Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | December 19, 2011

Healthy Holiday Baking: Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls


Maintaining a healthy diet around the holidays is like pushing a two-ton chocolate-covered Christmas cookie up a hill.

I understand and sympathize! Despite my usually clean diet, I do actually give in to the holiday temptations here and there. Life is short, I do it in moderation and I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out during this short season.

This year though, I’m trying to add a new element into the how-I-manage-my holiday-eating. I’m creating healthy holiday recipes.

I’ve got sugar-loaded, butter-packed recipes coming out of my ears already, but why not add some healthier holiday-esque bites in there?

Thus the Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls.

They’re tasty in their warm spiciness and packed with nut-protein as well as a good amount of vegetable goodness (yes, pumpkin puree is a vegetable). The best part is that they’re satisfying.


Eat them with a hot cup of mint tea for breakfast or dessert, it doesn’t matter!

Obviously, this is not a recipe for those with nut allergies, but as a vegan and gluten-free recipe, this baby rocks!20111219-105135.jpg

Did I mention they’re delicious? Not to sweet, but oh so yummy. Try them for yourselves.


Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls

Modified from the recipe on

Makes about 28, 1-2 inch balls



  • 1 1/4 cup oats, ground
  • 2 cups almonds, ground (or bought almond meal)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp agave syrup
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (can also substitute carrot or sweet potato puree)
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds (smashed with rolling pin)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the ingredients: Ground the oats in food processor; ground 2 cups of almonds in food processor; smash sliced almonds in a bag with rolling pin (or wine bottle); and melt coconut oil in small saucepan on low heat until it is liquid.

Next, combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the sliced almonds (set those aside in a large plate) in the food processor and pulse until combined. Dough will be sticky, but you should be able to shape it.

Roll the dough into 1.5 inch balls and then roll each ball in the mashed sliced almonds. Place on non-stick, un-greased baking sheet.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before moving/eating.

Do you have a health holiday recipe you make?



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