January 07, 2018 1 Comment


These scrumptious Paleo Collagen Energy Balls have no added sugar or sweeteners, are made from 100% natural whole foods, and provide beneficial protein from collagen (more on the benefits of collagen here). Technically, these are considered an “emergency food” for Whole 30 according to Melissa Hartwig, founder of the Whole30 movement, because anything that looks and tastes like a “treat” can be easy to overeat, even if it’s made with approved ingredients. These should be reserved for special occasions when you need a convenient, easy-to-eat snack. As a breastfeeding mom that needs extra calories, these sure came in handy on Whole30!

Collagen substitutions

Thank goodness for collagen protein! Since sweetened protein powders are off limits during Whole30, I’ve been using my flavorless LIV Body Marine Collagen to make delicious protein-packed fruit smoothies and energy balls. Each scoop offers 7 grams of satiating protein for only 35 calories. It’s great for baking moist, protein-packed goods, and adding a health boost to your favorite smoothie. You could probably use half again more collagen protein if you’d like even more protein, or sub the collagen for two scoops (60g) of plant-based protein, whey, or whey-casein blend. Use my code “NOEXCUSES” for 20% off all LIV Body products!

If you don’t wish to add collagen or another protein powder, you can add coconut flour or almond flour until the desired consistency is reached.

Getting the right texture

Just note, you may need to add more liquid (water or non-dairy milk) to get a sticky, rollable mixture (see above). It really depends how moist your dates are, and the type of protein powder you use. You can either eat these balls right after rolling for a cookie-dough like texture, or place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes for a firmer, chewier texture!

Other substitutions

To keep this recipe somewhat Whole30-compliant, use almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini with no added sugar (I’ve made them with almond butter, and with cashew butter). If you’re not on Whole30, feel free to use any nut butter you like, or add a couple tablespoons of calorie-free sweetener, maple syrup or honey for additional sweetness.

Let me just say – I LOVED the cacao nibs and unsweetened coconut in these! Cacao nibs are “whole30-approved” because they’re chocolate in it’s raw form, before adding any sugar or processing. Dark chocolate chips would be delicious too if you’re not doing Whole30.

Optional additions

Oh by the way, these taste like cookie dough if you add ghee, Himalayan pink salt and pure vanilla extract – especially if using cashew butter! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya 😉 Even without these optional ingredients they still taste good. It really depends what you have on hand and how decadent you want them to taste! I’ve included macros for both.

Here’s the recipe for these Paleo Collagen Energy Balls – I’d love for you to rate/comment below if you do try them! 😉

This post contains affiliate links.

Collagen Energy Balls (Whole30, Paleo)

These Paleo Collagen Energy Balls are protein-packed, full of healthy fats and fiber, and absolutely delicious! Whole30, gluten-free, no added sugar.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 25 minutes
Servings 18 balls
Calories 91kcal


  • 3/4 cup (200g) natural almond or cashew butter*
  • 3/4 cup (100g) pitted dates soaked then drained
  • 1/2 cup (60g) flavorless collagen peptides* I used LIV Body Marine Collagen, code "NOEXCUSES" for 20% off
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut optional
  • 1 tbsp. ghee melted (optional)*
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract optional
  • 1/4 tsp. salt optional
  • 2 tbsp. cacao nibs optional*

*See blog post above for substitutions.


    • Blend/process dates and nut butter in blender/food processor until a sticky mixture forms.
    • Add collagen powder (or other protein powder or flour), coconut (optional), melted ghee (optional), vanilla extract (optional), and salt (optional) and blend/process until a sticky, rollable mixture forms. If mixture is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons water.
    • Stir in cacao nibs (optional).
    • Using rounded tablespoons, roll mixture into balls.
    • Freeze balls for 20-30 minutes (optional), then enjoy!
    • Store leftovers in the fridge up to one week, or in the freezer up to one month.


    Calories (per ball, minus optionals): 91kcal, Fat: 5.8g, Sat fat: 0.4g, Carbs: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 19mg
    Calories (per ball, including optionals): 110kcal, Fat: 7.5g, Sat fat: 1.7g, Carbs: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 43mg

    1 Response

    Kayla Rae Mackenzie
    Kayla Rae Mackenzie

    April 08, 2024

    Will regular butter work in place of ghee?

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