Infinitely Customizable Energy Balls
This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s my go-to when I need to make a quick snack that will boost my energy and is easy to take with me wherever I go. I know that “infinitely customizeable” may seem overwhelming but at the core this recipe really is stupid simple. Try it as a base recipe at least once and then play around with it, customize to your taste and nutritional needs. I’ll share the recipe first, and then expand a little on my favorite variations.
Here is what you need:
- 2 cups of various RAW nuts and seeds (I highly recommend including freshly ground flax meal, chia seeds, Brazil nuts, or macadamia nuts)
- 1 cup of dried fruit (raisins or dates work best)
- 4-5 tbs unsweetened cacao powder
Here is how to make it:
Place the nuts and seeds in a food processor (a blender might work too but not as well as a shallow bowl of a food processor). Pulse until finely ground. Add cacao powder and blend in evenly. Add dried fruit and blend until a solid mass forms. Roll into balls. Bam. Done!
Now it’s time to play and customize! For cost reasons, I often include raw sunflower seeds in my mix. Flax meal and chia seeds are also cost-effective and pretty much belong in every batch. The fiber and healthy omegas you get from these seeds add nutritional value. Hemp seeds are high in protein and are a good option that I often use. Almonds are, of course, everyone’s favorite. Cashews and walnuts are soft and give the mixture smooth, easy to work with texture. Brazil nuts are awesome, if you can find them at a reasonable price. As are macadamia nuts. Basically, play around with whatever you have in your pantry or can easily source. If you can soak the nuts, even better.
Next come dried fruits. As mentioned, raisins and dates work well because of their texture and inherent sweetness. No additional sweetener will be necessary. If you are ok with less sweetness, figs are a great option. Other dried fruits I have tried include: cranberries, apricots, mangoes.
And finally – flavor enhancers! This is the truly fun part where your particular taste preferences will make this recipe unique. In addition to cacao powder, which I add to every batch, I have tried all of the following: vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, Himalayan pink sea salt, cinnamon (great for blood sugar control!!), cayenne pepper, black pepper, powdered ginger, coconut flakes, honey, monk fruit sweetener, matcha powder, sesame seeds and probably other things I’m forgetting. Lately I’ve been in love with coconut butter (different from coconut oil). I add it for texture and taste.
What I love most about this recipe is that as long as you have a food processor and some nuts and dried fruits, you can whip up a batch any time!
*Another variation without dried fruit:
2 cups of nuts
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
About ¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
About ⅓ cup of coconut milk, the creamy solid part from the top of the can
2 fresh figs (or equivalent amount of banana or berries)