These gorgeously sweet and fudgy matcha protein balls are incredibly easy to make with just 4 ingredients. They're also raw and vegan and benefit from the earthy, full-bodied flavour of matcha green tea.
Each match protein ball is under 100 calories and contains 3g of protein.
And thanks to the butter from the almonds, the toffee-like sweetness from the dates and the creamy dark chocolate coating, they have a texture and taste almost like a chocolate brownie! Utterly divine.
Here's how to make 20 chocolatey matcha protein balls.
- 200 g (7.1 oz) stoned dates
- 175 g (6.2 oz) cashews
- 3 tbsp Matcha powder
- 50 g (1.8 oz) dark chocolate vegan if necessary
Put the cashews and dates in the blender.
Add the matcha on top.
Whizz in the blender. At first it will look like speckled green gravel - it's not done yet!
Add a teaspoon of boiled water and keep whizzing. Eventually, the oils in your cashews will release and you'll get a uniform green paste.
Take tablespoons of the mix and roll into balls. To get 20 balls, use 20g/0.7oz of mixture per ball. Place the balls on a tray lined with baking paper, if they're very soft, pop them in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes.
Put the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts until smooth.
Dip each bite into the chocolate so that just the bottom quarter to a third is is coated.
Place them back on the baking paper as you go.
Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top of the matcha protein balls. To do this, I transferred the chocolate to a small piping bag and cut off the very tip, but drizzling from a teaspoon works well too.
Chill until set, then enjoy.
Let me know how you get on with these gorgeously tasty matcha protein balls.
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect matcha protein balls
Is it easy to make matcha protein balls?
These matcha protein balls are so easy to make, with just 4 ingredients, 3 of which you simply whizz in a food processor until you have a rich sticky paste. Then all you need to do is roll into balls (which the kids love helping out with) and finally drip and drizzle with a bit of dark chocolate to finish them off.
You might see some of the nut oil release as you roll, so have some kitchen roll on hand in case you need to dry your hands as you go.
Chill your matcha protein balls until set and enjoy!
Will I need any special equipment for these matcha protein balls?
You will need a food processor for this recipe as the cashew nuts, dates and matcha powder need to be whizzed together to create the paste for your protein balls.
The other kitchen kit you'll need is just standard stuff such as weighing scales, measuring spoons and a mixing bowl. I used a small piping bag to finish off the tops with chocolate, but you could just as easily use a teaspoon. There is a full list of suggested equipment when you head down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Where can I buy matcha powder?
Matcha powder is a Japanese green tea powder, which you should be able to find in larger supermarkets or online. Make sure to get matcha powder, not just green tea bags!
Matcha is a very fine powder. It's grassy and fresh tasting, and boasts a beautiful intense green colour, perfect for adding flavour and colour to home bakes like these protein balls, meringues and even ice cream. Or, of course, you can simply enjoy it as a hot drink, on its own or as part of a match latte (my favourite!)
How can I tell if my dates have gone off?
When stored correctly, dried fruits like dates have a pretty long shelf life. Usually, it's fine to simply store dates in the cupboard in an airtight container where they will keep for about 6 months. If they are kept in the fridge in a sealed container, they can keep for up to a year.
Over time, the dates will become harder, but they are still fine to eat and some people prefer them like this. You might also notice a fine white coating on the dates, this is just sugar crystallising on the outside so, again, they are still safe to eat - do check that it's not mould, of course.
Check the Best Before date on your dates. Food past this date is often still ok to eat if there are no signs of spoilage. If there is a Use By date, however, this needs to be followed.
Have a look at your dates. Do they smell ok and look normal? If there are any signs of mould growth or rotting fruit smells then discard your dates and get a fresh batch.
Are matcha protein balls suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
Yes, these matcha protein balls are vegetarian and can be very easily made vegan by making sure to use vegan dark chocolate for the topping. No animal products are used here.
Are matcha protein balls gluten-free?
Yes, as this recipe contains no wheat-based products, these little protein balls are naturally gluten-free.
Whenever cooking for someone with allergies or intolerances, it is important check the labels on all ingredients. While proper matcha is made from 100% tea leaves and dark chocolate doesn't usually contain gluten, there may be a risk of cross-contamination in how the food is manufactured and this should be indicated on the label.
Are matcha protein balls keto-friendly?
This recipe contains about 11g of carbohydrates per ball so, depending on what else you were eating that day, you may be able to work one into a keto diet. However, some interpretations of the keto diet recommend not eating dried fruits and this recipe of course contains a lot of dried dates, so it's up to you if you this they can be included.
Are matcha protein balls healthy?
These matcha protein balls are made with natural ingredients with none of the refined sugar, additives or stabilisers you might find in store-bought alternatives. When enjoyed in a sensible portion these are a lovely sweet treat to give you an energy boost.
