No-Bake Coco-nutty Energy Balls - Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, No Refined Sugar
Despite the funny name, these energy balls are a great addition to your homemade snack arsenal. Not only are they good for you, but they are nicely portable, so they are the perfect snack to bring with you on the plane or for a road trip.
The only sweetness in these comes from dates, which in addition to being delicious, have amazing health benefits as well. Dates contain a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, so while they do contain a lot of natural sugar, it is more easily digestible than refined sugar, and they are pretty darn low on the glycemic index compared to a lot of other fruits.*
The easiest way to make these is to use a food processor, but you could make a smaller batch in a blender or Magic Bullet if you have one. The best advice I have for these is to improvise and use what you have available. They always come out a little bit different every time since I don't use exact measurements and use whichever ingredients we happen to have. Have fun with these and experiment to make your own version! Here is what I did most recently:
- 20(ish) whole dates
- 1 cup nuts of your choice (I used walnuts this time)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Approximately 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes for rolling
- Optional: This time I snuck in about a teaspoon each of chia seeds and ground flaxseed for extra nutritional goodness, but it is not necessary to make these work.
1. Remove the pits from the dates and cut them all in half to make a little less work for your food processor.
2. Add the dates to the food processor and pulse it a few times until they are broken up into smaller pea-sized chunks.
3. Add the nuts, cinnamon, cacao, coconut oil, and water. Pulse in the food processor until it forms a paste and tries to stick together as one piece.
4. Scoop out about one tablespoon of the paste at a time and roll into balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
5. Have the coconut flakes ready in a bowl, and roll each ball in the coconut until adequately covered.
6. Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least an hour before eating. This will help them firm up and be more pleasant to eat since they can be fairly soft at room temperature.
7. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge and pop one in your mouth whenever you want something sweet or need a little energy boost. Enjoy!
- Keep an eye on the texture while you are processing, if it is not sticking together very well, you may need to add a tiny bit more water to help it bind.
- If you're not a big fan of coconut, you don't have to use it, or you can choose to roll these in anything else of your choosing, but keep in mind if you leave these naked, they will be pretty sticky on your fingers. Having them rolled in something alleviates that issue.
Back when we worked in a regular office job, we used to bring these work all the time as quick mid-morning or afternoon snack to help us get through the day. They are a great alternative to some of the ultra-processed energy bars and candy bars that are out there, and taste better too!
Let us know about any exciting variations you try out in the comments!
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