Kick up your energy with these simple no-bake almond energy balls with seeds and dried fruits. They are also vegan, gluten and refined sugar-free.
September is here and we are right in the middle of seasons’ transition. Summer is almost behind us, fall is not there yet, and we are now for most of us back to school or work, often full of new (and hopefully) exciting projects. Don’t get me wrong, we still have beautiful days ahead, but the temperatures will now start to drop a little bit as we are slightly moving towards fall. While all these changes happen, we often feel a little bit tired, with less energy.
To fight the blues of seasons’ transition, there are many ways, such as keeping ourselves busy, exercise regularly or taking some time for ourselves too. Lifestyle bloggers will all tell you about it much better than me I’m sure, but where I can help however is when it comes to healthy food habits you can adopt to keep you energized. I have on the blog an entire section dedicated to this through my Healthy Snacks, from which to choose, always made with wholesome, natural ingredients, and for most of them also vegan and gluten-free.
Among all the healthy snacks, the sweet ones are always my favorites, and especially smoothies and energy balls. I have tons of them and you should definitely check them out if you are interested as well. Then you might wonder at this point why I’m back again with a brand new energy ball recipe? To that I would answer with no shame at all: “Why not?” I believe in balance in everything in life, and it applies to healthy snacks as well. Alternating recipes instead of making the same one again and over again enables you to remain interested in eating healthy instead of rushing toward the first unhealthy snack full of saturated fats instead. Keep these simple pleasures occasional and be prepared for your everyday snacks.
This time I came up with a rather seasonal version of my energy balls, naturally sweetened with dates and naturally gluten-free. They are simple to prepare; all you need is a food processor or a blender in order to mix the dates until you get a smooth paste. If you do not own a food processor yet, it is for sure one of the best investment you can make for your kitchen. It guarantees you that you can make tones of healthy plant-based recipes with no effort. You don’t necessarily need to put too much money, and if you are short in budget, just go for an immersion hand blender set that includes a food chopper. Then you can make soups and many small batches of energy balls, among other recipes.
There are so many reasons to love these adorable little gems. To mention just a few of them that come t my mind spontaneously, they are:
- Refined Sugar Free
- Packed with natural so-called-superfood ingredients
- Bring energy on the long run
I made mine with whole almonds that I chop roughly in the food processor. You could either go for tiny or bigger pieces, or if you run out of time replace with almond butter. If you go for this latter option, you might want to skip water completely as your energy balls should be wet enough to stick together. Then keep in mind that you could replace almonds with any other nut you like, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews or hazelnuts!
The other ingredients I used are mostly seeds and dried fruits, especially dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds that are the perfect ingredients to open the fall season. They give the balls a rich earthy flavor with a sweet taste at the same time. When it comes to the choice of seeds, you can adjust the quantities or replace the ones I suggest in the recipe with other seeds of your choice, depending on what you have at hand: sesame, chia seeds, flax seeds… The possibilities are endless; just be creative! Note that I also used a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, my personal addition to satisfy my sweet tooth. You can either skip it, replace with just a pinch of cinnamon or add a handful of mini chocolate chips. No more talking, here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup (150g) almonds
- 8 small (100g) dates, pitted
- ½ - 1 Tablespoon hot water, adjust as needed
- ¼ cup (30g) dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 Tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Add the almonds to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
- In the same blender, add the pitted dates and mix until smooth, scraping sides if necessary and adding a little bit of hot water.
- Add the almonds back, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, coconut and sunflower seeds if using, and pulse 3-5 more times, until all ingredients are incorporated. Add a little bit more water if needed.
- Shape into balls using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon and refrigerate for one hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.