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Top 8 Allergen Free Protein Balls

Top 8 Allergen Free Protein Balls

Chocolate black bean protein balls are free from peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. Made with black beans, cocoa, coconut oil, coconut flakes and chocolate pieces.

Do you remember when protein balls aka energy balls were all the rage on social media? Toted as the quick, easy, healthy snack with a hit of protein. The first ones to pop up were made with peanut butter, then the peanut and tree nut allergy peeps naturally got in the game with SunButter. There were allergy-friendly recipes, but none that were friendly to my allergies. 

Determined to give protein balls a try I took to the kitchen. And what came out of that experimentation were energy balls without peanut butter and top 8 allergen-free, black bean-based protein balls! And as a bonus, they are also free of all seeds. They do contain oats, if you use purity protocol oats then they are gluten-free.

Energy balls without peanut butter that work

Peanut free, nut free, seed free protein balls. Made with black beans, cocoa, and coconut oil.

Let me just tell you right now that these babies work! This energy ball without peanut butter give you the boost you need whether you are going for a hike, need to get through the day, or training for a half marathon without using any nut butter.

Packing nut-free protein into a protein ball

The base of a protein ball needs to be protein. Since I can’t do peanut butter or any of its alternatives (almond/sunflower seed), I needed to find something sticky that would bind all the ingredients together and be high in protein. Not easy criteria to fill. The solution was to make energy balls without peanut butter with a combination of black beans, honey, and coconut oil. Black beans are full of protein and you can’t taste them at all when combined with cocoa, coconut flakes and chopped chocolate or cocoa nibs. Sweetness in these protein balls comes from honey and binding power is amplified with the coconut oil. 

My guinea pigs (aka family), have told me they taste somewhat like cliff bars. My sister even went so far as to say better!

Peanut and Treenut free Protein Balls steps


They are ridiculously easy to make. No cooking, no baking, only some blending or pulverizing needed. I weigh out each ball to make 30 pieces, which means they each weigh roughly 20g. You don’t have to be that specific, but since they are a ‘sporty treat’ I wanted to be more meticulous.

Easy no cooking or baking protein balls. Top 8 free and made with black beans

See Also

In our home, these little guys go by “Kraftbällchen”, translating from German to tiny strength balls. But in the end, a name is but a name, what counts is if they work. I hope these protein balls bring you the strength and taste satisfaction they have for me!

Easy no cooking or baking protein balls. Top 8 free and made with black beans

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Peanut free, nut free, seed free protein balls. Made with black beans, cocoa, and coconut oil.

Top 8 Allergen Free Protein Balls

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Kortney
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 30 1x


Chocolate black bean protein balls are free from peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. Made with black beans, cocoa, coconut oil, coconut flakes and chocolate pieces.


  • 400g Can of Black Beans (rinsed well)
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats (old fashion)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1/3 cup Chocolate, either chips or bakers chocolate (roughly chopped)


  1. In a blender, Vitamix, or food processor blend black beans, honey, coconut oil, and cocoa together until a smooth paste is formed. Once you think you have blended it enough, blend it for 30 seconds more.
  2. Transfer black bean paste to a bowl and mix in rolled oats, coconut and chocolate until very well combined. The same applies here, one you feel it is well mixed, mix it again!
  3. Roll into balls, either weigh them out or eyeball it. If you weigh them out, take the overall weight of the dough and divide by 30 to get the weight for each ball (roughly 20g). When rolling into balls, the dough may crumble a bit, give it a squeeze (like dry play dough) and gently roll between your two hands.
  4. Keep refrigerated. They are good for up to 3 weeks.
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Snack


  • Serving Size: 1 (19g)

Keep it top 8 free by using these up as your chocolate pieces in the protein balls:

Chocolate black bean protein balls are free from peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. Made with black beans, cocoa, coconut oil, coconut flakes and chocolate pieces.
Chocolate black bean protein balls are free from peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. Made with black beans, cocoa, coconut oil, coconut flakes and chocolate pieces.

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View Comments (46)
  • mmm, they look yummy!! I can’t commit to buying a jar of coconut oil because I don’t know what other dishes I’ll use it for. Have you tried other substitutes? Thanks!

    • Hi Sharon, I haven’t tried any substitutes because I was looking at the texture of the oil as well as taste. I felt the same way about coconut oil at first and bought a jar to see what all the buzz was about. I also tried coconut oil pulling, which is actually pretty cool. Now I use coconut oil in all my stir fries because it gives them a great fresh flavour.

  • Oh my! These look sooo good! You had me at chocolate! 🙂 Congrats on making your personal best time for the half-marathon!

    • I am, too! On the topic of bean-filled desserts, I especially enjoy when a blogger accepts friendly criticism regarding the nutritional information of her black bean brownie (specifically the protein content) without getting incredibly defensive, then deleting all said comments… 🙂

      These little treats look sooooo good, perfect for after a workout (or hell, anytime!)

      • Thanks Elle! 😀 I always debate on including nutritional info because it can vary a lot from programme to programme. It is especially true when a recipe claims to be something like high in protein.

    • Hi Anita,
      I have never used quinoa or quinoa flakes. I am not sure what the texture of the quinoa flakes are like, but if they are similar to oats I feel like it could work. I you are up for experimenting I would say give it a try and please let me know if it works. Sorry I couldn’t be any more specific.

  • Hello, can i ask what is the drained weight of your 400g can of black beans? I’ll like to substitute with dried black beans instead so I want to make sure I get the ingredients ratio right! Thanks!

      • Hey Kortney,

        Thanks a lot. I’ve tried it with dried beans and it turned out really dry. Sadly the consistency is nothing like your 3rd photo in this blogpost!

