These salted caramel vegan energy bites taste just like a decadent dessert but are actually healthy and nutritious. They're the perfect snack for anyone on-the-go!
As if I couldn't fall in love with energy bites more, I came up with a flavor that is out of this world delicious. If you're a fan of the salty sweet combo, these are totally up your alley.
Today we've got Salted Caramel Energy Bites that are vegan, gluten-free, made with whole food ingredients AND they only use 8 ingredients.
They're also a cinch to make and are great for on-the-go. I love carrying energy balls on long road trips or eating them before a workout class. They're packable and give me that little boost of energy while satisfying my sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Energy Balls
The ingredients in these vegan energy bites are so simple. You actually probably already have them in your pantry! I wanted to keep things as easy as possible with this recipe, so here's what we're using:
- Medjool dates: I use these for the base of all my energy bites because they're naturally sweet and super sticky. They have a great consistency and help the balls hold together really well.
- Cashews: I chose cashews because I think they have the mildest taste. If you're not a cashew fan – or are allergic – swap with any other nut you'd like.
- Coconut: shredded coconut adds a nice texture, but also a little extra sweetness. you can leave this out if you want and just add more cashews.
- Hemp seeds: I wanted to sneak in something high protein without adding protein powder and this was my solution. They don't affect the flavor, but give you a really nice protein boost!
- Maple syrup: since we're going for the caramel flavor here they had to be a little decadent which is why I added maple syrup. If you think they're sweet enough with just the dates, swap the syrup with more nut butter.
- Cashew butter: again, I love cashews because they're so mild in flavor, but you can swap this with any nut or seed butter that you'd like!
- Cinnamon: totally optional, but adds such a lovely little flavor boost!
- Sea salt: and last but not least our salt! I like using Maldon sea salt, but any salt will work.
And that's it! They taste sweet, salty and absolutely scrumptious!
How to make Vegan Energy Bites
You only need one thing to make energy bites: a food processor!
I like to start by adding my dried fruit and nuts into my food processor first. I blitz those up until they form a sandy like consistency and then add in the rest of my ingredients.
You'll be adding spices/flavorings, sometimes seeds or coconut, maybe some superfood powders and usually some sort of “liquid”. I like to use a blend of nut butter, maple syrup, and water.
With all those in there, you can blitz everything again and it should form a sticky dough. From there, just scoop out about a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball and keep on going until you've used everything up!
Why Energy Balls are Good for You
Aside from the fact that energy balls are easy to make and they're portable, they're also pretty nutritious!
The base of most energy balls is a combination of:
- dried fruit: mostly made up of carbohydrates and sugar
- nuts: mostly made up of fat and protein
With some other ingredients mixed in there for flavor and texture. The combination of carbs and fat/protein is why they're such a great snack. The carbs will give you a boost of energy, while the protein/fat will keep you from crashing and help sustain that energy for longer.
Do Energy Balls Give You Energy?
Unlike energy drinks that are full of chemicals and stimulants, energy balls are a natural food source that can absolutely give you energy. What you're looking for in terms of an “energetic” food, is sugar and carbs, mixed with protein and/or fat. As we said above, sugar and carbs will give you that quick hit of energy, while the protein and/or fat will help you maintain it for a longer period of time.
So will you instantly get a surge of energy after eating one? You won't necessarily get that jolt, but you will be fueling your body with nutrients that are serving to give your body natural energy.
How to make Energy Bites in All Flavors
Now let's just say for funsies that salted caramel isn't your jam. That's precisely why I L-O-V-E energy bites! You can make them in pretty much every flavor imaginable.
In fact, I polled my Instagram friends the other day and they literally came back with over 100 ideas. That's how creative you can get with energy balls!
The trick? You just gotta follow a formula. And I've already put that together for you!
If you want to make energy bites at home, check out our ultimate guide for how to make energy balls! It's got everything – like literally everything – you need to make your own delicious and creative flavor of energy ball at home.
More Vegan Energy Bites to try:
- Mango Coconut Energy Bites
- Healthy Cake Batter Energy Bites
- Easy Cherry Pie Energy Bites
- Gingerbread Energy Balls
- Lemon Blueberry Energy Balls
- Turtle Cookie Energy Bites
Salted Caramel Vegan Energy Bites
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the dates and cashews. Process until they resemble coarse sand.
- Add the coconut, hemp seeds, cashew butter, syrup, sea salt and cinnamon, and process until a dough forms. If the dough does not come together, add some water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
- Form 1" balls with your hands and place on a parchment-lined plate. Freeze for at least 60 minutes and then enjoy.
- Keep in a covered container in the freezer for best results, but they will also keep in the fridge.