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Pumpkin Energy Balls add the flavors of pumpkin spice with warm cinnamon and nutmeg, plus bursts of mini chocolate chips to your favorite healthy no-bake snacks. These easy little bites pack healthy goodness in a snack that’s ready in minutes and have only seven ingredients. Perfect to pack in a lunchbox, too, since they are nut-free and can be made vegan.
These treats are also one of the best gluten-free pumpkin recipes for all the pumpkin-lovers out there!
Originally published on Sep 16, 2014
Fall is my favorite season. Watching the leaves slowly change color and begin to drop off the trees as I take leisurely walks through the neighborhood. The kids going back to school so I have more time during the day to focus on work. Weekends spent roaming through apple orchards, tromping through pumpkin patches, or curled up on the couch with a bowl of favorite chili, a spiced apple cider Moscow mule, and a lineup of college football games on TV all day. Brainstorming ideas and gathering supplies for Halloween costumes. Pumpkin recipes coming out of my kitchen left and right.
Oh wait, you mean my kids and my job and my life are keeping me so busy that I can’t even find the time to make gluten free pumpkin spice cake or stir together my favorite pumpkin pie filling recipe to bake with or without a crust?!
Yep, even the food blogger is sometimes too busy to, you know, make food. But I can still crack open a can of pumpkin to satisfy my fall flavor cravings and have a healthy snack on hand when my kids come running through the door after school…
No-Bake Pumpkin Balls Recipe
My kids are obsessed with all kinds of no-bake snacks, from Chocolate Cherry Energy Bars to Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls. And these Pumpkin Energy Balls are no exception. With the natural sweetness from dates, a bit of warmth from pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and of course the goodness of real pumpkin, these are a big hit. It could be the burst of chocolate from the mini chocolate chips, but we will just pretend it’s the pumpkin.
And let’s not forget that pumpkin is a vegetable! Whether it’s cauliflower tater tots or my sneaky broccoli cheese soup, I’m all about getting more veggies into my kiddos!
What You’ll Need
- Dates – these provide the natural sweetness and keep everything stuck together.
- Pumpkin puree – I used canned pumpkin puree. Make sure to get real pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling that has sugar and spices and other stuff already added.
- Old-fashioned oats – add fiber from whole grains and helps bind everything together. Be sure to use certified gluten free oats, if needed.
- Ground flaxseed – a great source of omega 3’s for heart and brain health.
- Raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas – these add protein while keeping them nut- and peanut-free, and therefore lunchbox-friendly. But you can always substitute walnuts or pecans.
- Pumpkin pie spice – a warm balance of spices, usually cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Make your own or pick up your favorite brand at the store.
- Mini chocolate chips – technically these are optional, but chocolate and pumpkin is a spectacular combo, and since they are mini chips, a little goes a long way for adding a burst of chocolate.
What do you need to make pumpkin spice energy bites?
You really don’t need anything more than a spatula, your hands, and a food processor or high-powered blender. And, of course, measuring cups and spoons to measure out your ingredients.
BRIANNE’S FAVORITE BLENDER
You can also use a Blendtec blender with the Twister Jar which allows you to scrape down the sides while blending it. I am a Blendtec ambassador, and should you make any purchases through that link, I will receive a small commission, but that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 20% off.
Are these energy balls gluten free? Dairy-free and vegan? Nut-free or peanut-free?
For gluten free pumpkin energy balls, be sure to use certified gluten free oats. Also, if you are highly sensitive or have celiac, do check the sources of your other ingredients, as I have seen flax seed that is processed in a facility where cross-contamination is a risk. You can either make your own pumpkin spice using individual spices or buy the blend from a trusted brand, such as McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice.
If you add the chocolate chips, be sure to use a dairy-free brand such as Enjoy Life, as all other ingredients are vegan.
These energy balls use pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), so as long as you verify there is no cross-contamination in your other ingredients, they are nut- and peanut-safe. Of course, if you have no allergy concerns, you can substitute pecans or walnuts.
Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls Recipe Pro Tips:
- Since these are made with pumpkin puree instead of all dried fruit, they are a bit softer than some other energy ball recipes. If they are too soft, you can add a bit more oats or flaxseed, but this will mute the pumpkin flavor somewhat. Storing them in the refrigerator will keep them firm, as well as fresh.
- You can make a bunch and keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
- Or store them in the freezer even longer. They will keep for several months in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bags.
You now have a snack anybody and everybody will happily devour!
More energy balls
- Almond Cranberry Energy Balls
- Pineapple Coconut Energy Balls
- Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Coconut Apricot Energy Balls
- Chocolate Chip Cherry Energy Balls
- Chocolate Chunk Banana Energy Balls
- Pina Colada Energy Balls
More healthy pumpkin recipes
- Pumpkin Granola Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats
- Sweet Pumpkin Hummus
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls Recipe
Everyone is going to love the autumn flavors in these easy energy bites. Only seven ingredients and ready in minutes. Real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and mini chips come together with oats, dates, and pepitas in a healthy snack. Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls are perfect to pack for lunch, fuel a fall hike or afternoon at the pumpkin patch, or to have on hand for ravenous kids after school.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Energy Balls
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats, gluten free, if needed
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed or flax meal
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips, vegan, if needed
- Combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a food processor or high-powered blender and process until it forms a paste. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides a few times.
- Stir in the chips.
- Using about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time, roll into balls.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
I need to try this!
I love pumpkin spice flavored snacks and drinks this time of year, too. These sound delicious! Thank you for sharing your post at the #HomeMattersParty this week. We hope you’ll join us again when the next party goes live this Friday at 12AM EST.
Fall here in the southwest means you’ve made it through the worst of summer. Sure we’ll still have high temperatures until the middle of October, but the 115 to 120s are done. The haboobs (massive dust storms) are all but a memory, and this summer we’ve had a lot of them to remember. Monsoon season will end by the end of September. People start coming out of their air conditoned homes in the evenings like some apocalyptic scare. And I can start to cook with pumpkin, squash, make chili, etc.
these look delicious! have loved “regular” energy bites but love the idea of fall-ifying them by adding pumpkin! i don’t have a food processor so the pitted dates won’t work out great – any thoughts on substituting? 🙂
I’ve seen some others on Pinterest that use maple syrup and maybe something else to bind them. I’m on my phone right now, but try searching pumpkin energy bites. Maybe the ones from My Whole Food Life.
My Moonbug wants to be a Pirate Fairy this year. I told her she had to wear an eye patch or no deal. Isn’t weird what kids are obsessed with? I mean, straight up obsession. When my son was 2 years old he was obsessed with Pee Wee’s Playhouse, which I watched as a kid. We didn’t have the abundance of kindle games we do now. In fact, I believe my internet was still on dial up. Anyway, these energy bars! I need them in my life. I need a snack full of healthy goodness, pumpkin, and that dose of chocolate. You know, to feel like a bad girl and whatnot.
Haha, I so loved Pee Wee! And I didn’t have internet till I was in high school.