Cranberry Protein Bites
I've never enjoyed protein snacks as much as I do these Cranberry Protein Bites. They're delicious, easy to make, and the ingredients blend so nicely that there's no chalky after taste that you usually get from making a protein snack.
These Cranberry protein bites are full of energy and packed with essential nutrients that your tummy will thank you for. The most important thing about protein balls is that they just need a few ingredients and very little time to make. Thus, they are an instant fix for your sweet tooth craving and/or mid-day snacking.
Today's cranberry protein bites recipe is especially amazing. It is full of yummy plant-based ingredients. It's also gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and most importantly, packed with plant-based protein.
And if you're looking to mix things up, these bites don't have to be a snack only option. You can have them for breakfast or for dessert as well. They are so versatile and perfect for when you're on the go.
They have tanginess from the cranberries, nuttiness' and a smooth buttery flavor from the nuts and cashew butter, and have all-natural sugar that will make you dance in satisfaction. Just pop one in your mouth any time of the day, and you are good to go with an instant boost of tasty protein. You just need 7-ingredients and few minutes of preparation.
Why Cranberry Protein Bites?
If you can't decide between sweet or salt for a snack, then I say cranberry protein bites are your best option. They have the sweetness from the cranberries and you get that salty crunch from the cashews. These cranberry snacks are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
With just a few ingredients and limited time in the kitchen, you can whip these up for snacks or an instant boost of energy throughout the day.
The cranberry protein bites are the perfect choice to satisfy your sweet tooth along with the boost of protein and fiber. It's not just a bite of instant energy but also enlightens the mood with delicious bliss.
Therefore, making them an ideal choice for breakfast as well. They're also very quick and fun to make. So, I highly recommend you try making these protein bites with your family and friends. Since they don't require any cooling time, you can just whip them up and serve.
Health Benefits of Cranberry Snacks
These tasty cranberry energy bites are made with just 7 ingredients, but each element is not only flavorsome but also has distinct health benefits. They're not just a snack, they're also full of protein and fiber that your body thrives on throughout the day. The following are some of the benefits to enjoying these delicious healthy bites.
- Low in sugar
- Rich with protein, fiber, and nutrients
- Improves immunity
- Healthy fats
- Ideal for brain development
- Beneficial for heart and bones
- Promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair
The recipe for the bites is very straightforward and minimalistic. All of the ingredients are often readily available in your pantry or local grocery store. Here is the list of ingredients that you will be using with their role in making these cranberry energy bites exceptionally yummy.
- Cashew butter: It gives a nutty flavor and works as a binder for the bites. I recommend using creamy butter instead of chunky since we are using cashews.
- Cashews: It gives the bites a distinct nutty taste. It also adds in an element of crunch. Make sure they are low-sodium. Feel free to use roasted ones too.
- Protein powder: It gives a kick of protein and body to the bites. You can also use any flavored protein powder you prefer.
- Maple syrup: It adds sweetness to the bites. Also, it helps in stabilizing the texture of the batter.
- Vanilla: Vanilla enhances the taste of the protein bites and makes them extra delicious.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a hint of tanginess to cut through the sweetness of maple syrup and fattiness from the cashews and cashew butter.
- Dried cranberries: It adds an element of texture and tangy sweetness to the bites.
Substitutions and Variations
The cranberry energy balls are so versatile on their own, but they still have some room for customization. You can freely add in or swap a few ingredients according to your personal preferences. Here are the few variations that I love to try as well.
- Substitute for cashews: Cashews are high in protein and also have a slight heavy fat content. If you are not a fan of cashews, feel free to swap it with almonds or walnuts. I also recommend using unsalted roasted peanuts. Each nut may have its own taste, but they all are the perfect element for the crunch and boost of energy you need. You can also use a combination of nuts as well.
- Substitute for cashew butter: Just like cashews, you can easily use any kind of nut butter you like. If you want to add a particular combination of nut butters, feel free to experiment with adding them to your cranberry energy bites, and they still will be delicious.
- Dates: You can also add dates instead of maple syrup in the protein balls. Dates are also rich in fiber and are often used for instant energy. Moreover, they are sweet enough to replace maple syrup. I recommend adding 2 to 3 Medjool or any soft dates instead of maple syrup in the recipe.
- Apple sauce or agave: If you do not want to add maple syrup or dates, try low-sugar unsweetened apple sauce. If you like it a little sweeter, you can try using agave. Both are the perfect blend of flavor and ideal to replace maple syrup as a sweetener. Do remember both can go a long way. Therefore, 1 tbsp of one of these additions is enough for the given recipe.
- Desiccated or shredded Coconut: Whether you dust your cranberry protein bites in desiccated coconut or add a tablespoon of shredded coconut in the batter, it will still be delicious. Coconut adds a sensational mouthfeel that enhances the bites' texture and, of course, adds delightful flavor.
- Chocolate chips or cocoa nibs: Throw in an element of decadent satisfaction and add semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. If you are a fan of the deep flavor and texture of cocoa nibs, add them as well, along with the cranberries.
- Orange juice instead of lemon juice: Both lemon juice and orange juice fall in the family of citrus fruits and have almost the same tangy flavor. You can easily swap both depending on the availability of the ingredient.
- Sea salt or flaky salt: You might be confused, but believe me, a pinch of sea salt in the cranberry energy balls will enhance the flavor and add oomph. If you are a fan of salted caramel, you have to try salted caramel sugar as well.
- Cinnamon powder: A pinch of cinnamon powder can be a game-changer, just like sea salt. It enhances the nuttiness and earthy taste of the protein balls and makes them super nostalgic.
How to Store Cranberry Protein Bites?
These cranberry snacks are not only effortless to make, but they are also great for being the perfect on-the-go snack as well. And since they are such an easy breezy snack to make, you can rest assured that they'll be easy to store as well.
To keep the cranberry protein bites fresh and preserve the texture of the nuts, I recommend storing them in an air-tight container. You can keep them in the container for 2 days at room temperature and 1 to 2 weeks in your fridge.
If you have the leftovers in bulk, store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag in your freezer for up to 3 months. Whenever you crave them, just take them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature. It should just take about 10 to 15 minutes to soften and then eat.
Tip for making perfect Cranberry Protein Balls
Adding or substituting an ingredient may change the consistency of the batter, but here are the few details and tips that you might need to help with making perfect little bites:
- I recommend using a food processor with an S-blade attachment for even blending. Also, incorporate the ingredient until the sand-like texture is achieved; otherwise, the nuts will start releasing their oils. Hence, making your batter loose.
- The batter should not be loose. This often happens when too much butter or syrup is added. Taste it and balance it out by adding more nuts and protein powder.
- Similarly, for stiff batter and crumbly batter, add nut butter or syrup according to the taste.
- One of the easiest ways to make the perfect size bites is to use an ice cream scooper or a mini measuring spoon. If you are short on time, grease any of the two utensils with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Then just scoop the batter onto the tray and you are ready to eat them.
- Feel free to use your hands to make the balls. But if you find the batter sticky and unmanageable, then refrigerate it for 10 minutes. Grease your hand with oil and make the batter into bite-sized balls.
Cranberry Protein Bites
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 scoop of protein powder
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Add all the ingredients (except for dried cranberries) into a food processor.
- Pulse until you get a crumbly dough mixture.
- Add dried cranberries to the dough and mix until well combined.
- Grab small handfuls of dough mixture and form into small to medium size bites/balls.
- Serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to eat.