Take 10 Minutes for DIY Superfood Energy Balls
For an energy-packed treat, try these Superfood Energy Balls made with protein-rich nuts and seeds, naturally sweetened dates, and a little almond butter to bind them together. With only eight ingredients and 10 minutes of prep, you can have a portable, healthy snack option in just minutes!
Ever since I realized how easy it was to DIY snacks like these, I’ve been doing so with gusto. I love knowing exactly what’s going into my snacks, and saving money in the process is a bonus.
These energy balls are a spinoff of my superfood granola bars, brought to you in bite-size form. They’re the perfect snack to tuck into your bag whenever you need a little fuel. The secret to these moist, hearty balls is the use of dates instead of other sweeteners.
For this recipe I prefer Medjool dates, which are usually found in the fruit, dried fruit or bulk section of your grocery store. If your dates aren’t soft, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes before using. The pit should be easy to pop out; dates that are too hard can make these balls difficult to form. As a special ingredient, I’ve included a bit of maca powder, which is known to help increase stamina and energy levels, and is similar in taste to chocolate. If you can’t find maca at your grocery store, feel free to substitute unsweetened cocoa powder.
Superfood Energy Balls
Yield: Makes about 24 balls
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 tablespoon maca powder (substitute unsweetened cocoa powder if desired)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup almond butter
Place the pepitas, almonds and walnuts in a food processor and process until only small pieces remain. Add in the maca powder and sea salt, and grind to a coarse consistency.
Add in the dates and continue to pulse 10 to 15 times until broken down. Add in the almond butter and pulse until a dough forms. You should be able to pinch the dough between your fingers when done. If it’s too crumbly, add it in a bit more almond butter.
Place the batter in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. This will make it easier to roll it into balls. Pinch a hunk of dough, about 1 tablespoon, and roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place in the fridge to firm up for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Notes: I used raw nuts in creating this recipe, but you are welcome to swap in roasted instead. If you use both roasted and salted nuts, omit the added salt.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They should keep for a few weeks. These are perfect to take on the road for outdoor picnics, car trips and hikes.
Per serving (2 balls): Calories 142; Fat 6.6 g; Sodium 90.4 mg; Carbohydrate 20.6 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 16.4 g; Protein 4 g
Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.”