A high protein version of the classic Buckeye candy that is refined sugar-free but still has all the peanut buttery- chocolaty goodness. These low-carb buckeyes are packed with protein and easy to make. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan making them the perfect snack for sharing.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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These healthier vegan protein Buckeyes are the perfect dessert/ snack/breakfast recipe. So good I can eat them all day and not feel guilty.
And in my opinion, any buckeye candy recipe made without powdered sugar just tastes better. Our commitment to healthy eating has paid off, I don’t like too sweet sweets as much anymore. This is why these Buckeyes are so perfect.
What is a Buckeye?
A Buckeye is a peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate with just the dome of peanut butter exposed.
Why do we call these peanut butter and chocolate fat pods Buckeyes? Because they resemble the poisonous nuts of the Buckeye tree. Scariest mascot in all of college football. Watch out. We will poison you?
They are great for tailgating mornings when with my green smoothie but need a keep hit of protein to get me through until the grill is ready to go! See told you these were a breakfast recipe!
Fun fact: The Ohio State University (aka the Buckeyes) was started on the old Neil family farm, 2 miles north of Columbus. Our house sits on the “farm” as well. Our initial structure was built about 20 years before the university was founded!
- Peanut Butter- Us an all-natural peanut butter with no sugar added.
- Peanut Butter Protein Powder- I typically use a peanut butter chocolate plant-based protein from Amazing Grass. I often get the single-serve packets to experiment with the different flavors. But I find a good tasting peanut butter protein is hard to find. This one totally fits the bill! Bonus, the single-serve packets are the exact right amount for this recipe. Love it! You can also use PB2. The purpose of the protein powder to act as the dry ingredient in place of the powdered sugar.
- Vanilla Extract
- Cocao Powder
- Coconut Oil- I don't recommend substituting other oils as the coconut oil hardens at room temperature making them for the perfect chocolate coating.
- Sweetener- For keto fat pops, use swerve or skip altogether. If you are just looking to make a healthier vegan buckeye but not necessarily keto you can use maple syrup.
Combine the protein powder and peanut butter until you get a cookie dough consistency. If it is too thick you can thin it with nondairy milk. The peanut butter filling needs to be thick enough to roll out by hand. But thin enough that when it is chilled it isn’t too hard to bite into.
Roll the buckeye dough out to your preferred size. For snack size, I go with a one and a half inch, for a dessert size I prefer smaller than one inch. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
For the chocolate coating, melt the coconut oil and stir everything together until smooth. Dip the balls to coat except for a small area at the top to make the “buckeye” look.
💭 Tips and Tricks
- Pro Tip: Salt your peanut butter if isn’t already be sure to salt it so maximize the natural sweetness.
- The chocolate coating shouldn't be to be warmer than room temperature. You want to set thickly on the ball for a nice firm coating.
Substitute almond butter fr the peanut butter and use a plant-based vegan vanilla protein powder for the peanut butter protein.
Substitute the peanut butter with our homemade smoked cashew butter.
Sweet and Spicy Buckeyes
Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne.
🥗More High Protein Gluten-Free Snacks
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Gluten-Free Protein Buckeyes
- Combine the peanut butter, protein powder and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until fully incorporated and a cookie dough consistency is formed. The batter can be thinned by adding 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk, if needed.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out dough and roll into a 1 to 1 ½ inch ball, depending on your desired sized. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- To make the chocolate coating, combine cocao powder, coconut oil and maple syrup (if using) in a small bowl. Stir until no lumps remain. The coating should be thick but not stiff, allow to cool if too thin.
- Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Using a skewer or fork pick up a ball and dip into the chocolate leaving a a small round or peanut butter visible at the top. Place back on parchment. Repeat with remaining balls. Place in refrigerator until chocolate sets.
- To cover the the hole left by the skewer you can dip your finger in warm water and pinch it closed. Buckeyes should be kept in the refrigerator.
- For Paleo, substitute almond butter and vanilla protein powder
- Not AIP compliant