Years ago, before the whole world knew about Sparrow Bakery in central Oregon, A and I discovered Ocean Rolls. One would think the name Ocean Roll would be something like sushi or fishy flavor…but not at Sparrow! Think of a flaky cinnamon roll but laced with orange and cardamom flavors. Oh yes! I’m drooling just thinking about those Ocean Rolls, and it’s a good thing we live hours away from Sparrow or we both would be in serious trouble.

Fast forward to our healthier and smarter decision making years, I now think of ways to create those flavors in a more healthy snack. Don’t get me wrong, I do splurge now and then, but I’m more concious about it. Maybe it’s that over 40 thing, or that I’m just striving to put healthier things into my body. Along the healthier line of things…. I recently discovered this chicks IG feed and her blog. Beauty and the Benchpress. She has lost over 80lbs and is keeping it off! Big high fives to this woman!!

These protein bites were based off her Pumpkin Spice bites and my love of the Orange and Cardamom Sparrow flavors. I took the base of her recipe and added these other flavors. Of course I made her Pumpkin Spice ones like a million times first, they are sooooo good! Nuts, almond butter, dates, and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is pretty much it. No added sugars, no flour, no baking… these are hands down the best little pick me up snack around! If you guys are familiar with Whole30, then you know how creative you need to get, in order to succeed and not get bored out of your snacking mind! I mean one can only eat so many veggie sticks, and nuts before you are wanting something satisfying that is within the guidelines. So all you Whole30ers out there, these are for you! I’m already thinking of other flavors for Spring and Summer!

Sophia also approves!

Orange Cardamom Protein Bites


  • 3/4 C Pecans
  • 1/2 C unsalted cashews
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter ( I like almond butter)
  • 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • Zest of 1 whole orange
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom


  1. In a food processor, ground 1/4 C of the pecans until fine. Put aside in a small bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed well.
  3. Roll into bite size balls and roll into the fine pecans.
  4. Keep in fridge for a few days, if they last that long!
  5. Makes about 8