Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeyes | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Nov. 3. 2023

Protein-Packed Vegan Buckeyes

Nov. 3. 2023
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

OH-IO! Alright regardless if you’re a The Ohio State University Buckeye fan or not, if you like peanut butter and chocolate, you’ll love this dessert.

Theses Vegan Buckeyes are what I deem to be truly the best version of my hometown’s classic treat. With added peanut flour rich in plant-based protein, these healthy buckeyes take under 20 minutes to make and 5 ingredients!

Fun fact, Ohio’s state tree is a buckeye and buckeyes (the actual nut-like seed on the tree) are not editable, in fact, they’re toxic. As a way to celebrate the Ohio state tree and actually enjoy the buckeye, it was transformed into a treat.

I have some of the fondest memories making buckeyes not just around the holiday season, but year-round with my mother. It was such a fun process rolling the peanut butter into balls then carefully dipping them in chocolate to look like a buckeye while she told me stories of why we make them and not eat the real thing found in the backyard. Fast forward to my undergrad and graduate years at Ohio State wearing t-shirts, necklaces, and keychains with the buckeye on them, it was a right of passage to honor this nut-like seed.

Protein Boosted Vegan Buckeyes

Traditionally the buckeyes are made with pretty straight forward ingredients. For the filling, it includes peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and milk chocolate as the coating. To give this a Nutrition Stripped spin, I wanted to boost the protein just a bit to balance out the macronutrients so we add in a satiety factor with the protein as well and the added benefit of stabilizing blood sugars a bit more than we would if we didn’t have as much protein present. All without sacrificing the flavor!

In addition, instead of powdered sugar, I use maple syrup and a little goes a long way so you can adjust to your specific tastes. The real curveball in my recipe is using peanut flour, which is basically a process of stripping the fat from the protein in peanut butter and you’re left with something that resembled a protein powder except rich in peanut flavor while retaining the protein.

If you don’t have peanut flour, which I found at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, you can order some organic peanut flour online or just use your favorite vanilla plant-based protein powder. Enjoy these vegan Buckeyes!


Peanut allergy?

Peanut allergies are believed to affect up to 8% of children and 2% of adults. While it is usually a lifelong condition, 15-22% of children outgrow their allergy before they reach their teenage years (1).

Symptoms can range in severity but can cause life-threatening complications like anaphylaxis in some cases. Additionally, although peanuts are not considered tree nuts, around 30% of those who are allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to tree nuts as well (2).

If you have a peanut allergy, instead of using peanut butter you can use cashew butter or sunflower seed butter. Instead of the peanut flour, you can use your favorite vanilla plant-based protein powder and you might need to adjust the texture by adding a little water depending on how much moisture the protein powder absorbs. Start slow and build up one teaspoon of water at a time.

Learn more about food allergies here.

The Recipe

Serves Makes 24 Buckeyes



1 1/2 cups creamy salted organic peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup organic peanut flour

1/3 cup maple syrup

For the chocolate coating

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cups dark chocolate chips melted


Step 1

In a large bowl combine peanut butter, vanilla extract, peanut flour, and maple syrup and stir until homogenous.

Using your hands roll dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon each, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Place dough balls in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Fill a small saucepan with about 1-inch water and place over medium heat until steaming. Place a heatproof bowl over the top of the saucepan that is larger than the rim of the pan to create a double boiler for the chocolate.

Add chocolate and coconut oil to the warming bowl, and allow chocolate to gently melt, stirring occasionally until chocolate is completely melted.

Step 3

Using a toothpick, carefully dip chilled dough balls into the melted chocolate, returning the now dipped buckeyes to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with flakey salt and serve.


Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop for up to a month in the freezer, or in the fridge for two weeks.

You can make this ahead of time for any gathering or party!

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped


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