“Naughty But So Nice” Double Chocolate Cherry Protein Balls

I was motivated to make this recipe for 2 reasons. Reason one : My husband and I just started the Insanity workout. It’s a DVD workout that we can do from home together, so there’s no excuses. First off, it’s tough, really tough. You know you’re in for a world of hurt when the participants on camera (the fitness actors per say) can’t complete it and they are lying on the floor dying in between sets. About 30 minutes after the workout, I’m pretty shaky, very hungry and a little nauseous. So I needed to have something I could grab quickly as I’m walking out the door with the dog before I come back and have my breakfast. Reason two: I am a little PMS-y, as my husband can attest, and I’m going through some major chocolate cravings.

Just to relieve my guilt of using a cup of white chocolate chips in a recipe titled Protein Balls, I did do a calorie count. Not bad, 130 a piece. I can handle that.

So here are a list of things I tell myself to relieve any guilt that may be remaining.

  • Ground flax seeds are high in fiber, omega 3 fats, most of the B vitamins and a good source of antioxidants.
  • Sesame seeds are a source of iron, calcium, omega 6, and copper.
  • Almond butter is a good source of protein, water and fat soluble vitamins and a good source of omega 3 fats.
  • Raw Cocoa Powder has all kinds of benefits, but let’s be honest, we eat it because it tastes delicious.
  • Oats are filling, a good source of protein and high in fiber, a happy pooper makes for a happy person.
  • Honey provides a great source of energy (especially post workout), has plenty of antioxidants and is antimicrobial.

So really there’s 4 white chocolate chips in each little ball. Whoopy. Lighten up. Live a little. These are the things I tell myself as I bite into one of these little delights that provides that “Naughty but so Nice” kind of moment.

I like this recipe so much because I can basically make these babies up with whatever is in the cupboard. Don’t have cherries, use raisins. Don’t have nuts, double up on dried fruit. Don’t have sesame seeds, use sunflower seeds. A new creation is made every time we make them.

I also bought all the stuff to make a Chocolate Zucchini Cake before this huge Chocoholic craving passes, because it will pass, and then I’ll have to wait an entire month before I’m motivated to make the cake that my dear mother used to make for us sometime around now, when we are inundated by baseball bat sized zucchinis. But you’ll have to stay tuned for that one.

“Naughty but So Nice” Double Chocolate Cherry Protein Balls

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups of Almond Butter (use whatever nut butter you like)
  • 1/2 cup honey (a little more if the balls aren’t sticking together properly)

Bob Mills sells a gluten free rolled oats for those of you with gluten allergies

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon for as long as you can and then get dirty with the hands. Mix until the ingredients are all well combined. If the mixture seems too goopy add 1/3 to 1/2 cup more oats and mix in well. If things seem a little dry add a little more nut butter or honey. The reason there’s some flexibility in this recipe is because not all nut butters are created equal. If yours is a little dry, you may even choose to add a 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil.

Take a Tbsp or so worth of dough and roll it between your palms until you get a smooth ball. At this point you may choose to roll them in ground nuts or coconut, or leave them plain. The nuts do help the balls from getting too sticky on the fingers while consuming them. Mine disappear so fast (in my hand for about 10 seconds), that I don’t bother doing it for all of them. You may choose to do half and half or do a variety of coatings.  Place them on a cookie sheet lines with foil or parchment paper. Chill until they become firm. Refrigerate for a week in an air tight container or freeze for up to 2 months.

This recipe makes about 56 balls and they are appx 130 calories a piece.

For other ways of incorporating whole grains into your diet, check out Jeanette’s Healthy Living post, which is filled with plenty of great ideas, not only to celebrate Whole Grain Month, but for the long term too.

1 Tray in the fridge…

and 1 tray in the freezer. Set for 30 minutes before storing in airtight containers.

Some rolled in crushed walnuts, some left plain.


I’m sharing this with What’s Cooking Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Full Plate Thursdays, Foodie Fridays, Fat Camp FridaysFood Friday, and Gluten Free Wednesdays.

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22 Responses to “Naughty But So Nice” Double Chocolate Cherry Protein Balls

  1. Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    And, if you don’t tolerate gluten-free oats well, I’ve made a version using Enjoy Life cereal (crushed chek or gluten free rice crispies would likely work well too) : http://groundcherry.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/pomegranite-flax-treats/

    They’re also nice to pack for travel, as they make it through airport security.

  2. Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Oh, no auto link.

    Actually linked: Pomegranite Flax Treats

    • France Morissette September 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      thanks for sharing that link Stephanie. It sounds like a delicious protein snack.

  3. Winnie September 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    These look delicious! Ps I have to start doing Insanity again. Miss it.

    • France Morissette September 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      I’m only on week Two, but we’re seeing improvement which is very motivating!

  4. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat September 15, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE these!!! Naughty and Nice is just my style! 😉

  5. Jeanette September 15, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    These Naughty But Nice Protein Balls have so much packed into a little ball – perfect for an after-workout treat and for Whole Grains month! Thanks for the mention.

  6. Mary September 16, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    These really do look wonderful. I hope the exercise regime will become less strenuous as you go along. You asked about potato flour. It is a product that you can find in most large grocery stores. It is like cornstartch or arrowroot in consistency. It is also called potato flour. If you shop in a market thathas a Kosher food display you’d would be ableto find it there. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • France Morissette September 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

      Thanks Mary! That was helpful. I’ll take a look for it next time I go shopping.

  7. Joanne September 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Insanity is INSANE. I own the video set and though I don’t really stick to the schedule (marathon training kind of gets in the way) I’ve done a few of the videos and they are TOUGH. Have you seen Amy’s video of it – http://veryculinary.com/2011/01/06/our-60-days-of-insanity/ It’s hysterical and definitely depicts what insanity is like!

    These protein balls look like the perfect reward after such a hard workout! And the white chocolate – totally necessary and warranted.

    • France Morissette September 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks Joanne. I just went and watched it. It was hilarious.

  8. Jay-agent112778 September 17, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    i like chocolate but not the cherry, dont know why

  9. maiylah September 17, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    …first time i’ve heard of insanity workout…the word alone sounds dangerous! lol.
    …these yummy protein balls looks like something my three-year old and i would love to have every once in a while! what i love about your recipe is that it can be modified to whatever i have on my kitchen! cool…

    thanks so much for sharing your “Naughty but So Nice” protein balls over at Food Friday, France
    happy weekend!

  10. Winnie September 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    These chocolate (protein) balls look very tasty.
    I love them :)

  11. Miz Helen September 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I didn’t know that a protein bar could taste good. These Double Chocolate Cherry Protein Balls look awesome. I can’t wait to give these a try. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery September 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Wow, these look yummy! Would you be interested in linking up your recipe to my new blog carnival featuring allergy-friendly lunchbox ideas? I know my kids would love to find these in their lunches :) Stop by http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com and share with us!

    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

    • France Morissette September 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      Hi Lisa, Thanks for visiting and the invitation. Sounds like fun.

  13. TracyKM August 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Do you know the protein count for these? I don’t care about the calories since I follow a low carb/high fat way of eating….these aren’t exactly low carb (do you know the number?), but if they have enough fat and protein they might still be a good option.

    • France Morissette August 23, 2012 at 12:16 am #

      Hi Tracy, I recommend for those people keeping tract of protein and carb counts to use the tool in http://www.livestrong.com/. They have a tool to input recipes, serving sizes ect and it gives you a pretty decent nutritional profile of the dish. If you set yourself up with a free account you can keep your recipes in there and refer back to it in the future. It’s a super great tool.


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