Holiday ‘Jingle Balls’ – A Festive Take on No-Bake Protein Balls

Posted on December 20th, 2023 By in Recipes Read Time: 12 mins.

Deck the halls with carbs, sugar, fat, and, hm… what else do we gorge ourselves with during the holidays?

Oh yeah! Alcohol, stress, unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others…

The list, literally goes on for– fa-lah-lah-la-lah-EVER.

That’s why today we’re gifting you with a realistic, actionable, and tasty way to nourish your body with a nutritious alternative holiday snack.

holiday protein balls no-bake featured in food photography shot with rolling pin, nutcracker statue, snowflakes, and light blue background
Mint-chocolate no-bake protein balls are a great healthy snack option

The ‘Holiday Hamster Wheel’ of Unhealthy Eating

…Is a very real thing.

We kick things off with Thanksgiving – a time to sit around and eat copious amounts of starches and stuffing, followed by multiple slices of pie.

(Remember, this holiday comes just on the heels of Halloween — a magical time when we hide alcohol in canteens and wander the neighborhood with our children eating candy…I will say, our Cryptic Cold Brew Recipe was an absolute revelation though!)

But guys – are we noticing a pattern?


We’re pretty much all rocking around the Christmas tree after having been in a caloric surplus since the end of August.

And it doesn’t just stop with Thanksgiving…no no…

That’s because the carb train, of course, comes steaming down the tracks every December…

With our Polar Express-sized appetites for Christmas cookies!

Of course this all happens with a decisive exodus from the gym, because why do we want to go to the gym in the pitch black outside??

The end result of all of this December debauchery is of course, a Claus-sized, but not very merry version of ourselves.

Have a Holly, Jolly Sleepy, Groggy Christmas

…It’s the best time of the year!

But seriously – all the carbs, combined with the bonus of stress and expectations, can leave us wanting a long Winter’s nap more than anything.

A big part of that, at least from a dietary perspective, is that most of us don’t get enough protein per day during the Holidays.

Most people don’t know it, but protein gives you energy in a number of sneaky ways.

It is itself an energy source, but more importantly, it provides the critical amino acids that our brains use to experience energy.

And of course protein also helps us lose weight by burning fat, building lean muscle, etc. etc…

But you already knew that.

Long story short, weaving some more protein into your diet during the holidays is key.

Here’s a fun way to do just that.

The Name’s Balls, Jingle Balls

Yes, that sounds like the beginning of an x-rated hallmark movie.

And yes, we are ‘rollin’ with it anyways (get it?).

Because these balls are the healthy, energizing alternative to the dietary disaster that is most of the Christmas cookie recipes out there.

woman rolling mint-chocolate protein snack balls that are made from oats, honey, and protein powder
These protein balls are packed with nutrients, and won’t spike your blood sugar

These protein balls are:

  1. Easy to make (look ‘Ma, no baking!)
  2. Festive & Fun (holiday spirit meter -> up!)
  3. Absolutely Delicious (unlike most protein recipes out there)
  4. Healthy and Actually Give you Energy

If that all sounds good to you, let’s gather up some ingredients and get started.

Jingle Protein Ball Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients that we’ll use in our festive no-bake protein balls:

  • Oats – (Either rolled or quick will work)
  • Chocolate Protein Powder
  • Coconut – (unsweetened, to keep the sugar content down)
  • Hemp seeds (or other nuts/seed of your choice)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sea salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey – Maple syrup will also work.
  • Water
  • Vanilla extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Crushed candy canes

Once you have all the ingredients that you need, it’s time to start bringing these holiday jingle balls to life.

Holiday Jingle Ball Directions:

  1. The first step is going to require a little bit of blending – but don’t worry, it’s all smooth sailing from there with no other appliances needed.
  2. First, put your oats in a food processor / blender and pulse them a few times to break them down into a meal texture. This way you won’t have big chunks of oats in your protein balls
  3. After that, add in the coconut flakes, and your hemp seeds / nuts if you are using them. This will blend everything into a nice even base before we add our wet ingredients
  4. Add your protein powder, cocoa, and salt, and mix this by hand into your mixture – we don’t want to use the blender here because our protein powder is very powdery and will puff out if you blend it right away
  5. Now, it’s time to add our wet ingredients! Add the water, honey, and the vanilla / peppermint extract, and mix together. You will notice it all start to become very dough-like
  6. For a little extra pizazz, crush some candy canes into bits, and then spread that out evenly onto a plate – this will add a festive flourish to your masterpieces!

The final step is to take your dough, and roll into compact, even balls. Press them gently onto the crushed candy cane bits for a coating of Christmas cheer

And that’s it! Time to enjoy your protein-packed holiday ‘jingle balls’… and remember to share them with a loved one or two – don’t be a grinch!

woman's hand holding a homemade protein ball snack with candy cane coating
Voilà! Our finished jingle balls are a healthy holiday masterpiece.

NOTE: this recipe borrows inspiration from our friend Lauren at

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2023 UNICO® Nutrition | All rights reserved

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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