These Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Balls are loaded with healthy ingredients and make a great on-the-go snack for busy days!
Sometimes, on busy days, you just need something you can grab and go with. While I always advocate for cooking your meals and mindful eating, I am also a mom and owner of two businesses who realizes that this is not always possible.
These Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Balls from Ingraining Nutrition are a great option for those times. You can make them ahead and have them on hand in the fridge, or package them in pairs and freeze to pull out in case of a snackmergency. (Yes, that is a real thing -if you've ever had one, you know!)
What health benefits do energy balls provide?
The ingredients in these balls include fiber, healthy fats, protein and more, and provide many benefits to your health. I've outlined some of these ingredients and details on the benefits they provide below!
What ingredients are in energy balls?
Oats contain fiber, which you can read about the benefits of here.. Foods high in fiber are more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. High-fiber foods also tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. Fiber can also help improve gut health and protect against diabetes and heart disease by controlling blood sugar levels. You should be aiming for a minimum of 25-35 grams of fiber a day! We prefer to use gluten-free oats like these.
No, oats are NOT paleo! But they ARE a great source of fiber, and in combination with the other ingredients here, will keep you full for longer. Unless you have a true allergy, it's ok to include grains in your diet once in awhile.
Dates contain potassium and are a great natural sweetener, making them a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
Coconut flakes provide additional fiber, iron and healthy fats, which keep you full longer. Read more about the possible benefits of coconut here. Make sure yours don't have any added sugar; Bob's Red Mill is a trusted brand!
Almond butter provides vitamin E which is an important antioxidant. A small serving of almond butter contains a generous amount of magnesium - which boosts heart health by promoting the blow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients - as well as potassium, important for good blood pressure and heart health. When shopping for almond butter, look for a natural product with little to no added fat or sugar. Some companies add partially hydrogenated oils or sugars, which change the nutritional profile and create a less healthy nut butter.
While chocolate chips don't necessarily provide health benefits, per se, we would argue that they are good for the mind and soul. We prefer to use the Enjoy Life brand, which are paleo and dairy free!
What other ingredients can you use to make energy balls?
The other awesome thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your liking. Swap the almond butter for a different nut butter, or sunflower seed butter. Don't want added sweeteners? Skip the maple syrup. Want to add another flavor? Try a dusting of cocoa powder, some canned pumpkin, or instant espresso. Get creative - the possibilities are endless.
How do you make energy balls?
This recipe seriously could not be easier. I like to put the dates in the food processor first and pulse them a few times before adding everything else, just so I don't get any big clumps of dates.
After that, you just add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and pulse until you have a grainy mixture. From there, fold in the chips, squeeze some together in your hand, then roll into a ball.
Looking for a food processor? This is my go-to. It's the trustiest one out there, in my opinion! I've had mine for years and it's still running strong.
- 1 cup oats
- ¾ cup almond butter
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 6 dates,, pitted
- 2 tablespoon flax meal
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
- Place dates into food processor and pulse a few times.
- Add all other ingredients except chocolate chips and pulse until combined but not smooth.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Cover and let chill in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll into tight balls about 1 inch in diameter with hands.
- Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week or freeze.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 15 balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Saturated Fat: 4gSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g