Each ball contains about 98 calories, 11g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 5g fat. Note: these are estimates based on publicly available data.
Are matcha protein balls safe to eat while pregnant?
As matcha is a type of green tea, it does contain caffeine, sometimes in higher concentration than regular green tea, or black tea so check the packet.
The NHS recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200mg a day whilst pregnant, which is about 2 cups of instant coffee, so these protein balls would count towards that amount.
If you like, you could try and make these without matcha powder, or perhaps try replacing it with cocoa powder instead, which would add to the brownie-like texture and flavour of these yummy date balls.
Aside from the caffeine in the matcha, there is nothing in these matcha balls that would usually pose a risk to a pregnant woman, as long as the ingredients are in good condition and the recipe is prepared safely and hygienically.
Note: A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions regarding health and safety, please speak to a qualified health professional.
What goes well with matcha protein balls?
These matcha protein balls are the perfect grab and go snack, giving you an energy boost that's tasty, chewy and delightful with a mid-morning coffee.
If you have a little more time, you could serve your matcha protein balls with a cup of matcha tea. During traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha tea is often served with wagashi which are little sweet treats often flavoured with matcha too. Some people find matcha tea quite bitter so eating a wagashi before you drink the tea gives it a little sweetness, instead of having a biscuit with it!
Can I make this recipe without cashew nuts?
As there are only 4 ingredients in these matcha protein balls, each one is vital. However, you can play around with the type of nuts you use. I prefect to use cashews for this recipe as they go so well with the toffee-like dates and really let the matcha powder sing.
Blanched almonds would be a good alternative. Make sure to use almonds without the skin on otherwise your matcha protein balls might turn out a bit grainy in texture.
If you just have regular almonds it's easy to blanch them yourself. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and pop the almonds in for 1 minute. Drain and let them cool enough to handle then you should be able to easily slip off the skins.
I haven’t got dates can I use other dried fruit?
You can play around with the dried fruit in this recipe. Something like dried figs or apricots should work well. Remember whatever fruit you choose needs to compliment the flavour of the matcha and dark chocolate as well.
Can I add chocolate to this recipe?
If you like you could completely coat the matcha balls in chocolate, but keep in mind this will increase the number of calories per ball. Check out my chocolate apricot balls that are fully coated in chocolate.
How should I store matcha protein balls?
Often, store-bought energy balls like this are fine to keep at room temperature, but I would recommend for food safety reasons to keep these in the fridge.
Once the chocolate has set pop them into a sealed container to give them some extra protection.
They're delicious to eat cold, or you can get one or two out and place them on a saucer to warm to room temp before eating. They're more fudgy at room temp.
How long do matcha protein balls keep?
These matcha protein balls will keep for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
Can I leave matcha protein balls out on the counter?
Once set its best to store these matcha protein balls in the fridge, rather than leave them out on the counter for long periods of time.
Can I make matcha protein balls ahead?
Yes, the chocolate needs time to set, and these matcha protein balls keep for about a week in the fridge, so they are a great option to make on a Sunday evening for the family to enjoy during the week ahead.
Usually, you wouldn't keep shop-bought chocolate in the fridge as it can can go dull looking. This isn't harmful, just not as pretty as shiny chocolate, so for food safety reasons it's best to keep these matcha balls in the fridge.
If you're wanting to serve them with glossy, perfect chocolate I would recommend making them on the day you want to serve them.
Can I keep this recipe in the refrigerator?
Yes, ideally these matcha protein balls should be kept in the fridge in a sealed container to keep them at their best. I let them set and then pop them in a ziplock bag for the family to dip into during the week.
Can I freeze matcha protein balls?
The matcha protein balls do freeze pretty well too.
Allow them to set and firm in the fridge in a sealed container, then transfer freeze them to the freezer. If you have more than one layer, you can separate with pieces of parchment paper to make sure they don't stick together. Leave as little air gap in the container as possible to reduce the likelihood of frost forming.
These matcha balls will keep in the freezer for up to two months.
What is the best way to defrost matcha protein balls?
When you're ready to enjoy your matcha balls, transfer the container to the fridge so they can defrost overnight.
If you just want to defrost a few balls ,put them into a fresh container in the fridge. This helps reduce the condensation which may form on them as they thaw.
It's best to defrost these matcha balls slowly in the fridge. If they are left on the side to thaw out, the rapid temperature change will shock the chocolate, which can spoil the texture.
Can I make these matcha protein balls in a different quantity?
It's really easy to change the recipe to make more or fewer of these matcha protein balls.
The only limitation is the size of your food processor bowl. If you're making a really large batch, you might need to blend it in batches. If so, keep the quantities equal in each batch so that they're all the same flavour and texture.
