These healthy peanut butter balls come together so easily and are perfect for holiday parties! They’re gluten-free, grain-free and vegan.
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get up a peanut butter balls recipe! I just had to post them before Christmas for the folks looking for something easy and last-minute to make.
These little things are addictive. I love regular unhealthy peanut butter balls but these are even more delicious.
I have quite a sweet tooth but I think the traditional powdered sugar kind are too sweet. These healthy peanut butter balls are maple-sweetened and aren’t too sweet at all.
I haven’t tried any other sweeteners but I’m guessing another sweetener that works as a maple sub would work out well. Honey might have too strong of a flavor, though.
I can tell you that Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup does not work. The texture is fine but we hated the taste with it. I’m working on a keto version, though!
Regular peanut butter balls often call for crushed graham cracker crumbs. I know how delicious that is but there’s an unprocessed, gluten-free, grain-free and equally as delicious option for these balls – coconut flour!
It actually detracts from the peanut butter flavor less than graham cracker crumbs. That means these have a more peanut buttery flavor!
These peanut butter balls melt in your mouth – as long as you follow the recipe and don’t add too much coconut flour.
An easy Christmas candy recipe
One thing I really love about these healthy peanut butter balls is how quick and easy they are. They just call for peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, vanilla and salt.
You simply mix it all together, freeze and roll into balls. They might be a bit messy and can potentially look ugly if you rush, like I usually do, but I find that true of most similar candy recipes.
The chocolate coating
And of course, there’s chocolate + coconut oil for the coating! That tool above, by the way, is called a chocolate dipping tool, in case you’re wondering. :)
I thought about making a homemade chocolate coating (using cocoa powder and natural sweetener instead of chocolate) but that version would have melted at room temperature, which is no good for holiday parties. And to be honest, it wouldn’t have been as tasty.
For more peanut butter Christmas recipes, try this peanut butter fudge, these gluten-free peanut butter cookies or vegan peanut butter cookies (which are also gluten-free!).
Substitution questions for these healthy peanut butter balls?
- Can I use something instead of peanut butter?
I’ve tried making these with sunflower seed butter for a paleo version but they need a LOT more coconut flour. I’m not sure on the exact amount yet so I’m not listing it in the recipe. But I’ll be posting it at some point!
Because of the huge difference between the two nut / seed butters, I can safely say that every nut butter will require a different amount of coconut flour.
So while you can use whatever type of nut butter you’d like (as long as there’s no added fat or sugar), you’re going to have to experiment with the amount of flour.
Start off with the amount of coconut flour listed below and if it’s still liquidy, like the sunflower seed version was using that much flour, add tablespoon by tablespoon until it’s not. Keep in mind that you’ll put the mixture in the freezer a bit to help roll them into balls so the mixture won’t be rollable at this point.
- Can I use something instead of maple syrup?
Honey would probably work if you don’t mind a bit of honey taste. It might make them stickier, though. Agave syrup would probably work, too.
- Can I use something instead of coconut flour?
Unfortunately not. There’s not a good sub for coconut flour as it absorbs so much more liquid than other flours. I’ve heard of people using oat flour (if you can have grains) but I have absolutely no idea how much you’d need to use or if it’d be as tasty.
- Can I use something instead of coconut oil in the chocolate coating?
I think butter (for a dairy-containing version) would work.
If you try this healthy peanut butter ball recipe, I’d love to hear how they come out!
Also, here are some resources if you’re new to the vegan or gluten-free diet:
- Is Maple Syrup Vegan?
- Are Chocolate Chips Vegan?
- Is Peanut Butter Vegan?
- Is Maple Syrup Gluten-free?
- Are Chocolate Chips Gluten-free?
- Is Peanut Butter Gluten-free?
Healthy Peanut Butter Balls (vegan, gluten-free)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 28
These healthy peanut butter balls come together so easily and are perfect for holiday parties! They're gluten-free, grain-free and vegan.
- 1 1/4 cups (320 grams) natural peanut butter (no added fat or sugar)
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (32 grams) coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cups (255 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (use vegan chocolate, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) coconut oil – I used refined for no coconut taste
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until combined. Stir in the coconut flour. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The dough won't get very hard in the freezer - it'll just make it easier to roll into balls. The balls won't be totally firm when you form them but that's okay. They don't need to be totally perfect.
- Prepare the coating. Mix together chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl or pot that can be used to melt the chocolate and dip the balls in.
- Shape into about 28 20-gram balls and place on a tray small enough to fit in your freezer. Place them in the freezer to let them firm up more (since rolling with warm hands heats them up quickly).
- Dip the balls one at a time into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for a few months. Can also be kept at room temperature for a few days (if it's not too warm).
33 comments on “Healthy Peanut Butter Balls (vegan, gluten-free)” — Add one!
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Hiyah. Do you know what the calories are on these? I’m trying to colour count but I cannot find it anywhere
Hi! I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile.
