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June 11, 2020

by Alyssa

How to Make Energy Balls: The Ultimate Guide

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

Are Energy Balls and Protein Bites Healthy?

In short…YES! 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

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.

The Perfect 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!

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


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


  • 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!



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

vegan apple pie energy bites

How to Customize Your 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!

Vegan Energy Bites with Gingerbread

How Long Can You Keep Energy Balls?

There are two different ways to store your energy balls: in the fridge or in the freezer. While they can definitely also be stored at room temperature, I personally find the texture to be better if you keep them chilled. And a bonus is that they'll also last a long longer!

Here's how long you can keep energy balls:

  • Fridge: 1 – 2 weeks
  • Freezer: 3 – 6 months

But again, if you're anything like me, you'll probably plow through a batch and you won't even have to worry about them lasting ????

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)

VIDEO: How To Make Energy Balls

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

Our 10 BEST Energy Ball Recipes

How to Make Energy Balls

The Best Energy Ball Recipes


How to make ENERGY BALLS
How to make Energy Balls

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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!

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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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