Aloha Protein Balls {Aruba & Eduardo’s Beach Shack}

These Aloha Protein Balls are packed with texture, bright flavor, and protein. They’re great for breakfast or an after-workout snack.

Aloha Protein Balls from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

I resisted the whole protein ball craze for a long, long time. Then last fall, my dear friend Annmarie gifted me a little stash of her favorite oats and chocolate protein bites. And I was hooked. I loved the texture, the flavor, the easy snackability. Everything about them, basically. You can find that recipe right here.

I hadn’t ventured out to try or make any other protein ball until this past spring, when our family visited a little beach shack on the island of Aruba. The girls and I ordered an “Aloha Ball”, which was so good it had me asking the beach shack owners if they could list the ingredients.

These Aloha Protein Balls are packed with texture, bright flavor, and protein. They’re great for breakfast or an after-workout snack. And a bonus for me is, with every bite, I’m gazing out on the warm turquoise waters of Aruba.

*  This is a sponsored post, created in partnership with Princess Cruises.

Aruba - Palm Beach - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Aruba.

Oh, how we love thee.

Your white sand beaches, stretching on for miles. Your warm waters, layered with multiple hues of blue. Your endless sky of sunshine. Your friendly, happy people.

Aruba - Palm Beach - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

On our Panama Canal cruise with Princess Cruises, our family was able to enjoy a beautiful morning on Aruba’s Palm Beach. This was our second visit to this southern Caribbean island, and I definitely hope it’s not our last. It’s really quite heavenly.

Aruba - Palm Beach - Eduardo's Beach Shack - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

This time around, we sought out breakfast at Eduardo’s Beach Shack. Located right on the beach, we found this place to be absolutely everything we had read about online.

The menu was loaded with a wide variety of fresh goodness in the form of juices, smoothies, protein bowls, and protein balls.

acai bowl from Eduardo's Beach Shack - Aruba - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Each of us girls promptly ordered a “fully loaded” raw acai bowl.

acai bowl from Eduardo's Beach Shack - Aruba - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

And then we headed to the water’s edge to enjoy them.

acai bowl from Eduardo's Beach Shack - Aruba - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

These bowls were filled with a super chilled acai smoothie (SO GOOD!) and topped with a variety of sweet, excellent fruit.

Aruba - Palm Beach - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Then we enjoyed playing in the amazing waters of Aruba, soaking up every last bit of that Caribbean beach life, so very different from our Minnesota. There was no wiping off that smile on Tessa’s face!

Aruba - Palm Beach - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Before taking a taxi back to the Coral Princess, we shared a delightful “Summer Trimmer” smoothie from Eduardo’s, bursting with fresh strawberry, watermelon, and passionfruit…

Aruba - Palm Beach - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Along with an “Aloha Ball”.

Each of us liked it so much, I went back to the beach shack to inquire about the ingredients of the aloha protein balls. I was told “dates, almonds, lemon, flax, and chia”. And when we got back home, I set out to make our own. This is not the exact recipe from Eduardo’s, but we all agree that it’s close enough to quickly bring back some pretty wonderful Aruba memories.

Aloha Protein Balls from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

As soon as I nailed this recipe, according to our vacation memories, I promptly delivered a few of these aloha protein balls to my friend Annmarie. I had to repay the kindness from my first protein ball experience. After just one bite, she asked for the recipe.

Besides some of the more “regular” protein ball ingredients – dates, nuts, nut butters, protein powders, etc. – this recipe includes a lovely hint of fresh, bright lemon zest and powdered ginger. I think these two flavors are what really draw me in, adding a special amazingness to this particular protein ball recipe.

Aloha Protein Balls

Yield: 14 large protein balls

Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1-1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 c. slivered roasted almonds
  • 1 c. ground almonds (almond meal or almond flour)
  • 1/2 c. vanilla protein powder
  • 3/4 c. salted almond butter
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 T. lemon zest
  • 2 T. ground flax
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

In the bowl of a large food processor, pulse together dates, coconut, slivered almonds, ground almonds, and protein powder. Continue to pulse and scrape the bowl as needed, until everything is incorporated. The slivered almonds should be chopped into small bits that will add a little crunch to the finished protein balls. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse and scrape down the bowl until everything is incorporated and you reach the desired consistency. The mixture should stick together when pinched. If it doesn’t want to pinch together, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until it comes together. The mixture should not be wet or extra sticky.

Portion the mixture out using a 2″ scoop, packed tightly. Roll portions into balls. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. These can be made ahead and stored in the freezer – just give them at least 30 minutes to thaw at room temperature before eating.

inspired by the protein balls at Eduardo’s Beach Shack in Aruba

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Aloha Protein Balls from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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Aruba & Eduardo's Beach Shack - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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Aruba and Eduardo's Beach Shack - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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Aruba, from the Coral Princess - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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For more of our own personal experiences with Princess Cruises (we also visited Alaska!), visit these posts:

Disclaimer:  This trip was sponsored by Princess Cruises. Our family was honored to be guests of Princess Cruises on this cruise to the Panama Canal, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share it all with you. Thank you for supporting us and the brands we so carefully choose to work with. All opinions expressed are our own.