Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free options)

These lemon protein balls only take a few minutes to put together and are naturally gluten-free, vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free.

These lemon protein balls only take a few minutes to put together and are naturally gluten-free, vegan, 100% whole grain and dairy-free.

I’m back! I unintentionally took a 2-week summer vacation from the blog, it seems. I traveled to Munich to give a class on healthier baking and totally underestimated the time it’d take to prepare everything before we left. So the week before the class was madness and since we came back from Munich, all I’ve done is try to clean up the side effects of the chaos. ;)

It’s a 6-hour train ride to Munich from Berlin and I had always wanted to visit Munich so we made a little vacation out of it. If you’re thinking of traveling to Germany, I can definitely recommend Munich! In my opinion, there’s way more to do there than in Berlin. I’ll share more about it in a later post!

Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free)

I’m all about no-bake goodies right now. It’s too warm and humid to turn on the oven (nobody has air conditioning at home here) but I hope that changes soon because I have loads of fruit desserts that I’m hoping to make and post!

So until the weather changes, we have these super easy lemon protein balls. It’s one of those recipes where you just mix everything together and roll into balls. It really couldn’t be any easier!

Want a peanut butter version? Try these peanut butter protein balls which are also vegan, gluten-free and whole grain!

After making this paleo vegan lemon fudge, I’ve been trying out loads of cashew butter based goodies. It’s super creamy and goes so well together with citrus! I’m just bummed it took me so long to try it.

Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain, and dairy-free)

In these lemon bites, you can definitely taste the cashew butter but lemon is the predominant flavor. I used regular (formerly Grade A) maple syrup, which has the lightest maple flavor. If you use a darker maple syrup, it’ll likely compete with the lemon flavor.

I’m guessing store-bought cashew butter is probably incredibly expensive so I just dump some salted cashews in my food processor and process a few minutes (it’s much quicker than making almond butter!).

If you need these lemon balls to be vegan / dairy-free, make sure to buy vegan / dairy-free white chocolate chips or make your own dairy-free white chocolate. Or just omit the white chocolate chips all together!

Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 5 readers
Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 18-22 balls


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (225 grams) natural cashew butter (the kind with just cashews and salt)
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup (63 grams) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup (90 grams) rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats, if necessary)
  • pinch of salt (or a little more if your cashew butter is unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup (43 grams) white chocolate chips (use vegan / dairy-free white chocolate chips, if necessary)


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cashew butter, maple syrup, lemon juice and lemon zest until well combined.
  2. Add the coconut, rolled oats, salt, and white chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then roll into 1” balls. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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36 comments on “Lemon Protein Balls (vegan, gluten-free options)” — Add one!

  • michele
    May 26, 2020 @ 1:30 am

    these are AMAZING!!!! I have had these on the ‘to make’ list for a long time and I am LOVING these so much!! You always come through! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Erin replies to michele
      May 26, 2020 @ 6:15 am

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad that you finally got to try them out and that you liked them (and the recipes!). Thanks for your feedback! :)

  • Hazel says
    March 11, 2020 @ 5:42 am

    I had been eyeing this recipe for awhile and finally got around to making it. And wow! So yummy?! I put the white chocolate but I’m sure it would be good even without it. This had me licking my hands haha. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Erin replies to Hazel
      March 11, 2020 @ 10:49 am

      Haha. A little hand licking is always a good thing! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the balls. Thanks so much for the feedback! :)

  • Erin Handy says
    July 29, 2016 @ 9:54 pm

    sounds like a great recipe…how long will these last in the fridge? how do they fair from freezer to fridge?

    • Erin replies to Erin Handy
      July 29, 2016 @ 10:14 pm

      Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Freeze them after that – they freeze well! Enjoy. :)

  • Kelly Barcroft
    June 30, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

    Ok, just made these…made a few substitions…sunbutter for the cashew butter and I didn’t have the lemon but I had key lime so I thought, hey, it took me this long to get the sunbutter, I’ll just try it… Not good! Don’t do that…my husband and I were like, NO! So I am going to try it the correct way at some point, although the reason I wanted to make these is because my son loves lemon (and I am coming around to lemon as well) and he is allergic to nuts so this recipe with the cashew butter will not do him any good. But I do want to try it out myself.

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      July 2, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

      I’m sorry key lime didn’t work out! Now that I’ve made sunflower seed butter, I can’t imagine making a lemon treat with it. It sounds like a weird combination (but maybe I’m wrong)! If you do try it again with lemon, I hope you and your son will both enjoy them. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Angela
    June 7, 2016 @ 2:13 am

    Just made these. Spot on again! This may be the most delicious no bake “cookie” I’ve tried–and healthier than others, too. I’m bringing them to a picnic tomorrow.

    • Erin replies to Angela
      June 7, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

      Aww, yay! I’m so happy to hear that you liked them so much. :) I hope the others at the picnic liked them, too! Thanks a bunch for your comment (as always! ;))

  • Nikki @ Nik snacks says
    June 4, 2016 @ 2:55 am

    I’m really into energy bites right now! And I want these with the extra white chocolate chips!

  • Helen@cuisinestudy says
    June 3, 2016 @ 6:20 am

    This like an easy recipe that is a healthy/natural to keep your energy going all day!Perfect for post-baby energy boosts too! Love it!