Conversely, if you only want to make a very small batch, it's best to use a personal blender. If your food processor has a very large bowl and is blending a small number of ingredients, you might find it throws the elements to the sides of the bowl rather than blending them well.
Head down to the recipe card below where you'll see the number of servings shown near the title - it will be set to 20 balls by default. Click or hover over this number and a little slide bar will pop up that you can move up or down to get the number of balls you want to make. As the slider moves, you'll see all the ingredients automatically update to the correct quantities for you.
Can I make these matcha protein balls in mini portions?
I've used roughly a tablespoon of mixture per ball, which is about 20g (0.7oz). This gives you a good couple of fudgy, chocolate bites per ball. You can of course make these smaller if you like - half the size would be really cute.
Can I make matcha protein balls in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?
For this recipe, we need the blades of a food processor or blender to cut through the cashews and dates, creating a paste to make into the protein balls. A stand mixer simply won't be up to the job.
Can I make this recipe with a blender?
I've used a food processor to make these protein balls. Blenders and food processor are similar in many ways, but a standard jug blender wouldn't be up to the job and attempting to make this recipe could damage the blades or burn out the motor.
To make these matcha protein balls I would recommend using a good food processor with big, strong blades or a power blender.
How can I make sure my matcha protein balls are perfect?
You'll know when the matcha mix is ready to roll out when it has turned from a coarse sandy mix into a smooth, deep green paste in the food processor.
You can weigh out the mixture for each ball to make them even. Or simply use a tablespoon to get roughly equal amounts. The kids like helping at this point. Sivide all the mixture up and they can come along and roll into balls.
Simply roll them in between your palms into satisfying rounds and pop onto a lined tray. You might find your hands get a bit sticky or oily from the mixture as you're rolling, so just dry them with some kitchen towel as you go.
For the perfect chocolate drizzle, I've used a piping bag as I love getting each one to look neat. If you prefer you can be more freehand and artistic and just run the chocolate off the back of a teaspoon. Allow the chocolate to set and then tuck in!
Why did my matcha balls turn out dry and grainy?
Assuming the correct quantities of ingredients have been added, this is probably because the mixture hasn't been whizzed for long enough in the food processor.
It does take a bit of time for the smooth paste to form. Check the photos above and you'll be able to see the consistency you need. Give the food processor a break so it can cool down if it's taking a long time to blend.
You can add a drop more boiled water if you think your dates might have been a bit dry but don't go beyond that or your final paste will be too loose to roll into balls.
Why did my matcha balls turn out wet and sticky?
These matcha protein balls are naturally a little sticky because of the juicy dried dates and natural nut oil from the cashews so don't worry too much. As they set, they turn firm and fudgy, almost like a dense chocolate brownie.
If you're finding your hands are too sticky to roll, you can wash them or give them a wipe with some kitchen towel as you go.
If your mixture is very wet, it's likely your issue is with the ingredients quantities so double check if you used the right amounts. You may also run into trouble if you add too much water.
If you do end up with a mixture you can't roll, you can always pop it in a jar instead and spread it on toast in the morning. The sealed jar will keep for about 5 days.
How can I add/change the flavours in this dish?
For these protein balls, you can play around with all the ingredients.
An easy switch would be to use white chocolate, vegan if necessary, to dip your balls into, which would look striking against the dark green.
And you can of course also use different fruits and nuts. Blanched almonds work well, as would figs and apricots.
What is the origin of this recipe?
Dates originated in the Middle East, which is where most of the world's dates are grown today.
The matcha powder that turns these protein balls deep green comes from East Asia, originally from China, and is now more commonly found in Japan.
Print this Matcha protein balls recipe
Matcha protein balls
- 200 g (7.1 oz) stoned dates
- 175 g (6.2 oz) cashews
- 3 tbsp Matcha powder
- 50 g (1.8 oz) dark chocolate vegan if necessary
- Put the cashews and dates in the blender. Add the matcha on top.
- Whizz in the blender. At first it will look like speckled green gravel - it's not done yet! Add a teaspoon of boiled water and keep whizzing. Eventually, the oils in your cashews will release and you'll get a uniform green paste.
- Take tablespoons of the mix and roll into balls. To get 20 balls, use 20g/0.7oz of mixture per ball. Place the balls on a tray lined with baking paper, If they're very soft, pop them in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes.
- Put the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts until smooth.
- Dip each bite into the chocolate so that just the bottom quarter to a third is is coated. Place them back on the baking paper as you go.
- Drizzle the remaining chocolate on top of the matcha protein balls. To do this, I transferred the chocolate to a small piping bag and cut off the very tip, but drizzling from a teaspoon works well too.
- Chill until set, then enjoy.
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