apple crunch protein bites

by Kristina Sloggett

in Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, product review, recipes, snacks

I was recently asked to create recipes with products from the online sports nutrition and fitness store, NutritionFix. Pretty sure my love of trying new products is fairly apparent, and when I find products I like, I love to pass them along. NutritionFix offers great brands and many products I already use, and I spend a good amount of time finding a couple new products to try.

The first product I chose is one I have been interested in for a while – Kay’s Naturals Apple Cinnamon Protein Cereal – found on the protein page withΒ more than 500 protein products available.

I have had protein cereals in the past, and was anticipating a cereal with a hard crunch. This is definitely crunchy, but very light, like a rice cereal. This is made from lean soy protein and is gluten free. The flavor is light and not sweet, a good choice for those who aren’t sugary sweet cereal fans.

I really love this – the apple and cinnamon flavors are great and the crunch makes this a good snack as is – dry. My one negative with the crunch, it does not hold up long in milk. I am very picky about this, though, and usually eat very small bowls of cereal, pouring milk as I eat it to keep it crunchy.

The crunch is a great aspect ofΒ Β this recipe, and turns this protein snack into a good source of energy and fiber:

apple crunch protein bites

gluten and dairy free

makes 25-28 teaspoon size bites

1 cup raw cashews, soaked
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cups Apple Cinnamon Protein Cereal
1/2 cup dried apple pieces
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (+ 1 tablespoon for rolling)

In food processor, combine cashews and maple syrup until crumbly. Add cereal and dried apple, continue processing. Add 1/4 cup protein powder, dough should quickly form a ball. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon protein powder on a small plate. Using a teaspoon scoop for uniform size, roll into balls and roll through protein powder to coat. Store covered in refrigerator.

I have made three batches of this recipe so far – they are quick to make, easily portable, and are tasty good! I eat a few of these with a juice or smoothie in the morning before going to the gym.

Have you tried a protein cereal before? Do you use any protein products?



{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Where's the Beach) April 10, 2012 at 5:46 am

Oh cool – I need to check out that cereal. Does it taste like Apple Jacks???? Please say yes. Those bites look fantastic.


2 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

hmm, would you believe I haven’t had apple jacks??! at least not that I can recall – but these do have an apple cinnamon flavor, and the crunch is nice and light.


3 Sarah (appifanie) April 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

my local hfs actually gave me 2 samples of protein cereal last week! both by kay’s naturals – some almond puffs and some kind of O – the Os were pretty good!


4 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

they are good, right? I love how light they are, and the flavor was as well (light, not too sweet). I’ll have to look for the almond puffs…


5 Heather (Heather's Dish) April 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

these are almost TOO beautiful to eat!

note that i said ALMOST :) i’d totally devour them!


6 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

yep – caught that. πŸ˜‰ and thank you – they are kinda pretty, right?


7 Averie @ Averie Cooks April 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

These are the smoothest, most perfectly rolled balls I have ever seen and in blog land, I’ve seen more than one or two. WOW! The texture with the cereal ground, the dried apples, cashews, protein powder, also a truly fabulous, unique, and creative recipe. Not your avg choc chip cookie dough balls :) LOVE THESE!


8 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

thank you, Averie!! I was pretty impressed with that aspect as well. πŸ˜‰ usually I just pull dough and roll, this time using the measure made them all (pretty much) the same size, and rolling them in the powder at the end makes them SMOOOOOOOTH πŸ˜€


9 Allie April 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

I didn’t even know protein cereal was a thing! Fancy that. I use a variety of protein powders, and I love a good clif builder bar as the occasional candy-bar-but-not treat. Otherwise, hmm, too many protein products seem to be whey-based (so not vegan).


