Why is the name of this recipe 'Never Say Never'? As you may have noticed over the last 12 years, I have never posted an energy ball recipe. A nutritionist not having an energy ball / power ball / nut ball / some form of nuts and dried fruit packed together recipe? Never! But, yes, it's true. Why?
- I felt like the last thing the healthy food-loving world needed was another energy ball.
- I never liked them.
Now I have shared these balls before which were mostly a way to mask spirulina (for some reason or another, I felt like I wanted more of in my life at the time – but still can't stand the stuff). And I also made these chocolate/date/walnut numbers, but I treated those more like a dessert than as a mid-afternoon, blood sugar steadying, burst of delicious healthfulness. Both of those recipe posts are about 10 years old (with some slight updates since then).
So why now? Why am I breaking my never rule when it comes to energy balls? Because I got desperate. The little man in my life, now three years old, has a whole lot of energy, running everywhere instead of walking, and seems to be eating constantly. These balls are a simple no-bake, quick-to-make way to pack a ton of fueling power into a portable, easy-to-eat snack. I guess that's why they're called energy balls. And why nearly every single health-inspired blog out there has a version of these.
As with this hazelnut fudge, I wanted these to be rich in brain-fueling fats. I'll admit, I am in love. They are amazing and so easy to blitz up a batch or two and store in the fridge or freezer. I pack these for when I pick him up from school to help abate the after-school meltdown/frenzy/wildness, and they also make great options for the seconds before he's supposed to get into bed and into the "I'm hungry" declarations.
Pro Tip: Super Bars
To make a really epic bar, follow the recipe as outlined below, but instead of balls, press this flat in a 9x12 Pyrex dish and then make a batch of the hazelnut fudge and pour over top. Set in the fridge or freezer and shazaam. Epicness.
Oh, the other thing about these balls, they look like a dear came to visit. You know what I mean. That being said, if you're not feeding these to torrenting little ones, by all means, roll them in shredded coconut afterward so they look a little less poopy. Personally, I'd rather they look like droppings than be finding small bits of coconut all over the house. Just me?
Yield: 18-24 balls
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- ½ cup macadamia nuts or cashews
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- ¼ cup goji berries, raisins or dried cranberries
- ⅔ cup unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Place all ingredients in your food processor with the S-blade and process, scraping down the sides occasionally, until mixture is uniform in texture but not smooth. You want it just chopped enough that it holds together when you press a small amount between your fingers.
- Take about 1½ rounded tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls.
- Transfer to a food storage container and let set in your fridge for 1–2 hours. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week, in the freezer for 3 months.