Healthier Options for Holiday Desserts: Lightened Up Buckeye Balls

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Holiday meals come with the unwanted gift of added pounds. Kacie Barnes, dietitian and mommy blogger in Dallas, is helping us make those holiday dessert staples just a little healthier, without sacrificing the taste. Here is her healthier take on Buckeyes:

  • 1 16-oz jar 100% natural smooth peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup rice crisp cereal
  • 1-½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


  1. Stir the jar of peanut butter well before using. 
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup vigorously, for about 1 minute, until it thickens up.
  3. Stir in the coconut flour until combined - if your peanut butter is dry, you may skip the coconut flour. Otherwise add 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well. We're looking for a texture that isn't too sticky, but not too dry either. Let it sit for a couple minutes to firm up as the coconut flour will continue to absorb moisture with time. Add a touch more coconut flour if necessary. Or if it's too dry, add a little syrup.
  4. Add salt to taste, then stir in the cereal.
  5. Shape into small balls (Depending on the size you’ll get about 25-35).
  6. In a small saucepan, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and heat over low heat, stirring frequently. Once half the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
  7. With a fork, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Then place the ball on a plate or cutting board lined with parchment. Repeat for the rest.
  8. Place balls in the freezer for around 6-8 minutes until mostly firm.
  9. Dip a fork into the leftover melted chocolate and drizzle it on top to decorate, or top with sprinkles.
  10. Freeze the balls for about 10 minutes to set the chocolate and then remove from the freezer. Can serve immediately, or store in the freezer for 1-2 months in an airtight container.
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