10 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

I know, it’s kinda cool! I love those clif builders, and they ARE a good “candy-bar”. :) yes, many protein products do contain whey – what is YOUR favorite powder? (I always ask this of vegans, I’m always wanting to try anything and everything…) πŸ˜€


11 Allie April 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

My favorite for smoothies is Vega Shake & Go Vanilla-Almondilla–it’s a little pricey, but it has great protein content and tastes amazing blended with fruits and greens (has just the right hint of sweet and flavor). My favorite for savory stuff–and the protein powder I use the most–is Manitoba Harvest hemp protein–it’s super-versatile so I can stick a few T in soup, oatmeal, flatbread, etc. It does add a “hemp”y flavor if you add a lot, but I like the taste, or I just don’t add as much if I don’t want it to interfere with whatever I’m making.


12 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

good to know, thank you! I have so many proteins right now, so I have told myself I need to use them before buying any more (I MAY have a little problem…) πŸ˜‰ but I have wanted to try the shake & go… don’t they have a tropical-something flavor? one of these days I’ll try it…


13 Allie April 12, 2012 at 4:37 am

They do have a tropical something, and a chocolate too, I think. I’ve never tried the other flavors–I mostly like the vanilla because the flavors of slightly-sweet-vanilla-mix go so well with whatever else I want to throw into my smoothie. But I bet the tropical would be amazing blended with some extra fruit.

14 Cara April 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

These bites so look like donut holes. Uh oh, donuts are on my mind as of late, aren’t they???
Hope you had a great Easter, friend! How are things on your end? How is dad? How are YOU? xo


15 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

and they sorta almost kinda taste like donuts too? πŸ˜‰ and thank you – our Easter was nice. Dad is okay, feeling pretty good right now. I am doing GOOD. XXO


16 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 10, 2012 at 8:19 am

Dang these look good! I haven’t tried a protein cereal since the days I could have Go Lean Crunch (which I miss terribly). I normally don’t do cereal with milk for the reason of sogginess. I hate mushy cereal. I normally eat it dry or on my oats for extra texture.


17 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

yes, I think that is the one I was thinking of, expecting a “hard” crunch, you know? I haven’t had that in a while. this is processed in a facility where dairy products are present, but the actual ingredients look to be dairy free, I think? I don’t know if that is okay with you or not?

I LOVE dry cereal! I rarely eat oats, but next time I do I will add cereal – I would love that!


18 jobo April 10, 2012 at 8:39 am

mmmmm! I want these! I wonder if that cereal is around where I live. Haven’t heard of it before?!


19 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

I don’t know, do you have any of those ‘low carb’ stores in your area? you could order it here, but I think you’ll get 6 boxes… πŸ˜‰


20 katie April 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

I love that Kay’s protein cereal! I love the french vanilla flavor too!

Loving how you created these awesome little bites using them!

Happy Tuesday! <3


21 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

happy Tuesday to you, dear!

this was the first flavor I tried, but I hope to try vanilla next! I pretty much love anything vanilla… and could make some pretty awesome bites with it too! πŸ˜‰ XXO


22 Laura Podrasky April 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

Not only does the cereal sound great but the snack balls will be great for after school snacks. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!


23 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

you are welcome – I hope you try them!


24 Jess April 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

Ohh I’m a big fan of cereal but *only* if it’s got a decent protein/fiber boost – otherwise, I’m starving five minutes after I eat it (ok, that’s a lie, it’s 20 mins later, haha). I usually go to fiber one if I’m feeling a cereal boost, but THIS cereal looks even yummier…and so do these bites. Love!


25 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm

yep – I can’t eat cereal as a ‘meal’ for that reason… (it’s a good snack…) πŸ˜‰


26 Richa@HobbyandMore April 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

those are some very symmetrical spheres:) and perfectly delicious bites!


27 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

hee, thanks, Richa! they look so smooth from rolling them in the powder after…


28 Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} April 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

Yum! these look delicious! I love to have a little protein boost before I run. Def. going to check out the website, and try out your recipe. What perfectly round little balls you were able to make! Cute!


29 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

thank you! and yep – I am the same way, need that protein before running / working out. I don’t like to eat a lot before, though, so these little bites are great!


