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Energy Balls are the ultimate portable snack for work and school lunch boxes, road trips, or just to grab when the afternoon munchies strike. To fuel your kids through busy days or yourself through the afternoon slump, you need healthy no-bake snacks, like these 10+ Easy Energy Bites Recipes! The best part is that you can make them all gluten free and most have a vegan option too!
Originally published on Aug 2, 2016. Updated on Jan 10, 2020, with additional recipes and information.
What are energy balls?
Energy balls easy no-bake snacks that you can flavor in so many ways. They are quick to make, perfect for packing in a lunchbox for school or work, or to bring along on a road trip or any time you are on-the-go. Because they typically contain a combination of good carbs, healthy fat, protein, and fiber they are a healthy way to fuel you during any busy day.
How do you make energy balls?
Energy bites usually only have a few ingredients, but by choosing the right ones, you still get you that perfect mix of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and fiber to keep you satisfied. And by switching them up, you can make any number of different flavor combinations depending on what you like.
The ingredients are either stirred together with something sticky like honey to bind them together. Or, particularly if made with dried fruit which is already sticky on its own, broken down to a thick paste in a food processor. You can also use a high-powered blender.
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This mixture is then scooped up into portions of about one tablespoon and rolled into balls.
Common ingredients in energy balls:
- Dried fruit – dried dates are a common base for many energy ball recipes as they are sticky and form a paste that can be rolled, but they can also include raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, figs, and even coconut.
- Fresh or thawed frozen fruit – bananas, pineapple, and even thawed and drained frozen berries are sometimes mixed in, but then typically require more grains or something else for binding the bites.
- Grains – oats or even cooked quinoa are often found in energy bites to add fiber and bulk, but some recipes are grain free and paleo-friendly.
- Nuts and nut butter – a great source of healthy fat and protein, peanut butter or almond butter or another nut or sunflower seed butter are great for making them stick together, and nuts like walnuts or pecans also add some texture and crunch. Almond meal can be an grain-free alternative to bulk up those balls.
- Seeds – flax, hemp, chia, and other seeds sneak in some extra superfood nutrition.
- Protein powder – while I typically don’t add this to my energy ball recipes, some like to boost the protein with whey, collagen, pea, or other protein powders.
- Flavors and mix-ins – have some fun and make them extra tasty with spices, extracts, or even cocoa powder. And fun mix-ins like mini chocolate chips or even a few sprinkles never hurt!
How do you store energy balls?
- Most can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
- If they contain fresh fruit or other perishable ingredients, keep the container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Those made with dried fruit and grains last in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
- You can also put your energy balls in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to six months. Just pull out a few at a time at least a few hours before you plan to eat them.