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How to Make Energy Balls: The Ultimate Guide

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

Learn how to make energy balls in all your favorite flavors! With our Ultimate Guide to Making Energy Balls, we teach you what you need, our fool-proof formula and our favorite recipes to try.

healthy peanut butter energy balls with oats and chocolate chips

When you’re trying to eat healthy, snack time can be quite the challenge! For me, I often feel like I’m either stuck eating cut up veggies and hummus, or a protein bar from my fridge. While both great options, it can get a little old after a while.

Which is why I adore energy balls! I’ve shared countless recipes on the blog before, but it’s because I honestly think they’re one of the best, and most well-rounded snacks out there.

I mean they’re sweet, they’re portable, they’re easy to make and they can be customized to your heart’s content!

In today’s post, rather than just giving you a roundup of my favorite energy ball recipes, I wanted to give you a complete guide to making them at home. We’ll talk about why energy balls rock, I’ll walk you through the different components and ingredients you need, we’ll look at the equipment you need and of course, you’ll get some amazing recipes at the end!

Ready to learn how to make energy balls? Let’s do this thing!

no bake quinoa energy balls that taste like turtle cookies

Why Energy Balls are an Awesome Snack

I mentioned just a few of the benefits of energy balls above, but let’s unpack that and go a little deeper. Why do I love energy balls so much?

1. Portability. For me, the number one thing I want in a snack is for it to be portable. Since so many of us are on the go constantly, we need snacks that are accessible while we’re out and about (so we don’t grab a bag of chips or a candy bar). Energy balls are just that – you can throw them in your bag and eat them on the go!

2. Balanced Macros. Another thing I’m looking for in my snacks is that they have a balance of all the macros: carbs, protein and healthy fats. Energy balls are the perfect blend of all three and actually do have the nutrients and macro profile to give you energy and keep you sustained!

3. Easy to Make. Just like a smoothie or nut butter, energy balls are pretty darn easy to make. You basically just throw everything into your food processor, blend it up, roll it into balls and you’re done!

4. Customizable. As you’ll see in just a second, energy balls are totally customizable meaning you can really make any type of flavor you’d like! As long as you’re using the “formula” that I’ll outline for you below, you can swap ingredients in and out, change things up, and make a different flavor each and every time!

how to make snickerdoodle energy bites

What You Need to Make Energy Balls

When it comes to making energy balls at home, especially sans recipe, you’ll want to keep in mind a few of the main components you need to make them work.

You'll need a combination of ingredients that are:

  • Sticky (usually dried fruit)
  • Crunchy (usually nuts & seeds)
  • Creamy (usually nut butter/coconut oil)

Once you have those components, you should be able to create any type of energy ball you’d like!

how to make chocolate chip peanut butter energy balls

Equipment Needed for Making Energy Balls

Okay, I promise we’re getting close to the actual recipes, but we have to talk equipment before we get in the kitchen.

Similar to homemade nut butter, energy balls require a food processor to make. The reason is that you need to have a blade that can chop through the fruit and nuts, but not get stuck in the bottom of a jar (like it would with a blender). A food processor is the perfect design for it and yields the best texture for your energy ball dough.

Here are some of my food processor recommendations (I have the first one):

The Perfect Energy Ball Formula

Ok party people, now it’s blending time!

I’ve done a LOT of testing and have found that there is somewhat of a formula for making the perfect energy ball. The formula below is for the most standard energy ball, with no flavors or extras added in. I’ll give you some pointers after for customizing!

  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • 1 cup nuts/seeds
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons nut butter

Then you just blend that up in a food processor, roll them into balls and you’re good to go!

vegan apple pie energy bites

How to Customize Your Energy Ball Recipe

There really is no end to the possibilities with your flavor combos for energy balls! You’ll see some of my favorite recipes below, but if you’re trying to get creative, here are the places you can change things up:

  • Dried Fruit: dates, figs, dried apples/mangoes & dried berries all work
  • Nuts/Seeds: use any combination you’d like (I love adding coconut)
  • Flavored Powders: adding things like cacao or protein powder is a great way to change up the flavor!
  • Spices: just like with cooking, you can add spices to transform your flavors! Some of my favorites are cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice!

peanut butter energy balls with dates, oats and chocolate chips

Troubleshooting Tips

Now that we have the basic recipe laid out, let’s talk about customization! There really is no end to the possibilities with your flavor combos, but here are some of my best tips:

  1. Use at least ½ cup of a sticky dried fruit (like dates or dried figs)
  2. Nuts & seeds can be changed out for anything, as long as it adds up to that 1 cup
  3. You can swap up to ⅓ cup of the nuts and seeds for oats/quinoa flakes
  4. If you add cacao powder (or any other powder like protein powder, etc.) increase the nut butter or oil by at least 1 tablespoon for every 2 tablespoons of powder
  5. If the mixture isn’t coming together & you don’t want to add more oil/nut butter, add some water (but no more than 2 tablespoons per recipe)

The 10 BEST Energy Ball Recipes

What flavor combination are you going to create?

The Best Energy Ball Recipes

 

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  1. What size food processor do you need to make these? I need to purchase one but, like you, live in the city (Boston….not NYC) and have limited space. Thanks!

  2. Hey Alyssa, the link to the chocolate tahini energy balls goes to muesli quinoa energy bites. Do you have a recipe for chocolate tahini energy balls? That sounds like a very interesting combination! Thanks.

  3. My Husband is allergic to nuts. Is there a recipe you would recommend or substitutes for those with nut allergies?

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