Home | braxton hicks + pb chocolate chip protein balls

braxton hicks + pb chocolate chip protein balls

by Heather

Pregnancy is kind of weird. Don’t get me wrong, I love being pregnant, growing our little guy (who’s going to be gaining about 1/2 pound a week now!!) and feeling all the kicks, but some stuff is weird. Like…

Your stomach jumping up and down and side to side, kicking people and making them in turn, jump too…

Going from a state of total energy to total zombie is no time flat… and…

Braxton hicks contractions.

Yes, they started. Monday afternoon to be exact. I just thought my stomach was just feeling heavy again, but then when I touched it and it was rock hard + kinda numb feeling, I knew something was different.  I asked a gal at my work to explain what they felt like to her when she was pregnant and it was exactly what I felt. A quick call to my midwifes the next day when they came back again that afternoon confirmed it too.  Luckily there’s no pain and they go away once I get home from work and rest/sleep, so it’s not labor happening (PHEW!).

Braxton hicks aren’t bad, it’s just your body getting ready for the big event… practicing. Practice makes perfect right? If so, keep on practicing body!

See… kinda strange but all good. 🙂

I’m still feeling super tired every afternoon/evening, and now I’m starting to go crazy over treats. The lemon poppyseed muffins are dwindling away too quickly. I made a batch of no-bake cookies for my brother’s birthday and proceeded to eat spoonful after spoonful of batter before it set into an actual cookie. The neighbor brought over some scones to share with Jacob and I – three of them. He let me have two, him one. Very sweet, huh? 🙂

My sweet tooth is getting out of control!

I needed something that was snacky but still made me feel good after eating them too. Something not too sugary, but would still give me my sweet fix. A bit of protein and fats would be nice too for a more balanced sweet treat.

What’s a girl to make?

Balls. And a lot of them.

The secret weapon in here are chickpeas. Yes beans and I still can’t stop eating them!

Beans, peanuts + peanut butter, a touch of maple syrup, chia seed and chocolate chips. Sounding pretty good huh? It is pretty dang good! Don’t just take my word for it. Pull out your food processor and make a batch. Then try to hide them from your husband in the back of the fridge because you really want to keep them all to yourself.

Do it.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Balls
Makes about 25 balls


  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp chia seed
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Combine the peanut and chickpeas in the food processor.  Pulse until both turn into a fine crumble.  Add in the remaining ingredients.  Pulse until fully combined.
  2. Roll mixture into balls, allow to refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to set, then devour!
  3. Keep extra balls in the fridge.

It’s so hard to stop at one, but since they’re packed with goodies it’s okay to eat a ton!  <– my awesome attempt to rhyme

Have you ever added beans to a sweet treat? 

I have a couple other times, but hadn’t yet to any I don’t bake.  These were great!



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Sarah @ See Sarah Eat March 7, 2012 - 7:05 am

Those sound awesome! Glad to hear everything is still going well for you and Hunter 🙂

Lisa@Healthy Diaries March 7, 2012 - 7:44 am

I’ve never added beans to sweet treats but have seen countless people do it! These looks great and I need to have go to sweet snacks like this around the house. I tend to snack on dark chocolate but that gets old after a while!

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:17 am

Dark chocolate is always a go to for me…. can it really get old? 😉

Erica March 7, 2012 - 7:48 am

Fun fun! I had braxton hicks for what seemed like half my pregnancy haha. I always thought it felt like she was curling into a ball really hard. These look so yummy. The chickpea usage is so fun! I made black bean brownies once and thought they were very mehhh…

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:16 am

Still haven’t tried black bean brownies…. heard mixed reviews on them. And I’m glad my BH didn’t start until now, only 1/3 of my pregnancy instead of half 🙂

Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 7, 2012 - 9:52 am

i’m all about peanut butter + chocolate!! needless to say, i’ll be making these in the very near future. 😉 i’ve used chickpeas in choc covered katie’s “healthy cookie dough dip”, but had never thought of using beans in a sweet treat before that.

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:15 am

Hmmmm gotta try her dip!

Tiff March 7, 2012 - 9:57 am

Oooooh boy, there’s soooo much to look forward to in pregnancy. haha The balls sounds wonderful. You had me at “peanut butter.”

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:14 am

Peanut butter makes everything better huh?

