Anyone else have intense dark chocolate cravings every afternoon? I can't be the only one right?
I love whipping up a batch of these peppermint mocha protein bites to have when a craving hits or for post workout. They're packed with fiber, protein & fat, perfect mid-afternoon (make sure you leave out the coffee or use decaf) or pre/post-workout. I love the peppermint & chocolate combo but if that's not your jam you can leave the peppermint out!
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/8-1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 tbsp finely ground coffee or espresso (optional)
1. In a small bowl combine almond butter and maple syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds if cold. Stir until well combined.
2. Stir in cacao powder (cocoa works too), ground flaxseed, hemp seeds (great protein source, but you can also use chia seeds (reduce to 2-3 tbsp)), ground coffee if using and peppermint extract.
3. Stir until well combined. If mixture is very dry add a little warm water or additional maple syrup. 4. Scoop out 1 tbsp at a time and roll into balls. Roll in additional cacao powder or crushed candy canes if desired.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer! These will keep at room temp for a day or two but are best refrigerated.
Here are some FAQ'S I've had from people who've made this recipe!
I'm sure you're wondering why hemp seeds?! Hemp seeds are a complete vegan source of protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids. I love adding them to smoothies, granola, making hemp milk or as a topper to salads. They're also typically cheaper (and less processed!) than most protein powders.
What's the difference between cacao and cocoa powder? Cocoa powder and cacao powder are very similar! Cocoa powder is often processed at high temperature (roasted) and cacao is raw cacao beans that have been fermented & processed into powder at a low temp. Cacao has a bitter taste and is richer in disease-fighting plant compounds including flavanols, which have antioxidant, heart-protective, and anti-cancer properties as these can be lost in high temp processing. Both cocoa and cacao are good sources of iron, fiber, and magnesium.
Will it affect the flavor if I use cocoa vs cacao? I've made these both ways and no I didnt notice that much of a difference!
I'm allergic to almonds can I use a different butter? You can use any nut or seed butter in these, however peanut butter and sunflower butter will have a noticeably different taste.
My almond butter is sweetened already should I still add maple syrup? You probably don't need to, but adjust to fit your tastes!
Have more questions? Drop them below!!