  • Kelly Barcroft
    June 3, 2016 @ 4:41 am

    I was going to get on here and tell you I am SO going to make these and ask you about subbing in Sunbutter in place of cashew butter but I see someone has already tried that and I am glad it worked.
    Also, I lived without air conditioning for 4 years when I was on Long Island and I was miserable…but I did get used to living in warmer temps. I wish I could get myself back to where I slept when it was hot out because now I am a 68F degree girl. I can’t sleep if it’s hot and I am sweating whereas for several years, I did just that.
    Anyways, I look forward to making these when I get a chance. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      June 3, 2016 @ 6:58 pm

      And it’s good they tried it because I’ve never tried Sunbutter so I’d have had no idea what to tell you. ;) I hope you’ll enjoy them! And wow. Long Island with no AC?! That sounds tough. Did you use a fan non-stop? We have a fan but only need to drag it out about a week of the year.

      • Kelly Barcroft
        replies to Erin
        June 3, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

        I slept with a fan in my room blowing on my bed every single night and some nights I considered sleeping in my office since it was air conditioned. I was a grad student at SUNY Stony Brook at the time and learned that most houses on LI did not have AC. And I don’t understand that b/c it gets really humid and really hot all summer.
        Anyway, Sunbutter is actually really good. It is really important to look for sun butter without added sugar because they put sugar in it and it tastes great without all the added sugar. And my oldest son who loves lemons is allergic to all nuts. So I am going to make this with sun butter and I will let you know how it tastes.

        • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
          June 4, 2016 @ 7:03 pm

          I don’t understand that, either! I thought it gets really hot there, just like Texas. A home without AC in Texas is unheard of! So thanks to the sunflower seed butter comments on this post, I went and bought sunflower seeds today so I can make my own butter. I’ll make it tonight once it cools down a little! I’m testing two no-bake peanut butter recipes and will also try them with my homemade butter. :)

  • Des @ Life's Ambrosia says
    June 3, 2016 @ 12:34 am

    These energy bites look perfect! My sons would love them for an afternoon treat.

  • Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
    June 2, 2016 @ 8:56 pm

    Running to the pantry to make these now! LOVE!

  • Cristina says
    June 2, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

    These are amazing! I added fresh grated ginger and hemp seeds and left out the white chocolate chips because I am trying to cut back on sugar. Delicious and perfect for an upcoming road trip! Thank you!!

    • Erin replies to Cristina
      June 2, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

      Adding grated ginger is genius! I’m so trying that next time. I’m so happy you enjoyed the bites! Thanks for your comment and have a great road trip. :)

  • Shelly Roy says
    June 2, 2016 @ 5:38 pm

    Oh Erin! You have done it again, created a new favorite in this house!
    So, I made these this morning and will take them with me to my daughter (who is in labor with her first baby) to help keep her energy up during labor. I took a few liberties :) Here are the changes I made.
    I subbed sunflower butter for the cashew butter, and switched up the coconut and oat measurements. So I used 1 cup of coconut and 3/4 c of oats. The sunflower butter is very mild and these are super lemony! Yum!!
    Thank you!

    • Erin replies to Shelly Roy
      June 2, 2016 @ 5:47 pm

      Oh, yay! Congratulations to your daughter! I hope she’ll enjoy these and have an easy (if such a thing exists ;)) labor. I’m so happy you liked the bites and it’s great to know that sunflower butter works well here. Thanks so much for your feedback and best wishes to your daughter!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    June 2, 2016 @ 3:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, Y’all don’t have air conditioning? I’m so sorry! We lived without A/C for quite a few years in an old farm house and down here in the south the summers are brutal (as you know). I hate that y’all don’t have air! But in other news, I’m so glad that you got to go to Munich!! Ps. love the energy bites!!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    June 2, 2016 @ 4:58 am

    YES, I need some energy right now! We just got back from a vacation to Spain and Portugal and I’m dragging from jet lag. And I couldn’t agree more about Munich – I prefer it hands down over Berlin. No comparison. Not just Munich itself but the surrounding area (tons of castles, great skiing, etc). My mom’s from Bavaria and though I grew up in Stuttgart, Bavaria is my favorite region for scenery. Glad you had a good time!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
    June 2, 2016 @ 4:35 am

    These looks like a great snack!! I love the idea of lemon and white chocolate together!

  • Trish - Mom On Timeout says
    June 2, 2016 @ 4:07 am

    Had me at lemon :) I could snack on these all.day.long.

  • Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
    June 2, 2016 @ 3:52 am

    LOVE these, Erin! I crave lemon EVERYTHING as soon as the weather gets warmer. Must made these pronto :)

  • Meg @ With Salt and Wit says
    June 2, 2016 @ 3:37 am

    You had me at lemon! I could eat these all day long!

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says
    June 2, 2016 @ 12:33 am

    Erin!!! What are you doing to me?!?! I so wish I had all the ingredients right now!!! Ah!

  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer says
    June 2, 2016 @ 12:10 am

    I have never been to Germany! I can’t wait to travel to Europe someday! Thes lemon bites look SO good! They would be perfect for a light pre-workout snack!

  • The Food Hunter says
    June 1, 2016 @ 11:32 pm

    Munich was one of my favorite places to visit.

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition says
    June 1, 2016 @ 10:03 pm

    Girl, this is perfect for me and my lemon obsession! I can’t wait to make these as I try to make different energy bites each week! Pinning!

  • Aleksandra says
    June 1, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

    They feed straight into my energy bites obsession!

  • cakespy says
    June 1, 2016 @ 7:23 pm

    I love recipes like this! I am bookmarking it and am going to include it in my weekly links roundup!

  • Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
    June 1, 2016 @ 6:34 pm

    I’d love to travel to/around Germany one day…and will remember Munich. These energy bites sound so good, love that the lemon flavor shines through!

  • Justine | Cooking and Beer says
    June 1, 2016 @ 4:20 pm

    These little bites look AMAZING! Love the white chocolate chips!


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