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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the maca-chocolate protein bites

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: NA

Makes about 15

If you're looking for a quick, protein-rich snack, you may have just found it. These protein bites are ready in under 10 minutes & will last you the week, or maybe just a few days like me...

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that they're both hormone & gut-friendly. And not just in the typical "gut-loving" kind of way. We're talking to those who are REALLY in the throws of stubborn digestion. Think daily bloating, distention, regular gas, burping, and / or pain in the gut.

When I had SIBO, I felt much better following a low FODMAP diet. But, snacks were hard. The quick snacks I'd reach for like apples or bell peppers & hummus were pretty much out of the picture. If you've followed this diet at one point or another, you might relate to the utter sadness of kissing fruits goodbye. Most, anyways. And conveniently, the ones I loved. This made eating something quick & easy feel impossible.

Then, I wondered about protein bites. I've made variations of these for years but often they're with ingredients like almond flour or dates, both off-limits. With lots of experimentation, I finally came up with a few recipes that are naturally low FODMAP, or with a small tweak, will be.

Close up picture of 8 chocolate protein bites

two interesting ingredients: pecans & maca

*some links below may contain affiliate links

Of course, I wanted this recipe to support the gut, not cause a flare. But, I also wanted the added challenge of no nut butter. There's nothing wrong with them, in fact, I'm sorta obsessed with most. Which is why I wanted to find a way around that ingredient here. Nut butters work great to bind the ingredients together (& they're tasty), but, I often forget you can grind nuts to get a similar effect... So for this recipe, I grabbed pecans & ground them into flour. Once the liquid was added, the fat from the pecans helped to hold everything together.

The other not-so-secret ingredient... maca. This is completely optional. Maca is an apoptogen that I love using to boost energy & balance estrogen levels. Plus, the flavor is nice. For some of my female clients, maca is a supplement we'll consider titrating into the week. But do be careful, it is considered a cruciferous vegetable, so if you have a very sensitive gut at the moment, consider skipping this even though the amount is so small.


Protein: I used Ancient Nutrition's Bone Broth Chocolate Protein for this recipe. As someone with a very sensitive gut, this is one of few protein powders I can tolerate & enjoy. I promise it tastes very good. That said, your favorite chocolate protein powder will do.

Flaxseed: I used whole, golden flaxseed. If you're using ground flax, you won't need to blend it. Note - too much flax can cause digestive symptoms for some. If that's true for you, stick to eating 1 - 2 of these at a time, or alternatively, replace the flax with sesame seeds.

Low FODMAP option: This recipe uses honey which is considered a high FODMAP food in servings larger than 1 teaspoon. If this is a concern for you, replace the honey with 2 Tbsp of maple syrup. I've tried this & it tastes great, too! But if you go that route, consider starting with 1/4 c of almond milk & increase as needed. Maple syrup is not as viscous as honey, so it may be mushier & struggle to hold its shape. Feel free to add an additional 1 Tbsp of almond milk until it comes together.


1 c oats, blended

⅓ c oats, whole

⅓ c unsweetened almond milk

½ c pecans, blended

½ c flax, blended

2 Tbsp honey

½ tsp organic maca powder, optional

pinch of sea salt

handful of dark chocolate chips, optional


Blend one cup of oats in a coffee grinder or small blender. Add them to a medium-sized bowl.


In the same blender, add the pecans & flaxseed then blend into a fine flour. Add the mixture to your bowl. If using ground flaxseed, you won't need to blend them.


Add the protein powder, remaining whole oats, sea salt, & maca powder if using. Lightly mix everything together. 


Pour in the almond milk & honey then mix together until everything is well combined. Try shaping a piece into a ball. If you feel it's not holding together well, add an additional 1 Tbsp of liquid at a time until it comes together. *NOTE  - too much will make it mushy, if this happens, you can add more whole oats until the texture is right.


Fold in your chocolate chips then shape into your preferred size. Store in a sealed container in the fridge & enjoy! 


A close up of 10 chocolate protein bites


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