Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free balls made with a sweet refined-sugar-free peanut butter center. Make them for a healthier homemade candy!
This week I finished my first hard copy book of 2020 and I’m pretty proud of myself.
I’ve finished a few other books for my monthly bookclub, but those were all done via the Audible app.
One of my best friends, Laura, would tell you that my version of read-listening *doesn’t count*.
But come on, friends, it totally does!
Sometimes I read-listen while doing jumping jacks upstairs in the spare bedroom, other times it’s while sudsing up pots and pans in the sink with my green rubber gloves on, and sometimes it’s while I make funny faces and swipe up on my eyelashes with black mascara.
While it’s lovely to be able to multitask, I do agree with Laura that tangible books are special.
There’s nothing quite like holding a paperback between both hands with bedsheets tucked up to your chin.
It’s the little things like reading a book from cover to cover that feel normal and nice that I cling to right now.
The book that I just finished was Rachel Hollis’s “Didn’t See That Coming”, which I highly recommend.
I also highly recommend that you start thinking about what clean candy you’re going to make for this Halloween.
Because I have a copycat recipe for you that starts with M and ends in M.
These Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls are made with a sweet refined-sugar-free peanut butter center and a dark chocolate coating!
Peanut Butter M&Ms are the absolute best, right?
They’re crunchy with a salty and sweet peanut butter waffle filling.
After I had peanut butter m&ms for the first time, regular old m&ms just didn’t do it for me anymore.
A quick Google search informed me that peanut butter m&ms were discontinued in the states back in 2005.
Which explains why I haven’t seen them in a while and also makes this recipe all the more timely.
So, what do we need to bring these craveable candies back to the states with a clean spin?
Here’s what you need:
- gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- Medjool dates
- peanut butter
- Hu Kitchen Gems
First, add the oats to your high speed blender or food processor and pulse until you almost have an oat flour.
Add in the dates and process again until you have a sticky crumble.
If your dates are super old and dried out you can soak them in hot water for ~15 minutes then drain and add to the blender.
Remove the mixture from the blender and set it aside.
You need the blender for the next step but don’t need to clean it out.
Next, add the almonds and peanuts to the blender and process until they turn to a fine meal.
Add in the peanut butter to the nut meal and pulse until well combined.
I recommend using slated peanuts and a salted peanut butter here to compliment and enhance the sweetness of the M&Ms!
If you don’t have salted peanuts or peanut butter, you can add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt!
Finally, add back in the dates and oats and process until the mixture forms a loose dough.
If the mixture seems too dry, add in an extra date for more stickiness.
Scoop out small bits of the dough and form them into tiny round balls.
The balls should be about ~1/2 tsp in diameter, but who’s really measuring, anyway?
The beauty of making your own Vegan Peanut Butter M&Ms is that you can make these as small or large as you like.
Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer to harden for about 30 minutes.
Maybe try a ball or two sans chocolate because they’re delicious even chocolate-less.
I used Hu Kitchen Gems to create the chocolate coating to the peanut butter center.
This hexagon-shaped chocolate is the absolute best, guys.
It’s all 70% dark chocolate that is certified paleo, vegan, certified gluten-free.
Bake with it, snack with it, and definitely make clean candy with it.
It melts down beautifully to form the coating to these homemade chocolate balls!
After the 30 minutes are up, melt the Gems in the microwave in 30 second increments until they’re fully runny and melted.
Using a spoon, dip the frozen balls in the melted chocolate and swirl to completely coat them.
Allow any excess chocolate to drip off, then place the chocolate covered ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Repeat this method one by one until all of the balls are dipped and placed back on the parchment- lined baking sheet.
I love mine with a simple chocolate coating, but you can decorate them if you like.
Try sprinkling some colorful plant-based toppings like chia seeds, hemp hearts, or freeze dried fruit on top of the ballss.
If you choose to decorate, do your sprinkling before the chocolate has set so the toppings stick to the chocolate coating!
Place the baking sheet back in the freezer to set for 30 more minutes.
After the balls are hard and hold their shape, you can enjoy them immediately!
You can store leftover balls in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or freeze for longterm storage.
These bites are perfect to have on hand in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick treat.
Grab a handful for a decadent dessert or sweet plant-based snack.
These Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls are sweet, chocolatey, and creamy.
If you’re looking for a peanut-free option, try subbing almonds for the peanuts and almond butter for the peanut butter for a different variation.
Share them with friends and family or anyone you feel like sharing with this Halloween.
I bet they won’t believe that they’re vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, and made with just six ingredients!
For a gift idea, try grouping them in individual food storage bags or mason jars with a colorful ribbon.
They also make a fantastic party favor served in a colorful bowl for your Halloween party.
If you make these Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls, let me know!
Be sure to leave a comment and review so I can use your feedback to make more yums.
Want more simple clean homemade candy?
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Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free “M&Ms” made with a sweet refined-sugar-free peanut butter center. Make them for a healthier homemade candy!
- ¼ cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- 2–3 large pitted Medjool dates
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup roasted salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup Hu Kitchen Gems
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Add the oats to a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until they’re broken down. Add in the dates and process again until you have a sticky crumble. Remove from the blender and set aside.
- Next add the almonds and peanuts to the blender and process until they turn to a fine meal.
- Finally, add in peanut butter and pulse everything until well combined. Add back in the dates and oats and process until the mixture forms a loose dough. If the mixture is too dry, add an additional date here.
- Scoop out small bits of dough and form them into tiny round balls, about 1/2 tsp in diameter. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes.
- After about 30 minutes, melt the Gems in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave in 30 second increments.
- Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Using a spoon or two forks, dip the balls in melted chocolate to completely coat. Remove any excess chocolate and place the balls back on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat until all Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls are dipped, reheating the chocolate in the microwave as needed. Transfer the baking sheet back to the freezer to allow the chocolate to fully set.
- Store leftover M&Ms in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or freeze for longterm storage.
Recipe heavily adapted from Minimalist Baker: Homemade Peanut Butter M&Ms
- Prep Time: 60 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop, Freezer
- Cuisine: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar-Free
This post is brought to you by Hu Kitchen, but all words and eats are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep me hungry!
Photography by Hot Pan Kitchen