These no-bake tahini protein balls are a smoky, nutty treat, perfect for spooky fall activities or a low histamine snack anytime. They use two different types of sesame & a bit of date syrup to get that satisfyingly umami flavor with no protein powder and no oats— now that's hard to beat!
About this recipe
Nut & Seed Based Snack. It can be hard to find tolerated protein sources, especially if you're eating low histamine vegan. These protein balls are the perfect solution to that, coming in around 8-10 grams of protein per ball (depending on substitutions & brands).
Balanced Fiber & Protein. Thanks to the nut meal and various seeds, these protein balls are relatively high in both protein and fiber, helping you balance out meals on difficult days.
Versatile Recipe. Feel free to substitute the hazelnut meal for another nut or seed meal, and change up the sweetener and some of the add-ins for your own tastes.
Nut Milk Pulp: similar to nut meal, nut milk pulp is the stuff leftover after making homemade nut milk. To make these tahini protein balls nut-free, simply use a seed meal or make a seed-based milk and use the meal leftover from that.
Tahini: often thought of as simply sesame seed butter, tahini is so much more than just ground hulled sesame seeds. It's also commonly used to add heft and flavor to hummus and other dips, as well as a bit of plant-based protein.
Black Sesame Paste: this dark, roasty paste is sweetened with date syrup (vegan) or honey (traditional) and made from whole black sesame seeds, which offer an abundance of flavor as well as nutrients and a nice texture. The flavor of sesame seeds is so uniquely savory that in Korean there's actually a term for things that taste sesame-like, which is more generally used for a nutty umami flavor.
Honey or Date Syrup: there are a multitude of low histamine sweeteners you can use in desserts, but by far my favorite is manuka honey. Not only is it great for the digestive system, but manuka honey has been proven to lessen allergy symptoms, like those of histamine intolerance.
Candied Ginger: if you can’t tolerate the sugary store-bought option, you can make your own candied ginger with coconut sugar and a bit more bite.
How to make tahini protein balls: step-by-step instructions
Step 1. Add nut meal, hemp, and chia seeds and lightly blend in a high-powered food processor for 10-15 seconds on low, to further grind the nut meal and break up any chunks.
Step 2. Add the tahini, black sesame paste, sweeteners, candied ginger, vanilla powder, and salt (not the water), and then blend in 5-second pulses for half a minute.
Step 3. Add one Tablespoon of water and blend for another 15-20 seconds. If the mixture isn't yet forming a dough-like texture, add another ½ tablespoon of water and repeat that process until a dough forms that's sticky enough to form into balls but not so thin that they lose their shape.
Step 4. Refrigerate the dough for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and form it into balls, coating each one in a bit of chia seeds to keep them from sticking, and then refrigerate for 10 more minutes on the parchment, and eat or enjoy as desired.
Recipe notes & tips
No Black Sesame Paste. If you don't have any black sesame paste, you can replace those 4 Tablespoons with 3 Tablespoons more tahini or nut butter, and 1 Tablespoon more of your liquid sweetener.
Swapping out the Nuts. To use different nuts for the nut meal or replace the chia or hemp seeds, just make sure the chosen nuts/seeds are similar in shape to the ones you're replacing, and preferably raw but soaked. Check out my guide to low histamine seeds and nuts.
Storing the Protein Balls. You can freeze these protein balls for up to one year (or refrigerate for up to 1 week). To defrost them, simply leave them at room temp for about two hours, then enjoy.
What to do with protein balls
- enjoy them as a breakfast on-the-go
- keep them in the office fridge for a simple low histamine snack
- rely on them as a vegan low histamine protein source (using date syrup)
- use them as a base for a 'quick crumble' by pressing them into a bowl, topping with frozen fruit, and heating for 5 minutes in the toaster oven at 350°F (175°C), then topping with the granola of your choosing
Homemade Tahini Protein Balls Recipe Card
As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!
No-Bake Ginger Tahini Protein Balls
- 1 Cup nut milk pulp or nut meal
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds + more for coating
- 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
- ½ Cup tahini
- ¼ Cup black sesame paste or nut/seed butter of choice
- 3 Tablespoons date syrup or honey
- 2 Tablespoons minced candied ginger
- 1-2 Tablespoons water as needed
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Add the tahini, black sesame paste, ssweetener, candied ginger, vanilla powder, and salt (not the water), and then blend in 5-second pulses for half a minute.
- Add one Tablespoon of water and blend for another 15 seconds. If the mixture isn't yet forming a dough-like texture, add another ½ tablespoon of water and repeat that process until a dough forms that's sticky enough to form into balls but not so thin that they lose their shape.
- Refrigerate the dough for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and form it into balls, coating each one in a bit of chia seeds to keep them from sticking, and then refrigerate for 10 more minutes on the parchment, and eat or enjoy as desired.
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