No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls
First and foremost, to all the mama’s, mama’s-to-be, and honorary mama’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day! This delightful, delicious, and super easy Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls recipe is especially for you because we all know, mama’s of every kind could use a little extra energy…can I get an ‘Amen”!?.
Most of you know energy balls are kind of my thing considering I did write an entire cookbook filled with just energy ball recipes a couple years ago. Energy balls (or energy bites, as some people call them) are easy, healthy snacks for on-the-go, they’re freezer-friendly, and are a great protein-packed option too. The concept of “energy balls” really picked up steam a few years ago and now it’s common to see a delicious variety of these tasty snacks at cafes or in the fresh snacks section at the grocery store.
While I do purchase some every now and then when I’m out and about, energy balls are just so simple and easy to make at home, so most of the time I just whip them up myself! Today I’m sharing this simple recipe for date-sweetened energy balls made with peanut butter that have a few different topping and filling options but I’m also going to share about the must-have small kitchen appliance for making energy balls a total breeze.
Let’s chat Food Processors
When it comes to making homemade energy balls a good food processor is essential. For years I used the same old food processor and it did the trick, but it wasn’t until I was recently upgraded to a beautiful, shiny new Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor that I realized how important having a high quality food processor is!I got my new food processor from The Brick, which carries a whole range of great quality Cuisinart small kitchen appliances that I’ll be sharing more about on the blog in the coming weeks. This Cuisinart food processor is seriously sturdy, it’s powerful, and really easy to keep clean and store. It’s not huge even though it has a high volume capacity, and it actually looks so nice I wouldn’t hesitate to just keep it on my kitchen counter.
When I used to make energy balls with my old food processor I would have to stop and scrape the energy ball batter from the sides because I felt the blade couldn’t keep up to mixing all the ingredients together as much as required. With the Cuisinart food processor I only had to stop once to scrape the batter from the sides and only because the batter was a bit sticky not because the blade couldn’t keep up!
While this food processor is a little higher in the price range for this type of kitchen appliance, I do truly believe it’s an investment piece that will last a long time. Food processors are incredibly versatile and can be used to make snacks, breakfasts, sauces, salads, burgers, desserts, nut butters, hummus, dressings, and even ice cream! If you aren’t inspired to get creating in the kitchen… a shiny new food processor will definitely kick you into gear (and talk about a great Mother’s Day Gift idea)!
Back to the Energy Balls
These delicious and healthy no-bake peanut butter energy balls are made with just 4 main ingredients and can be amped up with a fruit jam filling, a chocolate shell coating, or the addition of dark chocolate chips. I adapted this recipe from my Peanut Butter and Jelly energy balls recipe in my Energy Balls cookbook, one of my favorites in the bunch.
Date-sweetened energy balls are great because they get their natural sweetness from pitted dates which are high in fibre and contain magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients. Dates are also low glycemic which means they don’t spike blood sugar levels the way refined sugar does. They provide a longer lasting boost of energy. Along with the dates, these energy balls contain rolled oats which bring in more fibre and B vitamins, and peanuts and natural peanut butter which add a nice dose of healthy fats and plant-based protein. You could definitely add a powdered protein to the mix when making these energy balls if you want to amp up the protein a little more!
Not only do I love these energy balls for healthy snacking during the day, Hemlsey also loves them too so they are definitely kid-friendly! While she can’t take them to daycare (they have a nut-free policy), she does enjoy them at home, and if I wanted to send them to daycare with her as a snack, I would just sub out the peanuts and peanut butter for sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter.
With summer coming up I’ll definitely be making these healthy no-bake peanut butter energy balls on the regular as they make a great hiking, camping, and road-trip snack option too! If you are in the market for a new food processor or are inspired to make your own healthy energy balls at home, be sure to head to The Brick and check out this awesome Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor which I definitely give two big thumbs up!
- 1 3⁄4 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1⁄2 cup rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
- 1⁄3 cup raw peanuts
- 1⁄4 cup natural peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons water
- Optional Toppings/Filling:
- Jelly Filled: 2 tablespoons natural fruit jam
- Chocolate Shell: ¼ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips, melted + 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
- Chocolate Chips: ¼ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- Combine the dates, oats, peanuts, and peanut butter in a food processor and process for 1 minutes, until well combined. Continue to process and pour in 3 tablespoons of water through the top opening of the food processor and process for 30 seconds more until the mixture forms into a large sitcky ball.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop the energy ball mixture from the food processor and, with clean wet hands, shape the mixture into a golf-ball sized ball shape between your palms. Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have 14 balls.
- Optional Fillings/Toppings:
- If doing the Jelly-Filled option, create a deep well in each ball with a finger and spoon 1⁄8 tsp of natural fruit jam into the well. Fold the ball around the well to seal and gently shape back into a ball.
- If doing the Chocolate Shell option, melt the chocolate chips in a pan over low heat, then roll the balls into the chocolate mixture to coat and set on a plate, then sprinkle each ball with the crushed peanuts. Set the balls in the freezer for 20 minutes so the chocolate shell can harden.
- If doing the Chocolate Chip option, transfer the energy ball mixture from the food processor to a bowl and pour in the chocolate chips, then knead the chocolate chips into the energy ball dough, then proceed with shaping into balls.
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Have a wonderful Sunday,
Christal // NITK