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No Bake Nut Free Protein Balls

Everyone in our family loves this No Bake Whole Food Protein Snack.

But nuts can get pricey, and there are some places we can’t take them.  Some friends with whom we can’t share them.

If you’re one of those people but you still want a whole food protein snack, these nut free protein balls just might be your answer.


As long as you like chocolate!

They contain no nuts, no soy, no dairy, no eggsand no protein powders.

They’re made with all whole food ingredients.

The only refined sugar will be in the dried cranberries (unless you have access to juice sweetened ones).

They’re very chocolatey!  I like mine to be chocolatey in the dark sense.  You can make yours sweeter if you prefer.  Or decrease the amount of cocoa powder.

I do wish I could let you try one before you read the recipe.  You’ll have to trust me when I say most people can’t guess the main ingredient!

We think they’re really yummy.  Believe it or not, I often hide them from the kids.  It’s not that I don’t want to share.  They just eat them too fast!

No Bake Nut Free Protein Balls

No Bake Nut Free Chocolate Protein Balls


  • 1 15-oz. can black beans (unseasoned!) or 1 1/2-2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin or squash puree (either canned or homemade will work)
  • 6 tablespooons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/16 teaspoon stevia powder*
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed or 2 tablespoons chia seeds (don't need to be ground)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour (you may need to add some extra if your homemade pumpkin or squash puree is on the watery side)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (in addition to the ones above)


  • Drain and rinse black beans.
  • Put first 7 ingredients into large bowl of food processor.  (Putting the pumpkin on top of the cocoa powder will help avoid kicking up a cloud of cocoa "dust" when you start your food processor.)
  • Process until fairly smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Scrape mixture into large mixing bowl.
  • Add last three ingredients and mix well.**
  • Roll into balls.
  • Store in the fridge.You can also freeze the balls individually and then transfer to an airtight container or bag for long-term freezer storage.


*The stevia powder I have is white and was purchased from Trader Joe's several years ago. I estimate 1/16 teaspoon by filling my 1/8 teaspoon half way. You may need to experiment with other types or brands of stevia to determine an amount appropriate to your taste.

**If you are making a single recipe you can probably do this in your food processor.  Just pulse a few times to combine everything; try to leave some coconut and cranberries in tact for texture.  When I make a double batch I have to transfer it to a bowl and finish mixing by hand--a sturdy wooden spoon works great.


I usually make a double batch and keep them in the freezer.  I prefer to eat them fully thawed, but the kids will gnaw on them frozen!

My favorite cocoa and coconut come from Wilderness Family Naturals, a great family owned and operated company.

You might wonder why I highlighted the fact that these balls contain no protein powders.  They may be convenient, but they’re not that great for you.

For a clear and thorough explanation of commercially available protein bars, powders and smoothies (plus yummy recipes to make your own) check out High Protein, No Powder from Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs.

High Protein, No Powder:  Protein Bars and Smoothies Made with Real Food

The bar recipes do all rely on nuts, but there are multiple smoothie recipes that don’t require nuts.

Now that you’ve read the recipe . . . will you try them? What else do you rely on for nut free protein snacks?

This post contains affiliate links for ebooks from Don’t Waste The Crumbs.  I purchased my own copy several months ago, use it regularly and recommend it without reservation.  Its much more than a recipe book.

This post has been shared on Savoring Saturdays Thank Goodness Its Monday, Real Food Fridays and Wellness Wednesday.


  1. I love that these don’t contain nuts! I love them, of course, but they’re so pricey I don’t often get to buy them for recipes similar to this. So exciting! Definitely pinning for the near future 🙂

  2. This sounds great. I am going to try this with a few alternations. Thanks so much for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted Have a healthy happy blessed Christmas.

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