These TKD No Bake Chocolate protein balls give you the extra carbs you need for a glycogen-depleting workout.
I know what you’re thinking: “What does TKD mean, anyway?” TKD stands for Targeted Keto Diet. For those who haven’t heard of it, the Targeted Keto Diet is a type of keto diet where you eat 20-50 grams of carbohydrates around your workout times — about 30 minutes before or after an intense workout such as HIIT, Crossfit, or long distance running. This means you can eat tropical fruits, whole grains, and even white bread.
The main purpose of following a TKD diet? To boost your performance and prevent fatigue in the middle of your workout. With that having said, TKD is for athletes and fitness junkies. Are you one? If your answer is yes, then this snack recipe is for you.
How to Make TKD Chocolate Energy Balls
There are lots of keto-friendly energy balls with the lowest possible carbs. But this recipe is different. We’re going to make it TKD-style so you can have two to four servings before or after your exercise session.
They look just like your traditional chocolate energy balls coated with desiccated coconut. What Charles and I love most about these energy balls is that they’re beginner-friendly. There’s no baking involved and the only tool you’ll need is a blender or food processor. Here’s a sneak peek of the final outcome:
Since I don’t have a food processor at home, I used a blender. I’m lucky to have one that’s heavy duty.
The key to making perfect energy balls is to add and blend one ingredient at a time. This allows all the ingredients to be blended evenly. You’ll need just a few ingredients: Instant oats, low-carb chocolate protein powder, brewed coffee or espresso, maple syrup, MCT oil, and desiccated coconut.
After blending the ingredients, you should be able to achieve this sticky consistency:
Scoop out a mixture using a spoon (or your bare hand as long as it’s clean) and roll each one into a ball.
Finally, coat the energy balls with desiccated coconut. That’s it! Here’s a tip: I find that placing the mixture in the freezer for about 5 minutes makes it less sticky and easier to form into balls.
You’ll find all the ingredients at the grocery. Or you probably already have them at home!
You might be wondering what protein powder I used. It’s Kiss My Keto’s Keto Collagen protein powder (Chocolate flavor). Each serving (1 scroop) has 10 grams of protein and the cool part is that it has collagen, which we know is good for our joints, skin, and hair.
Here’s the complete list of ingredients for our TKD chocolate energy balls:
- Instant oats – You can get your carbohydrates on the TKD from oats, a whole-grain food. Oats are also high in fiber and are filling!
- Protein powder (of your choice) – Whether you use whey powder or collagen powder as your source of protein, that’s totally up to you. Tip: Pick a good-tasting protein powder. If not, you won’t enjoy these energy balls at all. I can assure you that my choice of powder in this recipe is delicious in case you haven’t tried it yet.
- Coffee shots – I used two shots of espresso dark roast. General fact: Adding coffee to your chocolate desserts makes them taste way, way better. Caffeine will also give you an energy boost especially for a morning or afternoon workout.
- Maple syrup – This adds sweetness to the energy balls. But if you’d rather not have it, that’s fine too.
- MCT oil (or coconut oil) – MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides which are healthy fats that support weight loss and increase your energy. MCT oil contains 100% MCTs, while coconut oil has about 45% – 65% of MCTs.
- Desiccated coconut – This ingredient will add a coconut flavor and fragrance to your recipe. Desiccated coconut also makes for a wonderful dessert topping/coating.
This recipe makes 18 TKD energy balls. See the image below.
These TKD balls may be perfect around your workout times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve them to your guests! They’re as tasty as regular non-keto-friendly desserts.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will these energy balls kick me out of ketosis? Technically speaking, consuming carbs will bring your ketone levels down and possibly kick you out of ketosis. The good news is that working out gets you back into ketosis since it depletes your stored glycogen.
2. Is the Targeted Keto Diet right for me? The TKD is for you if you love exercising but find yourself needing an energy boost while on a standard keto diet (SKD). TKD should give you just the right amount of carbs to push through your workout.
3. How many TKD energy balls can I make? For this recipe, you can make 18 small energy balls.
4. How many energy balls can I eat? For the TKD, have 2 to 4 balls before your workout. 4 balls will give you about 45 grams of total carbs.
5. Can I make these energy balls ahead of time? Yes! We recommend making them ahead of time for the entire week.
6. How long will they last in the fridge? When properly sealed in a Ziploc bag, it will last for up to one week. To make them last longer, keep them in the freezer.
TKD No Bake Chocolate Energy Balls
- 250 g instant oats
- 60 g protein powder (cookies and cream or chocolate flavor)
- 60 ml espresso coffee (or 2 shots)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 30 g desiccated coconut
- 15 ml MCT or coconut oil (or 1 tablespoon)
- Add the instant oats in a blender or food processor. Blend until they achieve a powder-like consistency.
- Add in the desiccated coconut. Blend again.
- Add in the protein powder, followed by the coffee shots, maple syrup, and MCT oil. Blend.
- Transfer the blended mixture into a separate container.
- Scoop out a mixture and roll into a small ball using your hands.
- Coat each ball with desiccated coconut.
- Place in the fridge for an hour before eating.
- Total carbohydrates: 11.6g
- Dietary fiber: 1.2g
- Total sugars: 6g
- Total fat: 2g
- Protein: 3.33g
- Sodium: 51mg