Alaina March 7, 2012 - 2:24 pm

I’ve bookmarked a recipe to make brownies out of black beans but I haven’t made them yet. After seeing your latest muffin recipe, I made lemon poppyseed muffins. Delicious!

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:13 am

Yum, glad your muffins turned out well!!!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 7, 2012 - 3:05 pm

What a different recipe, I never thought of adding chickapeas to the dough balls. I love that! I roll my balls really small so I can pop them in my mouth or throw them in a smoothie or on top of yogurt! Adding the chickapeas, I will get more bang for my buck!! Love this, love this, love this idea!!!

Oh and my sweet tooth is out of control too and it’s not because I’m pregnant, maybe I’m having sympathy pregnancy for you? That works as an excuse! 🙂

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:12 am

Haha awesome sympathy pregnancy cravings :). Making them mini is a great idea, I should do that next time.

Casey @ Insatiably Healthy March 7, 2012 - 4:24 pm

those protein balls looked like pretzel balls for a second. Good thing they weren’t! These look like a great pick-me up during the work day.

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:10 am

Oh they definitely are the perfect pick me up!

Lindsay @ biking before bed March 7, 2012 - 5:16 pm

I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s Giant chocolate chip cookie that had chickpeas. I forgot how tasty it was! These look so addictive… well isn’t anything with chocolate and peanut butter? Maybe if you tell your husband that your goodies have chickpeas he won’t even be tempted.

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:10 am

He would definitely stay away if he knew!

Leslie Paquette March 7, 2012 - 5:22 pm

Yum, I’ll definitely be making these! I love hiding beans in sweets 🙂

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:09 am

You would never know!!

Leslie Paquette March 24, 2012 - 6:48 pm

Finally remembered to buy peanuts so I could make these and then realized I was almost out of peanut butter!! I was set on making these for a snack so I just subbed almond butter instead. They came out great, just a hint of sweetness and nice and filling. Thanks for such a great snack recipe.

Get Healthy with Heather March 26, 2012 - 6:42 pm

Nice sub in there! And I’m soooo glad you liked them. You’ll probably like my next batch I’m sharing very soon 🙂

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 7, 2012 - 7:31 pm

Those look SO good! I love how you use chickpeas in them! 😀

janetha March 7, 2012 - 9:03 pm

Those balls look fab.

Katharina March 8, 2012 - 11:24 am

I’ve actually made a sweet hummus of sorts I dubbed pumping pie hummus. Actually here’s the link for the recipe because I think you would like it 🙂


I’ve also made Katie’s snickerdoodle and blonde batter dip with chickpeas. Your recipe sounds delicious and something my dad would love (he loves peanut butter cookies and vegan no-bake treats!). Thanks for sharing!

xo, to you and your love bug 🙂

Get Healthy with Heather March 8, 2012 - 9:25 pm

That sounds delish, thanks for sharing the link!

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[…] Braxton hicks contractions I talked about a couple days ago? Still happening, but not as constant now. During the first couple days I only noticed them only in […]

Hunter: 19 months | Fit Mama Real Food January 23, 2014 - 3:05 pm

[…] lately.  One of our go to treats which doesn’t actually involve baking in the oven are these peanut butter chocolate chip bean balls.  We worked on rolling them out together this week… while he sampled of […]

Cheese with Noodles January 25, 2014 - 5:45 am

I am endlessly fascinated by these! They remind me of a less sweet Larabar. I have all of the ingredients except the peanuts and the chia seeds. There’s a health food store 30 feet away from my front door and I’m strongly considering popping over there when they open to see if they have those two items! Will report back if I make them 🙂

Cheese with Noodles January 26, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Alright, I made ’em! Used a mixture of nuts instead of peanuts and the store was out of chia seeds. Also used local, raw honey because the only maple syrup we had was the fake maple/pancake syrup. In any case, we like how they turned out! I told my husband they had a “secret ingredient” and told him what it was after he had one. He has a huge sweet tooth and liked these even though they aren’t super sweet. They have a bit of a garbanzo flavor in the background, but it’s not unpleasant at all. I’m going to see how they handle being frozen and then thawed. Will definitely make them again when I have chia seeds. Thanks for the awesome recipe 🙂

Fit Mama January 27, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Awesome, so glad they are hubby approved too! Not always an easy thing

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[…] spend time together is in the kitchen.  We started young normally doing some kind of baking (these bean ball treats were a big favorite).  He would sit on the counter by the food processor and we’d prep […]


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