remains.
Step 2- Add the rest of the ingredients. To the blender, add the almond butter, dates, and cranberries. Blend until fully combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure the batter is fully combined. If the batter is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to get things moving.
Step 3- Shape. Transfer the energy ball batter into a mixing bowl. Form 12 equal-sized balls and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper or in an airtight container. Refrigerate until firm.
- Add extra protein. When I need an even more satisfying snack, I’ll mix in some chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds to the batter. Or you can make my protein balls.
- Swap out the almond butter. If you’re not an almond butter fan, use peanut butter, which has a similar texture.
- Make them nut-free. Swap the almonds for rolled oats and the almond butter for tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Freeze them. If you want to firm up the cranberry balls more quickly, let them chill in the freezer.
- Use wet hands. To shape the balls, I like to use wet or lightly oiled hands. I’ve also had luck using my 1-inch cookie scoop.
- Add mix-ins. When I want to impress, I’ll fold in dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or shredded coconut.
- Add flavor. I think these bars are flavorful enough as is, but you could add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons of orange zest for a little extra flavor boost.
To store: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 1 week. I like to store them in between sheets of parchment paper so they don’t stick together.
To freeze: Freeze leftover energy balls in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let the balls thaw overnight in the fridge.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend using fresh cranberries, as they will bleed into the mixture and make it too sticky and wet.
More tasty no-bake snack recipes to try
- Cinnamon protein bars– Easy-to-make bars that taste just like a cinnamon bun!
- Cereal bars– Turn your favorite cereal into a healthy and tasty snack.
- Cookie dough bites– My favorite instant sweet tooth fix.
- No Bake oatmeal bars– Thick, soft, chewy bars made with 3 ingredients.
- Larabars– Over 10 flavor combinations!
Cranberry Protein Balls
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your almonds and blend until a crumbly texture remains.
- Add your almond butter, dates and cranberries and blend well, until fully combined. Be sure to regularly scrape down the sides to ensure the mixture is fully combined. If the batter is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to get things moving.
- Transfer the energy ball batter into a mixing bowl. Form 12 small balls and place on a lined plate or sealable container, and place in the fridge or freezer until firm.
Recipe originally published January 2020 but updated to include new information for your benefit.
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