I used cocoa powder in the mix instead of chocolate chips on the outside. Turned out great. I did not measure the cocoa powder for I wasn’t sure how much I would need. But I think it was around 1/4 cup.
My apologies for just now seeing your review! It was in spam for some odd reason with a bunch of other comments. :( I’m really glad that you enjoyed the balls! The cocoa powder sounds like a yummy addition. I’ll have to try that! Thanks a ton for your comment and sorry again.
Yum! We made these tonight. Love that they’re a healthier version of my favorite buckeyes AKA peanut butter balls. We used dark chocolate chips for the coating chocolate for some added benefit.
I’m so glad that you enjoyed them! :) It’s good to know that they’re still sweet enough with dark chocolate. Thanks for your feedback!
Oh wow!! This looks amazing ang you have answered allo of my questions. Amazing. Thank you for this recipe, I can tell it will be out of this world! Take care..
I’m so sorry for just now seeing your nice comment. It was in spam for some reason. :/ I hope that you enjoyed the balls!
Have you ever tried to replace the coconut flour with protein powder to make these peanut butter protein balls? I’m wondering if it would be delicious or just nasty
I’m so very sorry for only now seeing your question! I just found it in the spam with a bunch of other comments on this post. :( I’ve never tried that and unfortunately because I’ve never used protein powder, I really have no idea. It’s easy to make a tiny batch to try it out, though! Sorry again for just now replying. I know you won’t see this but maybe someone else has the same question.
Can honey be used instead of maple syrup?
I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! Hopefully, you found the answer. :) I talk about honey in the post and in the questions section. Can I use something instead of maple syrup?
Honey would probably work if you don’t mind a bit of honey taste. It might make them stickier, though.
These healthy peanut butter balls are so delicious. With allergies to gluten and dairy, finding great treats are difficult at times. My peanut butter balls don’t come out as pretty as yours but they do taste delicious. Instead of pouring the extra chocolate on wax paper today, I poured it on some pre-washed strawberries. I think I died and went to heaven!
I’m so sorry for just now seeing this! I just found it with a ton of comments mixed in with the spam (I get hundreds of spam messages a day and with the last disaster of a year, I haven’t had time to check it). :( I’m so glad that you liked the peanut butter balls! Pouring the extra chocolate on some strawberries is an excellent idea. :) I can’t wait for berry season! Thanks a ton for your comment and sorry again. I feel awful!
Do you know the calorie count for one of these? They look delicious and can’t wait to try!
Hello! I don’t have the calories but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)
I was wondering if al one flour would work
These were amazing!! Wondering what the serving size is.
I’m so glad you liked them! I don’t list nutritional info so the serving size is whatever you want it to be. I think 2 is a reasonable amount? :)
Thank you! :)
Do you think it would work to flatten the dough and cut out heart shapes to dip in chocolate for St. Valentine’s Day?
Hi there! I’m sorry for just now seeing your question. I love your idea but think you’ll need to really freeze them for a while and / or add more coconut flour to get them firm enough for that. I’d love to hear how it goes!
I was able to dip the heart shapes in chocolate, however I did use a little extra coconut flour like you suggested and I found it best to take the shapes out of the freezer one at a time to dip them. Otherwise they become soft too fast. Thanks for your help.
Yummmmmmm!!! Just made these for my hubby. They were absolutely decadent and did not taste healthy whatsoever. They remind me of the peanut butter balls are used to make back in the day with powdered sugar.
Ah, just what I love to hear! I’m really glad that they remind you of the regular peanut butter balls with powdered sugar. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback! I hope your husband left some for you. :)
Erin, what tool do you use for dipping? I need to buy the one you’re using in your video and probably a fork looking one too. We dip a lot of different things around here lol. The reviews for the different ones I’m looking at on Amazon are pretty mixed so I’m wondering if you have a brand you prefer that’s done well for you. Thanks in advance!
Check out the paragraph after the second photo. I link to it there (I only included that after the newsletter went out, after someone asked me for the link :)) I hope it’ll work well for you!
Dear Erin, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you a very nice weekend and a Happy New Year! Love, Christine
Hi Christine! Nice to hear from you. :) Thanks a bunch and same to you. :D
Fantastic candy recipe, but I used organic almond butter instead and monk fruit instead of maple syrup.
I’m so glad it worked out well for you! What kind of monk fruit did you use? Is there a liquid kind? And what brand? I tried a liquid keto sweetener in these and thought they were awful so I’d like to try your version. :) Thanks for your feedback!
Shalom Erin, I always use “Lakanto golden monk fruit” I like this one the best. I tried the monk fruit in a liquid form but it was terrible and so sweet. I love so many of your recipes & I appreciate you too.
Oooh, thank you for letting me know! I actually had my parents bring me some Lakanto Maple-flavored Syrup from the US so I could try out a keto version of these. They were so nasty! I’ll try the golden version next (I luckily also had them bring me some of that!) :) Thanks again.