I’ve been intrigued by energy ball recipes lately – I mean, delicious little bites of supposedly healthy bursts of energy? Sign me up! I had been saving a few recipes over the last couple of months, and finally decided to make a bunch of energy balls all in one go. Today I’m offering a roundup and review (aka my honest feedback) of a few of those recipes!
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First, I should mention that you can probably make lots of cookie/dessert-ish recipes into ball shapes. In fact, I’ve made my healthy cookies in ball shapes, and they are just as delicious (if not more) than their regular, flatter counterparts.
You’ll also need a food processor for most (or all) of the following recipes. This Kitchen Aid is the one I use, and I would for sure have to recommend it! You might also want to invest in some latex or vinyl POWDER-FREE gloves. Sure, you could always just wash your hands really good before rolling these balls – but the gloves are just a bit more sanitary, and you can quickly move from one thing to another instead of spending extra time scrubbing your hands super-duper clean.
I did also make these peanut butter chocolate no-bake cookies from Simply Stacie as balls… but they are definitely not healthy – so let’s pretend these don’t count on this list okay?
But… just in case you were wondering how to make them into a ball shape (you have to warm up the butter/milk/sugar, so they’re a bit hot). I simply scooped them into clumps, then waited for them to cool (but still not hardened) and rolled them afterwards. These were the Husband’s favourites, and after I told him they were not healthy at all, he said to never make them again… I also took out half a cup of sugar from the original recipe… but again – not healthy!
Chocolate Bliss Balls
Recipe From: Happy Healthy Mama, Chocolate Bliss Balls
Makes: 16 balls, 4 ingredients
I made this recipe first, but next time (if I make a bunch) I would probably make them last. The reason is because they definitely made the hardest to clean mess in my food processor. I only got 10 of these balls made, and I thought they were delicious! I substituted table syrup for the raw honey, and I think my cocoa powder is of the sweetened variety.
Sesame Almond Energy Balls
Recipe From: Happy Healthy Mama, Sesame Almond Balls
Makes: 24 balls, 6 ingredients
Okay, I should mention that I’ve been reading Happy Healthy Mama’s blog for about a year now, and I have made SO MANY recipes from her site. I feel like she encourages me to eat healthier, so check it out if you’re looking for healthy, easy recipes.
Anyways, for the sesame balls, I substituted almond butter for peanut butter, and instead of Allspice I just threw in some cinnamon and nutmeg. I liked the spiced flavour to these, and the sesame coating makes them look extra fancy. Not sure how different they would taste if I actually followed the recipe 100%, but these were still pretty good.
Orange Almond Energy Balls
Recipe From: Happy Healthy Mama, Orange Almond Energy Balls
Makes: 30 balls, 6 ingredients
So I probably substituted the most ingredients for this recipe, I didn’t have prunes so I used dates, and I just winged it for the orange juice and orange zest. I actually just zested a full, medium sized orange, and then squeezed the juice of said orange into the food processor. Did I use too much zest? Maybe… the Husband said he tastes the orange peels in these, and they are very orangey flavoured. I only got 14 balls made from the recipe (oh, and my almonds are plain – not salted).
Chocolate Almond No-Bake Energy Bites
Recipe From: The Sunny Patch, Chocolate Almond No-Bake Energy Bites
Makes: 24 balls, 7 ingredients
The Husband said these were his favourite out of all the (healthy) energy ball recipes; for these I substituted table syrup for the honey and used vanilla instead of almond extract. I was able to get the most balls (20) out of this recipe, but the last two were a bit dry and I could have probably combined them. You don’t really need a food processor to make these, but I still used mine because my oats were huge, and my almonds needed to be chopped as well.
Quinoa Peanut Butter Snack Balls
Recipe From: Happy Healthy Mama, Quinoa Peanut Butter Snack Balls
Makes: 20 balls, 7ish ingredients
This recipe involved the most work (notably washing then cooking the quinoa), so I had actually started that process earlier, while I was making all the other balls. I need to be honest and say that this is the first time I’ve ever used quinoa – so I honestly had no idea how you are supposed to rinse them. My method involved putting them in water, then straining them through a paper towel and strainer. I think if you had cheesecloth, this would have been easier… I lost some little quinoas my way haha!
I had 14 of these balls made, and again I substituted some ingredients (surprise surprise!). I used regular peanut butter instead of natural, and just put some extra table syrup instead of the molasses, then skipped the salt. These tasted fine just made, and you are supposed to firm them in the freezer so they harden. They were also good at that point. The problem with this recipe is that you need to keep them in the fridge. I did not, and they kind of “melted” and morphed into weird little squished ball shapes. The Husband refused to try them…
I tried to make all the energy balls the same size, which was about a 1″ – 1.5″ diameter per ball. Again, I used a glove on one hand to roll them (I didn’t need both hands for this) and felt like it was a quick, clean way to go about it. They kind of look like Timbits (or “donut holes” to the non-Canadians), except they are way more dense, and supposedly much healthier!
So I evenly separated my freshly made energy balls, and stored half in a container on the counter, and the other half I put in a Ziploc bag and stored in the freezer. I wanted to see how long they would last “fresh” and if they were still good once they were de-thawed (or even still frozen!).
Throughout the next few days the Husband and I ate the different balls and I tried to get his feedback (and also see which ones he grabbed the most… he has a habit of hoarding all the “good” flavours!). They were all equally filling, and were a great way to satisfy a snack food craving in between meals.
I’ve made this graph with my scores for each ball (1 being low, 5 being the highest).
|Recipe||Ease of Making||Texture Consistency||Taste||Overall Score|
|Quinoa Peanut Butter||3||5||2||10/15|
Now, the quinoa ones got the lowest vote, and considering it was my first time working with quinoa, I’ll still count this as a sort of success. I really should have kept them in the fridge as I was supposed to (gross alert: they got moldy after a few days) then they probably wouldn’t have gotten so mushy.
There are still a few recipes I’d like to try:
- Strength and Sunshine’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (although you need a particular cereal)
- Happy Food Healthy Life’s Bunny Tail Bites (which would be perfect for Easter!)
- Happy Healthy Mama’s Strawberry Shortcake Energy Balls (I think the Husband would LOVE these, but I couldn’t find freeze dried strawberries)
- Happy Healthy Mama’s Tahini Balls, High Protein Balls and Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
And, finally the Sunny Patch provided an energy ball recipe chart, so who knows – maybe I’ll have to create my own mixes and see if I can come up with something good (you can probably be assured that they’ll be chocolate in mine :)
So, have you ever made any energy balls, or even ball shaped cookies/desserts? Don’t you agree that they’re so much more fun! (Okay, or you can call me crazy for thinking so…). I’m really interested in trying to eat healthier snacks, and I think a lot of these recipes give good ideas and suggestions!
See you next time :)
Louise aka MommyMarch 26, 2016 at 9:31 am
I rinse my quinoa in my stainless mesh strainer
NicoleMarch 28, 2016 at 9:39 am
You for sure need a strainer with small holes for quinoa