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Cookie Dough Protein Balls- Low Carb, Kid-Friendly, Gluten Free

Got a sweet tooth but want to stay on track with healthy eating?  These Cookie Dough Protein Bites will knock your socks off!  You just can’t beat edible cookie dough, but HEALTHY cookie dough balls?? Stop it. Can’t be.  But, it’s true!

Cookie Dough Ball Recipe Binder Page

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The Best Part of Cookie Dough Protein Balls…Butter!

My favorite ingredient in these no-bake Cookie Dough Protein Balls is BUTTER!  I mean, if you start with butter, can you really go wrong?  And here is the BEST news that you will hear all day…Butter is actually good for you!  Let me say that a second time.  You need to eat MORE BUTTER!  I bet some of your heads are spinning because we’ve been misled about butter for so long.  So let’s take a little detour to talk this thing out, shall we?

Now, first, let’s be clear.  We are talking about REAL butter.  Grass-fed butter from healthy, happy cows.  Not margarine, not “squeeze butter”, not any of that other fake butter.  The real stuff. Okay, now that we’ve covered that clarification, let’s talk about why butter is good for you.

Kirkland grass fed butter front of package

Research is clear about butter.  From heart-health, to improving cholesterol, to offering anti-cancer properties, to being anti-inflammatory, to being loaded with healthy fat and Vitamin A butter has a lot to offer.  Not to mention it contributes to overall thyroid health, immune system strength, osteoporosis prevention, weight management, and improving arthritis. Want to read more about these benefits and check some sources?  Hop over to Dr. Axe’s site and the Weston A. Price Foundation for great, research-based info on butter. You’ll be excited to add it back in to your diet!

I love this story Sally Fallon, founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation told in an interview.  In a somewhat unscientific experiment, they found out what animals instinctively knew about butter versus margarine. 

Sally says, “We dumped a tub of spread [margarine] on a plate and then put a stick of butter on a plate. We put them out in the garden. The birds came along and they knew where the real food was. They pecked the butter and they didn’t touch the spreads. A squirrel came along, and I thought squirrels were vegetarians, but the squirrel grabbed the stick of butter and ran off with it. No animal would touch the so-called healthy spread. They know where the real food is.”

squirrel looking at stick of butter

Then Sally goes on to describe how these fake butter spreads are made.  She explains, “There are other things in these spreads. There are emulsifiers and hexane, which is gasoline. It’s used as a solvent. When they make this stuff, it’s a gray color, so they have to bleach it first. It has soy protein isolate and then sterols. These are artificial flavors. They can make the margarine taste like butter. Margarine shouldn’t be touched with a 10-foot pole.”

Personally, I’ve come to believe that the birds and squirrels are right about butter!

Butter Benefits from Dr. Axe

Graphic from:

Why You’ll Love These No Bake Cookie Dough Balls

These cookie dough balls make a perfect breakfast, quick snack, or even dessert.  The best thing is their portability.  No spoon required and these energy balls don’t make a mess when you are eating them!  You can get a serving of healthy fats and a few grams of protein, all while satisfying your sweet tooth.  They contain simple ingredients, but taste just like the real thing. But the kicker?  Unlike traditional cookie dough, they are low sugar!  I love simple swaps like this one that help us stay on track without feeling deprived!

cookie dough balls on plate with glass of milk

Ingredients in Cookie Dough Protein Balls

  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature (Grass-fed butter is best!)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil (softened)
  • 2 cups almond flour (unblanched)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I prefer Orgain vegan vanilla protein powder)
  • 1 tsp Stevia (I prefer Sweet Leaf)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips ( I prefer Bake Believe.  You could also use dark chocolate chips if you’d prefer.)
  • dash of Himalayan pink salt
  • Optional: 1 tsp of raw honey or pure maple syrup for extra sweetness if you don’t need to keep the sugar content super-low.

Directions for Cookie Dough Protein Balls

  •  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well. (I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer.)
  •  Roll into balls.
  •  For best results, refrigerate about an hour on flat plate or cookie sheet to prevent sticking together.
  •  Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a week.
cookie dough balls in kitchen aid mixer

*Don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer?  You can absolutely make these chocolate chip cookie dough balls with no special equipment.  Just add you dry ingredients first, stir with a rubber spatula, then add your wet ingredients.  You can get in a little arm exercise before you enjoy your perfect snack!

Looking for more healthy recipes your kids will love? Check out my Nourish with Diligence page.

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