        It was difficult to get my blender blades to turn due to the lack of moisture and I ended up adding more oil. Will it be ok to add water too?

        I’m guessing I’ll also need to cook the beans longer to make them mushier and closer to the texture of canned beans.

  • I made these and they are amazing take my word to whoever reads this, they taste just like a chocolate ball. I gave them to my dad I asked what do you think is in it he said just chocolate till I showed him the black beans, these really are good thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Hi there,

      Yes you have to drain the black beans. I would also suggest rinsing them if they have been packed in salted water.

      Happy cooking!
      – Kortney

  • Thank you so so much for these! I’m allergic to so many fruits as well as peanuts/tree nuts. The recent addition of an avocado allergy was especially bumming me out. I’m absolutely thrilled that I made these protein balls, and now that I know how good it is, I’ll be able to substitute black beans in other recipes as well! Thank you!

    • Hi Cecily! I am so glad that you enjoyed the protein balls! I haven’t tried using black beans to sub in cookies, where I see a lot of people using seed/nut butters – maybe that will be my next kitchen experiment. 😀

  • What can I substitute for the coconut oil? The FDA has declared that it is unhealthy because of the saturated fat. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen,
      The role of the oil in these balls is to create a smoother texture. Most nut butters contain an oily property that the beans do not bring. In this case I would suggest using a neutral flavoured oil of your choice. I haven’t tried making these with another oil, so not 100% sure how it would react, but my gut says that an olive oil or avocado oil is what I would use instead.
      I would love to know what oil you sub in and how they turn out!
      Happy cooking,

  • Any ideas on an alternative to honey? I’m unable to absorb fructose, honey and agave both fall into this category. I’d really like to try these, I’ll be doing a 150 mile bike ride this summer. With my food allergies and fructose intolerance I’m not sure what I’m going to eat along the way to keep my energy up.

    • Hi Amy,
      Can you have any type of liquid sweetener? I would suggest maple syrup, but if that doesn’t work let me know what you can have and I can see if one would work.
      That sounds like an epic bike ride! Where will you be going?

  • Hi! I’m super interested in these balls. Finding some that don’t have almonds has been an issue.. however, I’m also allergic to oats. I’m thinking that increasing the coconut and maybe adding some chopped peanuts( the one thing I’m not allergic to, oh man..) would help give the correct texture? Any thoughts on how to sub the oats out?

    • Hi Nicki,
      I wonder if you could use quinoa flakes or bran instead. Increasing the coconut may work, I worry they may be to soft and not hold their form.
      Let me know if that helps or I can do some more investigating 😀

  • Thanks so much for this recipe! My fiancé is allergic to nuts so it’s great to find a recipe that will work for him!

  • Wondering how many grams are in a can of beans? I googled it but can’t seem to find any consistent answers…thoughts? Thx:)

  • Hi.. thank you for the delish recipe! Loving it.
    Any chance you know how many calories each ball has? I prefer being aware of my calorie intake 🙂
    Thank you!!

    • Hi Irit,
      I don’t have the nutritional facts for the recipe. I used to post them on, however found that they varied to much depending on the programme I was using. They are also different depending on the ingredients you use. There are a lot of apps out there that will calculate the nutritional value. When I was training and tracking macros I used My Fitness Pal.

    • Hi Irit, it does vary quite a bit depending on how many balls I end up with, what I use for the cocoa powder, etc. But I use 80 calories per ball as my rule of thumb after doing the math. Hope that helps.

  • Hi, I’m interested in trying your recipe, but I just wanted would they be the same if I were to mix them by hand instead of using a blender or food processor because I currently don’t own one.

    • Hi Kahilea,
      The blender is really what gives you the homogeneous consistency in the ball since the beans need to be broken down and blended with the cocoa. The closest thing I could see would be to smash the ingredients and then blend with your hands, but it would not be the same thing.
      Hope that helps,

  • Hey Kortney,

    I was intrigued when I saw your protein bite recipe. I have a couple of hiking/camping trips planned this summer and food on the go has always been difficult. I have a dairy and nut allergy and have issues with soy and chocolate (egg/coconut are ok). I was wondering if this or something similar would work without the chocolate? Any suggestions?



    • Hi Andrew,

      I wonder if you could use a flavoured protein powder, chai powder, or matcha powder. The cocoa does a really nice job of masking any black bean flavour and binds the dough. If you go with a protein powder I would experiment with the amount of honey you add so it isn’t very sweet. If the dough is dry try adding a little more oil – it should be like play dough that has been played with for a long time, meaning slightly crumbly but comes together with a good squeeze.

      I am now intrigued to try with with matcha, I may do it and let you know how it goes.


      • Thank you!

        I plan to try it sometime in the next couple of weeks! I’ll let you know if I find a combo that works!

        Wondering if Carob might work as a chocolate substitute? We shall see.



  • Love the sound of this recipe. However, Kid1 is extremely allergic to coconut and Kid2’s school school won’t allow it b/c it’s classified as a tree nut. Do you have any suggestions for the coconut flakes? Can I just leave them out? Thanks.

    • Thanks Emily. The coconut flakes are a texture thing. I would add a little more oats to make sure they bind or maybe try chia seeds for some crunch. Never heard of no coconut in school. Very interesting.

    • I think you could probably leave out the coconut flakes – you may need a little more oats. And perhaps use another oil such as olive, but just in half the quantity. I would test it and look for a play dough consistency.

  • I just want to say that these are fantastic, and so easy to make! My co-workers were so jealous that I had energy in the afternoon from the protein balls that they begged me to make batches for them.

    Thanks again!

  • I made these for my teenage daughter to take to school for lunches. After the first batch, I experimented by removing the chocolate and adding some natural peppermint extract. Huge success. The whole family loves them. Thanks for the recipe.

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