Healthy Sea Salt + Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)


12 November 2019


The holidays are upon us, and I’m kicking things off with an upgraded version of one of the most popular recipes on my blog — Healthy Sea Salt + Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, also known as Buckeyes.

Buckeyes were a childhood favorite of mine during the holidays and are an incredibly nostalgic treat for me. I would be seriously bummed to give them up, and with this upgraded healthy version I don’t have to!

Which, IMO, is how it should always be with food.

You have every right to enjoy the foods you love, so that they taste good AND make you feel good too.


This doesn’t mean you can’t have the super greasy piece of pizza you love or a cheesy burger wrapped in a gluten-filled bun every now and then (if those are foods that are truly enjoyable/special to you) but finding a way to enjoy a version of these foods consistently so you don’t feel deprived or inflamed most of the time is important too (hi gluten-free pizza piled high with roasted veggies and avocado turkey burger bowls).

Enter in these Healthy Sea Salt + Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls.

Not only do they taste insanely delicious (legit one of my most popular/requested recipes at any holiday gathering or workshop) but they include some serious nutrients and sneaky swaps to keep you feeling energized and balanced this holiday season.



+ Swapped the refined sugar for unrefined maple syrup (more of a whole food, easier on your gut + contains trace minerals)

+ Switched out the inflammatory butter/shortening for MCT-rich coconut oil (i.e. fat that can be used for fuel)

+ Used dark chocolate rich in cacao, which contains “anti-stress” mineral magnesium + disease-fighting polyphenols

+ Added in collagen powder, a good source of protein + amino acids to help balance blood sugar & boost satiation

+ Used an organic peanut butter that doesn’t include any inflammatory vegetable oils

+ Used coconut flour as a thickening agent, which is rich in fiber to optimize digestion + keep you fuller longer


Do these balls still contain sugar? Yes. Are they still considered a dessert? Yes. Should you eat them all of the time? Probably not.

But they’re about as upgraded as a dessert CAN get, while still tasting like the REAL DEAL and not feeling deprived.

Plus they’re super easy to make and totally freezer-friendly, so you can make a batch and keep on hand for when a sweet craving strikes.

Here’s to a healthier + happier holiday season ahead!

5 from 1 vote

Healthy Sea Salt + Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

Cook time
0 hours 30 mins
Total time
0 hours 30 mins
healthy peanut butter balls

This upgraded version of buckeyes tastes just like the real deal while including some serious nutrients and sneaky swaps to keep you feeling energized and balanced this holiday season.

Author: Lauren Chambers
Cuisine: American
Method: chilling
Diet: grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, refined-sugar-free, vegetarian, vegan-friendly,
Dish type: dessert, snack
Serves: 8-12 large balls



  1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup, stirring vigorously until thickened.
  2. Stir in the coconut flour and collagen powder until combined (*important -- if not using collagen powder be sure to add in 2 more tbsp coconut flour for the same texture). Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes in the fridge. The coconut flour + collagen will absorb moisture and help firm up the filling so it's not too sticky and easy to roll into balls.
  3. Add in sea salt, then shape into small balls either with your hands or a small ice-cream scooper (should yield about 20-ish balls, depending on size). Place balls on a parchment-lined plate or Tupperware and set aside. 
  4. In a small pot, add the dark chocolate and coconut oil and heat over low heat, stirring frequently. Once it's barely melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
  5. With a fork, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Tap off excess chocolate on the side of the pot and place the ball back on the plate lined with parchment. Repeat for the rest.
  6. Place balls in the freezer for around 10 minutes until mostly firm.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove balls from freezer and drizzle with the leftover melted chocolate (I use a fork or spoon to do this). Sprinkle with more sea salt. 
  8. Freeze the balls for another 15 minutes, until the chocolate is completely set. Store in sealed Tupperware container in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 1-2 months (if they make it that long - ha!)
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