Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Protein Balls

protein ballsThese no-bake protein balls are a great “grab n’ go” option for busy summer days. They are nut free, dairy free and gluten free- which means they are safe to take to school. I usually make a big batch (doubling the recipe) and then put them in the freezer. They freeze beautifully and then you can just take out a couple as needed. The cranberries and dark chocolate chips are a favorite in my home but you can switch it up with any dried fruit.

Yields: 12 balls (just smaller than a golf ball)


  • 20 Medjool dates, softened (I steam them for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. In a food processor add softened dates and process until macerated.
  2. Add sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Pulse until well chopped.
  3. Add coconut, cinnamon and sea salt. Pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. If too sticky add additional coconut, 1 tbsp at a time.
  4. If adding dried fruit add them now and pulse just enough to mix them in.
  5. Remove from food processor and manually stir in mini chocolate chips if adding.
  6. Line a dish or baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out mixture and roll into balls. I like to use a small ice cream scoop to keep them consistent. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
  7. Store in refrigerator to maintain firmness. Can be frozen

 Adapted from The Nourishing Gourmet