Energy balls are simple to make. Recipes for these little nuggets of nutrition tend to be infinitely tweakable and inextricably forgiving if you deviate from the given recipe ingredients. This post is all about helping you to make them up as you go – with whatever ingredients you might have available in your kitchen cupboard.
In essence, we are looking for a mixture that squishes together nicely and is rollable into balls. “What could possibly go wrong?” she says with a chuckle.
Anything that can go wrong is usually quickly fixable (see list of ‘Things that can go wrong FIXES’ below).
This article should give you all the info you need so that you will be making the most delicious energy balls, in no time at all.
To make successful energy balls with this method you basically need…
- Nuts and/or seeds (see list below)
- Dried fruit (see list below)
- A food processor or blender
How to make energy balls? The method goes something like this…
1. Grind down the nuts and/or seeds with a food processor into a rustic meal.
2. Blend the ground nuts/seeds WITH the dried fruit until the mixture becomes squidgy (and rollable).
3. If the mixture is not squidy enough after blending, then add in a tiny bit of extra liquid (i.e. water, maple syrup, rice syrup)… and then blend again – until it becomes squidgy (but take care not to add too much liquid as your mixture may turn into a soggy mess).
4. If you want to be fancy, then add in extras (see below) – extras can include vanilla, superfood powders, cacao powder, warming/sweet spices, coconut
How to make energy balls? Things that can go wrong: FIXES
* After blending, the mixture is too dry…
FIX: Add more moisture, in very small amounts i.e. water, maple syrup, almond butter, tahini.
* After blending, the mixture is too soggy…
FIX: Grind down more nuts, seeds or oatmeal and add to the soggy mix. Basically add anything ‘dry’ to help tone down the excessive moisture. Mix in until you reach desired consistency.
* After blending, the mixture is not sweet enough…
FIX: Add a little amount of coconut sugar or maple syrup. A little amount may go a long way.
* The mixture won’t roll into balls…
FIX: If the mixture won’t roll into balls properly (i.e. keeps crumbling or won’t hold), then it is probably too dry. Simply add a little moisture such as water, maple syrup or tahini (add very small amounts until you reach desired consistency).
* My processor or blender doesn’t seem to blend the mixture properly…
FIX: Grind your seeds or nuts down first into a rustic meal. If your dried fruit is super dry, then soak it for half an hour ahead of time.
Which ingredients can you choose from?
Basically there are zillions of options!
I am going to list a whole bunch of them as follows. The limit is your imagination. See what you have got in your cupboard; look at what you have available; see what you can get hold of and then go wild in the kitchen…
Nuts and Seeds for energy balls
Approximately 50% to 70% of the main energy ball mixture can be made up of either nuts or seeds. Note: if you use chia and/or flax, then mix them with another nut or seed (as these two absorb a lot more moisture than other seeds).
- Pumpkin seed
- Sunflower seed
- Hemp seed
- Chia seed
- Cashew nuts
Dried fruits for energy balls
Approximately 30% to 50% of the main energy ball mixture can be made up of dried fruits. If the dried fruits are very dry (i.e. you can’t squidge them with your fingers), then you might like to soak them for half an hour ahead of time.
Added extras for energy balls
Add a up to a couple of tablespoons of one or two of the extras below. If you opt for vanilla extract (I recommend it for je ne sais quois) then you’ll only need a dash (i.e. one teaspoon).
- Vanilla extract (a dash of)
- Rolled oats
- Oat flour
- Cacao powder
- Carob powder
- Dessicated coconut
- Shredded coconut
- Lemon rind (a pinch of it finely grated)
- A pinch of sea salt
Add warming spices to taste – a pinch or teaspoon full will usually suffice, depending on quantities of the main mixture.
- Cinnamon powder
- Nutmeg (powder or freshly grated)
- Ginger (freshly grated or powdered)
- Chinese 5 spice
- Turmeric powder and black pepper
Superfoods and protein powders:
Add a teaspoon or tablespoon of superfood powder to the mix as desired.
- Maca powder
- Moringa powder
- Super green powder
- Matcha powder
- Hemp protein powder
- Plant-based protein powder
- Lucuma powder