Gluten-Free/ Recipes/ Snacks

Sweet & Salty Protein Bites Bites

My CrossFit gym recently added more early morning classes to their schedule which is awesome because I love working out before work, but like I blogged about in this post about fueling before workouts, I definitely need a snack before CrossFit. These energy balls give me a little boost in the morning when nothing sounds appealing and they don’t sit too heavy (unless you down a bunch of them at once…which is hard not to do because they are super tasty).Sweet & Salty Energy Balls

The coarse sea salt is my favorite part. Have you ever had chocolate chip cookies with sea salt on top? No? Go make these stat – they are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. These sweet & salty energy balls are kind of like that…but you know, minus the whole chocolate chip cookie part.


The ingredients are simple and everything comes together in 15 minutes.


Unless you forget the dates and don’t realize it until you’ve formed them all into balls and have to remix them and then add the dates and then reform into balls. Then it will take you a bit longer. But worth it, because the dates are key for sweetness and chewiness. They were kind of…blah…without them.

Sweet & Salty Energy Balls

Makes 55 balls
Approximate nutrition stats per ball: 110 calories, 6 grams fat, 12 grams carbs, 4 grams protein

  • 1.5 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used SunWarrior – Here’s my review of my 3 favorite protein powders with the pros & cons of each)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almonds (I used dry roasted, unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (I used dry roasted, salted)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 15 medjool dates
  • 1.5 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey (a little more or less may be necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Coarse Sea Salt

1. Roughly the almonds and cashews.

2. Chop the dates.*

3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, coconut flakes, almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds. Add the dates and gently toss to combine.

4. In a medium sized bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. Use a hand mixer to combine well. (If you don’t have a hand mixer, just warm the mixture in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds and then it’ll mix more easily.)  Try not to eat all of the honey and PB mixture. You’ll want to.

5. Add the peanut butter mixture to the oat and nut mixture. It should be stiff, but not dry. If it’s too wet and sticky to handle, add some more protein powder until you can handle it to form into balls.

6. Form into balls and lay on a cookie sheet. I got about 55 1″ balls.

7. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt to your salty desires and shake around.

8. Refrigerate until firm and then you can transfer to a zip lock bag or Tupperware to keep.


*If you have really moist dates, they make end up sticking together in a giant ball as you chop them. If this happens, put 1-2 T protein powder in a bowl and then pull apart the chopped dates into small pieces, dropping into the protein powder. Toss to coat and this will help keep them separate when you mix into the bigger bowl.



If you want a different variety of the same idea, these tahini energy balls are another favorite of mine!

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  • Reply
    Sara @ Oats & Rows

    Yum- These look perfect for pre-workout fuel!

  • Reply
    kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    these look delish! but i need to find a grain-free sub for the oats 🙁

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      hmmmm You could try coconut flakes or grinding up some nuts to make a flour! I’ll keep thinking about it and let you know if I have other ideas!

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