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December 2, 2022

by Alyssa

How to Make Energy Balls

These energy balls are jam-packed with not just protein and nutrients, but also flavor. In my ultimate guide to making energy balls, I'll show you how to make these fun, easy, and healthy snacks.

A bowl of energy ball with chocolate chips, with a bite taken out of one of them

I love energy balls (also known as protein bites), because finding healthy snacks can sometimes be a chore. While protein bars, and carrots and hummus are great options, they can get a little old after a while when you're eating them every day.

Which is why I adore energy balls! They're healthy, bursting with flavor, quick and easy to make, and customizable, so you won't get tired of them. Plus, you can eat them on the go! In other words, they're one of the most well-rounded snacks out there.

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. That includes the components and ingredients you need, the equipment you need, and, of course, some amazing recipes.

Let's get to making energy balls!

A hand reaching in to grab an energy ball from a bowl of energy balls, with pecans, chocolate chips, and energy balls spilled across the table

Why Energy Balls and Protein Bites Are a Perfect Snack

We already talked about the fact that these are a healthy snack. But why are they such a good healthy snack? Here are four reasons why protein bites stand out to me.

  • Portability. 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. How often have we all turned to a bag of chips or candy, simply because it was the easy option? Energy balls don't take up much space, can last for a long time out of the fridge, and don't require a plate or utensils. They're the ultimate on-the-go snack.
  • Balance. I'm always on the lookout for snacks that have a balance of macros: carbs, protein and healthy fats. These healthy snacks are the perfect blend of all three. They have the nutrients and macro profile to give you energy, and keep you sustained for hours.
  • Convenience. Just like a smoothie or a nut butter, protein bites are pretty darn easy to make. You just throw everything into your food processor, blend it up, and roll it into balls. Snacks don't get much easier than that!
  • Customizability. Energy balls are totally customizable. That means you can make any type of flavor you’re craving, and you can constantly mix it up. Start with the formula that we're about to go over, and then you can swap ingredients in and out as you please.
Overhead view of a bowl of dates, a bowl of cashews, a bowl of peanut butter, a bowl of chia seeds, a bowl of puffed quinoa, a bowl of coconut oil, and a bowl of cinnamon.

What You'll Need

There are three main components that you need for energy balls. If you have all three, you can make energy bites at any time, even without a recipe. These are the three:

  • Sticky – Usually dried fruit
  • Crunchy – Usually nuts and seeds
  • Creamy – Usually nut butter or coconut oil
Overhead view of a food processor with dates, almost, oats, and seasonings

The Equipment You'll Need

Before we get to the formula for making energy balls, let's discuss equipment.

Just as with homemade nut butter, you need a food processor to make energy balls. A blender doesn't really work, because the mixture tends to get stuck in a clump at the bottom. With a food processor, you're able to get the perfect texture for gooey, chewy protein bites.

How to Make Energy Balls

These really are one of the simplest snacks to make. Here's how to make my basic formula that you can work off of.

Prep. Gather one cup each of Medjool dates and the seeds or nuts of your choice, as well as 2-3 tablespoons of your preferred nut butter.

Blend. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor, and blend until everything is well mixed.

Roll. Take the mixture out of the food processor, and roll it into balls. Just like that, you've made tasty, nutritious energy balls!

Close up of an apple pie energy ball being held between two fingers and a thumb, with crumbs on the fingers

Variations

There's no limit to the flavor combinations that you can make with your energy balls. Here are a few variations that I like to make with my protein bites.

  • Dried fruit. Dates, figs, dried apples, dried mangoes, and dried berries all add wonderful flavor to energy balls.
  • Nuts/seeds. You can use any combination of nuts and seeds that you like, depending on your favorite flavors and what you have around.
  • Flavored powders: Adding ingredients like cacao or protein powder is a great way to change up the flavor, while also using some additional nutrients.
  • Spices. Just as with any other form of cooking, you can transform this snack by adding some spices. Some of my favorites are cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
Closeup of a hand holding an energy ball with a bite taken out of it, with a bowl of them in the background

How to Store Energy Balls

Protein bites will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, as long as you store them in an airtight container. You can eat them cold straight out of the fridge!

Can I Freeze These?

Sure! These snacks will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 months. You can thaw them in the fridge, or at room temperature.

A hand grabbing a peanut butter chocolate chip ball out of a bowl of them, with a spoonful of peanut butter on the counter

Our 10 BEST Energy Ball Recipes

VIDEO: How To Make Energy Balls

Here's a link to our other energy ball videos!

Basic Energy Ball Recipe

This is our simple and customizable energy ball recipe. It's healthy, full of protein, and tastes great, but you can add to it as you please to make your own variations.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 balls
Calories 108kcal
Print Pin
Easy Vegan Energy Bites
4.75 from 8 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup medijool dates
  • 1 cup almonds (or nuts/seeds of choice)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients into a food processor, then just blend it up.
  • Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll them into balls.
  • Store in the fridge or freezer for best texture!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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  1. My husband has recently been diagnosed with MS and has horrible meds that he has to take after eating a good protein source. I just made him these and he’s over the moon! Thank you so much for this recipe they’re delicious!

  2. Most useful post about energy balls I’ve seen yet! Thank you for deconstructing the process and outlining a basic formula for making these delectable treats 🙂

  3. I ❤️ All the different varieties you provide. My question is I’m planning on making big batches for me, my husband and my friends. Have you made large batches and had the consistency remain the same?

  4. I have a peanut and tree nut allergy meaning I’m allergic to all nuts I would love to try an energy ball but I can’t find any recipes that don’t have some sort of nut in them

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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

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