30 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Wow, they’re so perfectly round and smooth and awesome! That cereal also sounds amazing. Thanks for passing it on. I wonder if they’re in Canada? Worth looking into!!


31 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

hmm, I’m not sure? I hope so for you – the cereal is GOOD :)


32 Pure2raw twins April 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

great idea on using cereal πŸ˜‰ these look perfect


33 Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen April 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Dear Kristina, I’ve passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to you! I know.. I know… As if you need another award! :p But anyway, please do visit:


34 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

hee hee, thank you Jesica!! thank you for including me in that awesome group, and I have to tell you I am extremely honored, because I just think your site is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL! you are talented in recipe and photo! XO


35 Lauren @ April 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Oh wow, you were nominated for 2 Versatile Blogger Awards in 1 day! I just came by to let you know, and I saw Jesica’s post too! You’ve everyone’s favorite :)


36 spabettie April 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

awww, thank you Lauren!! πŸ˜€ and wee, two in one day! I suppose I need to do this then, right? πŸ˜‰ XO!


37 Raysa April 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

OMGoodness I’m so excited to try these…they look really yummy.


38 Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 12, 2012 at 5:51 am

Okay, I want one! πŸ˜€


39 spabettie April 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

oh, I wish I could send you one! XO


40 Nora @ Natural Noshing April 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Apple. Crunchy. Protein Goodness – OMG! Love these :)
And I totally agree with Jessica and Lauren – you are definitely everyone’s fav! XO


41 spabettie April 13, 2012 at 9:05 am

aw, thank you Nora! I am so happy I found you too! XO


42 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) April 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

These too?! Yum! I would probably eat a billion bites though. :)


43 Grandma Wrinkles April 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I MUST get this cereal, sounds like I would love it. thanks for the great review and recipe,



44 Gwen@poppiesandpaperbacks July 31, 2012 at 9:54 am

These look rad! Tasty and yummy are important. I’m always trying to watch it and recently lost 75 pounds on a high protein, low fat, low sugar diet. These are perfectly portable and if they are delish too…BONUS! I don’t suppose you know what a serving size is and/or how many grams of sugar/protein/fat are in them?


45 spabettie August 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

Gwen, I apologize, I don’t usually figure the nutritionals on my recipes. Congrats on your weight loss, that is fantastic! Cheers to you!


46 Gwen@poppiesandpaperbacks August 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Thank you so much for responding! I’ll be back again and again!!!


47 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

thank you so much, Gwen – that is good to hear, thanks for reading!


48 Danielle August 13, 2012 at 3:23 am

I have tried to make this recipe twice and although they taste good, the consistency is not as smooth as yours. They turn out very crumbly an it’s hard to form a ball. Please let me know what I did wrong!!


49 spabettie August 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

hi Danielle, sorry you are having trouble with the recipe, I’ll try to figure this out:

are you able to form into a ball at all, or is the consistency too crumbly to stay together? if this is the case, an extra tablespoon of maple syrup (or water) may help bind together.

if they DO actually form a ball but they are just not as smooth as mine, they may need more processing time to reach a “fine” consistency, where the cashews almost form a cashew butter and the cereal is in smaller pieces.

I hope this helps,



50 Danielle August 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm

They are very crumbly so I will try all of those suggestions. Thanks!


51 Mara September 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hi, I am loving your blog! My family is “forced vegans”, we are collectively allergic to EVERYTHING (dairy,eggs, nuts, gluten, high levels of citric acid) . Do you think sunflower seeds could be subbed for the cashews in this recipe? I think if I could figure that part out, this would be great for those mornings when we are rushing out to door to school/work!


52 spabettie September 15, 2012 at 9:20 am

hi Mara,

I have not tried another nut or seed, but I imagine it could work – since they are so much smaller, you might want to start with less, like, 3/4 cup? work up from there adding more if needed? let me know if you try this, I can add it to the recipe as a substitution!

Thank you for reading and saying hello!



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