Mesquite + Cacao Protein Balls

I am loving mesquite powder at the moment. It's touted as a 'superfood' because it's apparently low GI and high in protein and minerals, but I just love the taste. Slightly sweet, slightly caramel-y and it has a gorgeous golden colour. Plus it goes really well with chocolate.

The powder is made from the pods of the mesquite tree, which is found in the southwestern US and parts of South America. You can buy it at health food shops or online. I love to mix it with cacao powder to make raw chocolate. And, as I do with all of my favourite flavour combinations, I made it into protein balls.

I used Bare Blends Organic Raw Cacao WPI protein powder to make the balls and then added a little more cacao powder for extra chocolate-y flavour. If you want to use a vanilla or unflavoured whey protein, that should be fine - I would just increase the cacao powder to two tablespoons. If you don't have any mesquite powder, you could just leave it out and make plain chocolate protein balls (but it's really delicious with the mesquite powder!).

You do need to use whey protein powder in this recipe because the stickiness of the whey when mixed with water is what holds the balls together. If you're vegan or prefer to use plant-based protein powders, you could try my Choc-Mint Protein BallsSuperfood Protein Balls or Lucuma Energy Bars

i n g r e d i e n t s

  • 3/4 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I used Bare Blends Organic Raw Cacao WPI
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons mesquite powder
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or rolled oats processed into a powder) *
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Extra mesquite powder, for dusting

p r e p a r a t i o n

  1. Combine the protein powder, mesquite powder, cacao powder, oat flour and coconut flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the rice malt syrup, melted coconut oil and water.
  2. Using a sturdy spoon, stir everything together until well combined (the mixture gets quite sticky so you'll need to use your muscles to stir everything until well combined). Have a taste, and add a little more rice malt syrup (or pure maple syrup) if you'd like it sweeter. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little extra coconut flour. If it's too dry, add a little extra water.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls and leave in the fridge to set. Sprinkle with some extra mesquite powder to serve if desired. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

* If you're allergic to gluten, make sure you buy gluten-free oat flour or use gluten-free oats to make the oat flour. Oats may contain traces of gluten as they are commonly processed on the same equipment as wheat.