These Tahini Maple Oat Bites are a simple gluten free protein ball recipe. Both kids and adults will love these delicious protein balls.
Who doesn’t need more healthy snacks with a little bit of dark chocolate in them? I know I sure do! These Tahini Maple Oat Bites are gluten-free and nut free, and you can whip them up with just a food processor. No baking required!
If you’ve been looking for a gluten free protein ball recipe, look no further than this delicious combination of oats, tahini, chocolate, flax seeds and maple syrup. For anyone who is allergic to nuts, it’s really hard to find a protein ball recipe that doesn’t include peanut butter, but these are held together with just tahini.
What is tahini?
If you’re unfamiliar with tahini, then let me introduce you. Tahini is a paste made from ground toasted sesame seeds. It’s completely nut free, yet has a nutty and rich taste. Sesame seeds actually have some protein and healthy fats, which is why tahini is the “glue” in these gluten free protein balls.
Tahini looks just like nut butter and naturally separates in the jar. When you buy a jar of tahini, you’ll have to do a fair bit of mixing to incorporate the oil back into the paste. It’s usually made with just ground sesame seeds and a dash of salt.
Many people use tahini in baking, like chocolate chip cookies, and it also tastes great in dressings and marinades. Grab the recipe for this simple Lemon Tahini Dressing on a Crunchy Green Salad.
Tahini may be a little bit difficult to find in the supermarket, so take a look in the international section. If you can’t find it there, you can likely order it online. Soom Foods is known for having very high quality tahini– check out their product below.
Soom Foods Tahini (affiliate link)
Are oats gluten free?
Oats naturally contain zero gluten, so most oats are gluten free. That said, oats are generally processed in facilities that are NOT gluten free. That means they are contaminated with some form of gluten.
For those who have a gluten intolerance or just try to avoid gluten, this slight intolerance probably won’t bother you in any way. BUT for those who have Celiac disease or any condition where they absolutely cannot have gluten, you should buy oats that say gluten free on the label.
Many brands, including Quaker and Bob’s Red Mill, sell gluten-free oats that are certified to not contain gluten. Read more about oats and the gluten-free diet on the Celiac Disease Foundation’s website here.
Can I eat these Oatmeal Bites before a workout?
I very much encourage you to eat these gluten free protein balls before a workout. These Tahini Oat Bites have a mixture of carbs and protein that will give you long lasting energy before a workout. Specifically, the oats deliver complex carbs that has some protein and fiber and take a long time to digest. That means they slowly delivery sugar into the blood stream, which keeps you energized for a long time.
The tahini has some protein to help with post-workout recovery. If you workout after work, these gluten free oat bites are a great mid-afternoon snack to satisfy your chocolate craving and give you energy for your workout.
And if you exercise in the morning, these are a great on-the-go pre-workout breakfast that will hold you over until you can sit down for a substantial meal.
How to make Tahini Maple Oat Bites
The BEST part about this recipe is that all you need is a bowl and a food processor to whip this up. And you can make these oat bites ahead of time with your weekly meal prep. (If you’re looking for meal prep inspiration, sign up for my FREE 3-Day Vegetarian Meal Plan in the sidebar on the right.)
First, start by making a simple oat flour. This is actually a great trick to make oat flour for any recipe. Simply pulse oats in a food processor until they become a flour.
Next add the tahini, chocolate chips, maple syrup and flax seeds. Then form these into golf ball sized bites. Put them in the fridge for about an hour or so and enjoy.
A serving is about two bites– make sure you stick to that serving size to keep your calories and sugar in check.
Tahini Maple Oat Bites
- 1 1/2 cup oats separated
- 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon tahini
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Add 1/2 cup oats to food processor or blender. Blend until it becomes a powder consistency.
To a large bowl, add the oat flour, remaining 1 cup of oats, tahini, maple syrup and flax seeds. Mix with a spoon until well combined.
Add the dark chocolate chips to the bowl and stir.
Using your hands, form small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on a parchment paper lined plate or cutting board. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.