What’s the BIG DEAL With “Energy Balls?”

Well, for starters, they’re a healthy snack—much better than a Snickers Bar® when you’re “hangry.” Most energy balls have a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats, which means there’s very little (if any) glucose spike to worry about.

They typically provide between 100-250 calories (depending on the ingredients), so they’re great to eat pre- and post-gym. Have one prior to your workout, and you’ll experience sustained maximum energy because the proteins and carbohydrates help build lean muscle, boost energy (as they suggest) and keep your weight in check. And eating one after your workout starts muscle repair, again, due to the high protein content these balls contain.

Then there’s the healthy satiation they provide. When you eat an energy ball, you're accomplishing two things: you’re soothing hunger pangs and you’re satisfying a craving. These little gems help keep you content longer. On top of all that, they’re truly delicious.

And factor in how easy they are to make. In four easy steps you have an all-around winner. A typical energy ball recipe asks you to:

  1. in a food processor, blend all the ingredients together to form a very thick paste;
  2. with buttered hands, shape large spoonfuls into balls;
  3. roll the balls in either chopped nuts, coconut, sesame seeds, or cocoa powder;
  4. and place the finished balls in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Voila! That's how quick and simple they are to make. I’ve been making my own versions for years, long before “Energy Balls” were a thing! Lisa Bryan, of the great healthy website, wwwdownshiftology.com, has really mastered the process, though. Here are her tips for making energy balls:

  • 1 energy ball is considered 1 serving
  • For a firm texture, refrigerate in an airtight container; they’ll keep well for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you want a softer texture, leave them out at room temperature; they’ll keep well this way for 1 week or so.
  • To freeze, place them in an airtight container and place parchment paper between layers so they don’t stick together.
  • If they're soft and sticky when you roll them, you can roll them in additional shredded coconut or finely chopped nuts. You can also place them in the fridge to firm up and become less sticky.

If the idea of a quick-to-make and healthy snack interests you, here’s a favorite recipe from www.downshiftology.com. While there are lots of yummy chocolate-related energy ball recipes out there, this is different. No chocolate, but mangoes instead. Each mango ball only has 89 calories, also! See what you think:

Mango Date Energy Balls


10 Medjool dates pitted
1 cup dried mango pieces
1 cup raw cashew nuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
chopped nuts, seeds, or coconut to finish (optional)

Add the pitted dates and dried mango to a food processor and pulse the mixture for 10 seconds, to break it down. Scrape down the sides, add the remaining ingredients, then blend again until the mixture is fairly smooth, with a slight bit of texture. It will likely start to roll around the food processor when it's blended enough.

Scoop a ball using a medium cookie scoop and roll it in between your hands. Then, place it on a plate. Continue this process until you've used up all the dough.

If the balls are extra sticky, roll them in chopped nuts, seeds, or coconut to finish.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Alice Osborne
    DVO Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

  •   www.fitmittenkitchen.com
  •   www.cleanfoodcrush.com
  •   www.colleenchristensennutrition.com
  •   www.downshiftology.com

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