Just a few healthy ingredients are all you need to make your own power packed Cauliflower & Carrot Protein Balls - they're Healthy Energy Bites that Taste like Carrot Cake!
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare, and only takes a few minutes
- made with healthy ingredients
- high-protein and high-fiber, so it'll keep you fuller longer
- low calorie and low carb, to support your weight loss goals
- the best dessert alternative & post-workout snack
Ingredients used to make Cauliflower & Carrot Cake Protein Balls
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Protein Powder – My go-to protein powder is a vanilla plant-based protein powder, like this Orgain Protein Powder.
- Notes on using other Protein Powders in this recipe: Most frothy protein-shake type powders like whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein powders should give you similar results, but slightly different textures. (Whey tends to produce gummier protein balls, for example). Collagen Peptides protein powder DOES NOT work with this recipe, so I highly recommend that you stick with the recommended protein powders. For collagen protein ball posts, check out this collagen page instead.
- Oat Flour - you can buy oat flour like this one, but you can also make your own oat flour by blending old-fashioned (rolled) or quick-cooking oats.
- Cinnamon powder - like this one
- Carrot – Known for their high beta carotene, vitamin K1, and potassium, carrots are full of fiber and antioxidants and make great crunchy midday snacks! I used thinly shredded carrots for this recipe so that they’re well incorporated with the other ingredients. I used a box shredder/ grater like this one.
- Cauliflower rice – they’re sold in the frozen vegetable aisle, but you can make your own by pulsing cauliflower a few times in a food processor like this one. Their neutral flavor makes it a wonderful add in for any sweet or savory recipes.
- Maple Syrup - I used maple syrup for this recipe but you can use other liquid sweeteners of choice like honey, agave syrup, or liquid stevia
- Walnuts and Raisins – these are absolutely OPTIONAL, but I love the chew and extra nutrition they provide to the bars and there are plenty of other ingredients that can be used instead. For example, you can use cranberries (I recommend the lower sugar kind) or chopped dates or dried figs if you don’t have raisins. You can use pecans if you don’t have walnuts.
More Protein Powder Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step
How to Make Cauliflower & Carrot Cake Protein Balls
Stir the shredded carrots, defrosted cauliflower rice and maple syrup together and cook in a microwave safe glass bowl for 90-120 seconds until the carrots and cauliflower are hot and appear cooked. Wait until cool enough to handle.
In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, cinnamon and oat flour
Next, add in the cooked cauliflower and carrots (along with the maple syrup), and also the cashew butter, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
Add some chopped nuts or raisins into the dough for additional texture, if desired.
Roll the batter into tablespoon sized balls, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to set
To get the protein balls to taste like carrot cake, serve with a low fat cream cheese frosting or for a vegan friendly version - with an almond yogurt frosting.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Feel free to experiment with natural flavoring / extracts. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as cream cheese extract or maple extract
Just keep in mind that some extracts contain alcohol, and since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won't have a chance to fully evaporate. If serving this to kids, or if you're sensitive to alcohol, be sure to use non-alcoholic extracts or flavorings. Here are some non-alcoholic brands, here: Non-alcoholic peppermint extract, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
How to Make Healthier
- Make Cauliflower & Carrot Cake Protein Balls healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Even better, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
Delicious Add-In Ideas for Protein Balls
Adding color, texture and variety to your grab-and-go snacks is one way to keep protein balls fun and interesting. From dried fruits to confetti sprinkles, the options are pretty much endless. For more delicious add ins and flavoring ideas for your protein balls, check out this post for 10+ Amazing Add Ins & Flavor Variations for Protein Balls
How to Store Cauliflower & Carrot Cake Protein Balls
- You can keep the protein balls out at room temperature for 1-2 days but for maximum freshness and best texture, it's best to store these covered in the fridge. They'll be fresh for up to 5-7 days.
- These protein balls also freeze very well! Seal them inside an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze them in a single layer so that they don't stick together. I recommend double-bagging if you want to keep out the fridge smell. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
- For best results, make sure the carrots and cauliflower are finely shredded/riced so that they are fully cooked when added to the protein ball dough.
Cauliflower & Carrot Cake Protein Balls Using Oatmeal
- Stir the shredded carrots, defrosted cauliflower rice and maple syrup together and cook in a microwave safe glass bowl for 90-120 seconds until the carrots and cauliflower are hot and appear cooked. Wait until cool enough to handle.
- In another clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, oat flour and cinnnamon
- Next, mix in the cooked carrots (along with the maple syrup in the bowl), as well as the cashew butter --and use your hands to knead and get the dough to come together.Add more oat flour ½ Tablespoon at a time if the dough is too soft, add a teaspoon or more of water, maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice if the dough is too thick
- Add some chopped nuts or raisins into the dough for additional texture, if desired.
- Roll the batter into tablespoon sized balls, refrigerate for 15 minutes to set
- Top with frosting if desired. The protein balls can be enjoyed with or without additional frosting, which I added for decoration purposes.