I don't often make energy balls, and that isn't because they aren't the most amazing thing I have ever put in my mouth, it's because they are so delicious, in fact, that I end up eating all of the ball-mixture before they even take ball-form. For someone who loves sweet, texture driven food like me these are literal heaven. I only allow myself to make them when I know they will be eaten by others so that I don't polish them all off while watching TV on the couch - you need energy for that too, right?
So with that said, the yoga studio where I teach had their grand re-opening this past weekend so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make some balls! I actually think this is the perfect snack pre or post workout/sweaty yoga session because they provide you with everything you need to really power through - carbs, natural sugar, chocolate, ya know, the building blocks of life. They would be a great thing to take on a hike, a brutal bike ride or on any other strenuous activity - pick your poison. They are a total hit at gatherings, my yogi friends devoured them in a matter of minutes! I promise that you will genuinely feel more energized after eating one or two - funny because eating the whole batch has the opposite effect ;) .
Because I was going to a celebration, I made a big batch of "base" dough and then divided it evenly into three bowls to create one for the oatmeal cookie lover, the chocoholic and the peanut butter fiend but the beauty of these balls is the ability to customize the base recipe to YOUR liking. The combinations below are loaded with "superfoods" (aren't all foods super?) like cacao, maca, coconut oil and chia seeds but you could seriously flavor them with anything you love from dried cherries to crushed nuts. You can keep them low fat by omitting the coconut oil (a la the oatmeal cookie concoction) or up the fat with additions like almond butter, etc.
P.S - Not that it matters but I seriously struggled with what to title this post because these things go by so many names - energy balls, energy bites, tiny nuggets of goodness, tasty bite balls, heavenly superfood treats - all were in the running but in the end I kept it simple for the sake of poor ol' SEO.
Onto the recipe...
Makes: 20 1.5" Diameter Balls (apx. 2 tbsp each) • Prep Time: 1 hour (all in)
- 2 cups oat flour and 1.5-2 cups whole oats
(Note: to make oat flour just give your whole oats a ride in the blender, doesn't take long especially in this application as it isn't imperative that the flour is finely ground)
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 large spotty banana
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Prepare your oat flour and pit your dates.
Note: If your dates are dry, soak in hot water for 10 minutes to rehydrate and drain well.
2. Blend dates in your high speed blender or food processor till almost smooth.
3. Add oat flour, banana, cinnamon and salt to the blender/processor and pulse until fully combined.
4. Scoop mixture into a bowl and mix in the whole oats, mix in with your hands (sticky but fun). Add more or less oats depending on how you like your treats and the additional binding ingredients you plan on adding...less oats if you are adding more coconut, cacao or maca, etc. In my humble opinion, the dough should just stick together when you form it by hand but I know others like them a little on the stickier side.
5. Divide into three even portions and add the following ingredients if you are moving on to make the three different versions...
TIP: These are even better when given a few hours to chill in the fridge but I am not going to tell you what to do what your balls...
Note: All of the measurements below are just estimates, I just kept adding until everything tasted good. Make it your own!
Malted Coconut Chocolate Chip
- 3/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp Maca powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Method: This one is simple - just mix in the ingredients to your base dough and roll into balls.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch
- 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp cacao nibs
Method: Add peanut butter and coconut oil to a small sauce pan and heat until the mixture is runny. Add this to your dough and combine with a spatula (CUZ IT'S HOT). Add in cacao and roll into balls. Reserve a teensy bit of your PB and coconut oil mix to top the balls as shown, it will harden up in the fridge.
Triple Chocolate Chia
- 2-3 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips
- 2-3 tbsp chia seeds
Method: Melt cacao powder and maple syrup into the coconut oil in a small sauce pan, stir to combine. Add the mixture to the base dough and stir with a spatula to combine (again, HOT). Once the mixture is cool to the touch add in cacao nibs, chocolate chips and chia seeds. Reserve a little of the melt-y mixture for topping, or don't (I didn't).
Please let me know how these tuned out for you! Get creative, add more cool stuff!!! Share your unique flavor combinations in the comments!
LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN