Need a quick protein forward snack that tastes like pumpkin pie? You’re in luck because these pumpkin protein balls are the easiest to meal prep and the best to snack on.
What You’ll Need to Make
- Canned Pureed Pumpkin
- Brown sugar
- Pitted dates, I like these ones by Natural Delights
- Creamy peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Unflavored protein powder
A food processor is also needed in order to blend everything to a smooth consistency.
Protein Powder Options
Vitals Collagen, unflavored powder blends in really well with these bites. Because it has minimal ingredients, it doesn’t give off a metallic / mineral taste. Choose a protein powder that you like even if it’s flavored. Alternatively, leave it out of the recipe entirely.
How to Make
If needed, pit the dates first and place the dates in a bowl of warm water. Let them sit there for about five minutes while you gather the remaining ingredients. This helps them get blended much easier. They can also be pre-chopped.
Add all of your ingredients to the food processor and blend. It may take about five to seven minutes total depending on if you soaked the dates or not. A rubber spatula or spoon is also handy for scraping the sides down so that the blades hit everything evenly.
Storing and Freezing
The bites can be stored in the fridge for seven to ten days or in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze, place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and into the freezer. They will be frozen within an hour and then store well in a quart sized bag.
Who Are They For?
These bites are great for anyone looking to meal prep a snack to grab on their way to work in the morning. Or for the busy person who needs to eat fast in between meetings. They’re also great for nursing moms to eat for the nutrients but also because you only need one hand to eat them.
If given to kids, I recommend that you leave out the protein powder.
Protein bites are beneficial for those who want a snack that’s going to keep them full in between meals. Protein can be very sustaining and the quality fats in these bites add to that staying powder. It’s also beneficial to eat homemade bites because they are cost effective and the ingredients are common in most household pantries.
What to Serve them With
The bites are great on their own! Alternatively, they could be ramped up to a full breakfast with a drinkable yogurt on the side. These are also delicious with a cup of coffee or tea in the mid-afternoon.
Other Bite Recipes You Ought to Try
- Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls
- Cocoa Ginger Energy Bites
- Candy Corn Energy Bites
- Pumpkin Maple Energy Bites
- Puppy Chow Energy Bites
How to Use Up Canned Pumpkin
No one likes a recipe that calls for half a can of something! If you want a general idea of what to make with the rest of the pumpkin, head to the podcast page here and listen to the 20 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin episode.
Alternatively, try out any of these recipes:
Pumpkin Protein Balls
- food processor
- ½ Cup Canned Pureed Pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Cup Rolled oats quick or steel cut is fine as well
- 3 Dates, pitted and chopped
- ⅓ Cup Creamy peanut butter
- ½ Tsp Vanilla extract
- ½ Tsp Pumpkin pie spice
- 2 scoops Unflavored protein powder I used Vitals Collagen, unflavored
- If needed, pit your dates by slicing them in half and removing the pit.
- Either chop your dates roughly or put them into a warm water bath while you measure your other ingredients. This will help them blend up more easily.
- Add all ingredients including dates to the food processor.
- Blend until mostly smooth. You may need to use a rubber spatula to move the mixture down to ensure your dates get chopped and mixed in.
- Store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days or freeze up to 3 months.
- I made the mistake of putting the dates in whole without soaking them. It took multiple bouts of opening the lid, moving them closer to the blade and using the pulse function until they were well blended. Make sure to soak or pre chop them!
- You can leave out the protein powder if you like or sub in your favorite kind
- Nutritional values will change based on protein powder chosen
- Freeze on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and then move frozen bites to a freezer bag
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