Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls
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Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls


These Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls are a great kid friendly, vegan option to boost iron.

Iron is a nutrient that is often a concern for parents when considering their kids’ diets. To be honest, it can be a worry for all parents, not just parents of vegan kids. Iron is a plentiful nutrient in vegetables, wholegrains and legumes, but unfortunately, these are not always appealing foods to kids. For this reason, I’ve decided to come up with some recipes that are high in iron, but as foods that will be appealing to kids. The first of these is this one for Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls.

These Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls each contain 2.5mg of iron, which is over 1/4 of the daily requirements for kids under the age of 8.

These Chocolate Protein Balls use cashews and pumpkin seeds, which are both very high in iron. You can increase the iron content further by using the raw, unprocessed version of cocoa – cacao. Cacao is more expensive than cocoa, but it is packed with so many nutrients like iron and magnesium that I try to get it whenever I can. These days, you can normally find cacao in the health foods section of the supermarket.

Serve this recipe with some fruits that are high in Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron better. Some great fruits that are packed full of vitamin C are berries, oranges and kiwi fruit.

To Make:

I made these Chocolate Protein Balls in the food processor. You can make them in a high powered blender, but be careful when mixing the dates as I find they can burn out the motor.

After many attempts in the past, I have found that the best way to make protein balls is to process the dry ingredients separately first, and then add the dates. I find that if i do the dates first, they can clump up and stick to the blades. It just turns into a big mess!

Let me know what you think of these Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls. If you’re looking for another kid friendly iron recipe, try my Kid Friendly Breakfast Slice.

Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls

Iron Rich Chocolate Protein Balls

These Chocolate Protein Balls are a great way to increase your kids’ iron intake, with over 2.5mg of iron per serve. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Servings 12


  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Cacao Powder or cocoa
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates pitted


  • Process the nuts and seeds in a processor or high powered blender until crumbly. 
  • Add the dates and cacao. Process until fully incorporated into the nuts and seeds, and the mix forms a sticky crumb. The mix should stick together when pressed between the fingers. 
  • Roll spoonfuls of the mix into balls. 
  • The protein balls can be eaten immediately, or refrigerated. The balls will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for approximately 4 days, or can be frozen. 


If you are not using fresh Medjool dates for this recipe, I recommend soaking the dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes to soften them before starting the recipe as dried dates can be hard to process. 
NutrientPer ServePer 100g
Energy817kJ (195cal)2033kJ (486cal)


  1. My food processor did not enjoy mixing the seeds and dates. I even had pre-cut the dates. The same day I made this the food processor made oats into oat flour in a few seconds. So, I know the trouble wasn’t the food processor. This was very frustrating. The taste wasn’t bad so it got another star.

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for your feedback! I agree, dates can be really hard to process in a food processor. They’re definitely a lot harder to process than oats! My only suggestion would be to soak the dates in hot water before you try to process them. Were you using pitted dates, or fresh medjool? I always need to presoak pitted dates.

  2. Pingback: Iron-Rich Chocolate Balls | cookingupuneécrivaine

  3. 5 stars
    Made these in the thermomix no waoories at all – quick and easy. They are a hit in our household with even the child who usually won’t eat studd like this gobbling them up.

    • I have tried to make these twice already and the balls will not stay together. I’ve used more than the recommended dates to get the stickiness but it hasn’t worked.

      I’ve had to use a whole bunch of honey to just get it to stick.

      Am I doing something wrong?

      • Hi Janette,
        What type of dates are you using? I use fresh medjool dates from the produce section for this recipe. If you’re using the dried dates that come in a packet, it could be because they’re too dry. Maybe try soaking the dates for about 10 minutes in boiling water first? You could also try adding a couple of tablespoons of hot water to the mix after you’ve put the dates in. The other thing you could try is processing the nuts and seeds for a bit longer to start so that they release some of the oils.
        Let me know if any of those tips help!

  4. 5 stars
    I told my toddler they were “doughnut holes” and he absolutely loves them!! Big hit, thank you!

  5. Smita Gawade

    I am interested to prepare this in the large amount. How long can I store it.

    • Hi you can freeze these protein balls for up to 3 months. When you freeze them layer them with some baking paper so they don’t stick together.

  6. Jen Brown

    5 stars
    My daughter needed some extra iron and I loved the fact that so few (but healthy) ingredients were required, so I gave them a try. They did not disappoint and now I’m trying to limit her consumption as I’d like them to last a couple of days. Wish me luck. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

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