No Bake Carrot Cake Protein Balls (Paleo, AIP, GF)
Giving up certain desserts while doing AIP can be a huge bummer but there are ways to have your cake and eat too. Carrot Cake is one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time which is why I’m so excited these AIP carrot cake balls turned out so well. These gorgeous little things are paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
So many reasons to love these- they are easy to make and come together in about 10 minutes, they require no baking, they pack a protein punch with the added gut healing benefits of collagen, and they taste absolutely delicious. Oh, and they have no added sugar.
These are fabulous for snacks or a sweet treat and really portable if you need to take them with you to work or out running errands or whatever.
- Dates: These add plenty of natural sweetness and bind the other ingredients together. Just be sure to remove the pits first. You can buy them with the pits already removed (which I used to do) but they’re more expensive and the pits are super easy to remove.
- Raisins: Preferably organic; grapes are usually on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list so if you can’t buy everything organic, grapes/raisins are one would be a higher priority for buying organic compared to other foods.
- Coconut Flakes: Make sure they are unsweetened.
- Carrots- Since you’re putting these in the food processor, you can use whole carrots chopped up a few times or baby carrots or shredded carrots- whatever you have is fine. I just threw a few baby carrots in the food processor for the recipe and it worked fine.
- Tigernut Flour: Tigernut flour is an awesome tool in AIP cooking, baking, and AIP recipes in general. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. It’s very mildly flavored and has a great texture. I usually order Anthony’s because it is affordable and the quality is pretty good. It does have occasional small clumps here and there but I just break them up by hand or sift the flour before I use it.
Tigernuts are tubers but they behave like nuts. I’d compare tigernut flour to almond flour. I used tigernut flour in this recipe because I would normally make these types of balls or bites using fruit and nuts. I felt that tigernut flour would be a good replacement for the nuts.
If you don’t have tigernut flour or prefer not to use it, I think coconut flour would be a decent substitute though I haven’t tested it on this recipe yet- I have used coconut flour for some other bite/ball recipes though it worked well.
- Collagen Powder- Collagen powder is a fairly common staple in Paleo/AIP diets because of its ability to help heal the gut lining. Vital Proteins is a great brand and is extremely popular. It mixes into things very easily and you can't taste it at all.
- Cinnamon, Cloves, and Sea Salt- These give it that warm yum carrot cake flavor.
- Baking Soda- I realize it may seem a little strange to add this to something you won't be baking but it adds to the flavor and texture somehow and makes it more "cake-like."
A Note About Mixing These in the Food Processor
I’m not sure if all food processors are like mine, but sometimes when I mix dry ingredients in my food processor, some of the fine little crumbs fly out of the seams in the lid making a bit of a mess. That’s why the recipe instructions say to first mix the fruit into little crumbles, then mix the dry ingredients separately in a bowl and add gradually to the fruit mixture.
I will stir the dry ingredients into the fruit by hand with a spatula or spoon a little bit first to prevent the fine particles from flying up so much.
IF you don’t have this issue with your food processor, then it is completely fine to just add everything to the food processor at once and blend! Easy.
When Rolling the Dough Balls
If the dough is a little bit sticky when rolling it into balls, you can add a little more tigernut flour OR put the dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes then roll OR roll the balls in finely shredded coconut. Any of these work well and don't alter the taste much.
These will keep fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for about 3 months in a tightly sealed container.
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I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you made it, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear from you!
This recipe is shared on the Paleo/AIP recipe roundtable.
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- 12 dried dates, pitted (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup raw carrots
- 2/3 cup tigernut flour
- 1 tbsp collagen powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- Combine dates, raisins, coconut flakes, and carrots in a food processor and blend into small crumbles.
- In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add half of this mixture to the food processor and stir it in with a spoon or spatula first to prevent the dry ingredients from flying up. Put the lid on and pulse a few times, then blend well. Repeat again with the second half of the dry ingredients. Scrape down as needed.
- Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and press it together with your hands or with the parchment paper to form a ball.
- Pull small pieces off of the dough ball and roll into 1" balls. Continue until you've rolled all the dough into balls. This recipe makes about 15-17 1 inch balls.