Triple Almond Energy Balls (vegan, grain-free, naturally sweetened)

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 22, 2018

One of my biggest challenges when photographing beige- or blah-coloured recipes is making them look as appealing as they taste…the struggle is real! Dishes like curries, brownies, oatmeal, energy balls, etc. tend to look a bit sad through the camera’s lens. If you want a giggle, check out one of the very first beige/brown recipe photos I ever took on the blog. I posted this Pumpkin Banana Bran & Oatmeal Muffin recipe way back in 2008 (holy cow, I’m a blogging DINOSAUR! lol). 

A good trick I’ve learned through countless trial and error (mostly error…and a few curse words) is that I need to add a lot of colour to photos even if the food itself isn’t colourful. It probably seems obvious, but with so many other things going on for a photo shoot (cooking, food styling, camera settings, lighting, etc.) it can be easy to forget the importance of planning for colour. If I’m shooting oatmeal or plain Jane muffins, I try to add some enticing fruit on top and more pops of colour on the table itself—a bright green Matcha tea, fresh flowers, a glass of OJ, or a colourful cloth napkin (without being too busy) can all create a gorgeous photo when the food itself looks pretty blah. This approach helped me photograph these flourless breakfast muffins (recipe to come!) and I’m pleased with how the app photo turned out!

I wasn’t quite as happy with the photo shoot of these energy balls because I had to rush (when naptime’s over, it’s OVA), but they’ll just have to do! I love how the colourful garnishes I added made the energy balls go from blah and beige to vibrant and enticing. I rolled them in fun pops of colour and a variety of textures: beet-coloured shredded coconut, ground pistachios (so pretty and chewy!), hemp hearts, and cocoa powder. I loved them all. I also tried rolling some in Matcha green tea powder, but they were soooo bitter. That one was a big NOPE! Cutting the Matcha with powdered icing sugar might’ve worked better, but I wanted to keep these bad boys naturally sweetened, so I opted to skip the Matcha altogether. To make the pink-hued shredded coconut, I added some beet juice (prepared the same way as my Vegan Sugar Cookies’ Pink Frosting) to the shredded coconut in a bowl. I put a plastic bag over my hand so it wouldn’t get stained in the process (#fancy) and then I “massaged” the beet juice into the shredded coconut until it was dispersed. It worked wonderfully and the result was so pretty! I sprinkled my leftover coconut on oatmeal.

Rest assured though, these nutty energy bites are just as good eaten as-is!  I love keeping a stash in the freezer for quick snacking, and find the texture gets even better when they’ve been frozen too.

Also a quick note that I won’t be posting this Friday’s Ask Angela as I’ve come down with the flu (luckily today’s blog post was created last week so I could still share it). It was bound to happen as I’ve been taking care of two sick little ones, while up a lot at night and nursing to boot. I hope everyone has a very happy weekend and that you’re feeling well. I know where I’ll be…curled up with a big bowl of soup (hopefully my Golden Spiced Lentil Soup!) and warm lemon water. I’ll be a bit delayed replying to your reviews, questions, and comments this week, but please know that I will reply as soon as I’m feeling better!

5 from 8 reviews
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Triple Almond Energy Balls

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

I love energy balls because they’re infinitely customizable and so easy to take on the go. I like to grab a couple straight from the freezer and pop them into a small glass jar to throw in my purse on busy days. They’re perfect for for tiding you over until mealtime, and this Triple Almond Energy Ball recipe is toddler-approved, too—just be sure to cut them up into small pieces as ball shapes are a choking hazard. Their rich, nutty  flavour comes from using whole almonds, roasted almond butter, and almond extract. A true triple threat!! You may recognize the flavour from my Triple Almond Thumbprint Cookies in Oh She Glows Every Day. I just can’t get enough of almond extract—I find it really heightens the flavour in almond-based recipes!

Yield
11 to 12 balls
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Chill time
60 Minutes (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (155 g) raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) tightly packed pitted Medjool dates*
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) roasted almond butter or raw cashew butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
  • 5 teaspoons (25 mL) water, or as needed**
  • Shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios, or cocoa powder, for rolling

Directions:

  1. Add the almonds and cashews to a food processor and process into a coarse crumb. Be sure not to overprocess the nuts into butter.
  2. To the nut mixture, add the pitted dates. Process again until the dates are finely chopped.
  3. Next, add the roasted almond butter (or raw cashew butter, if using), cinnamon, salt, almond extract, and water (starting with a couple teaspoons) to the processor bowl and process again until the mixture comes together into a dough. You should be able to easily roll the dough into balls without them feeling dry or crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time and continue processing until the mixture moistens to desired consistency.
  4. Roll the dough into 11 to 12 golf ball-sized balls. If using, roll each ball in your garnish of choice: shredded coconut, hemp hearts, ground shelled pistachios (or other nuts), or cocoa powder. (If the garnishes aren't sticking, you can lightly wet the balls with water before rolling.)
  5. Chill the balls in the freezer for about an hour to firm up, or feel free to eat them at room temperature if you can’t wait that long! Leftover balls will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight container for several days if you prefer.

Tips:

* You’ll want to make sure the dates are very well packed into the measuring cup. If your dates are very firm and dry, I also recommend soaking them in hot water for about half an hour, and then draining well before using as directed.

** The amount of water you will need will depend on how fresh and sticky your Medjool dates are.

 

These energy balls have a soft texture. If you prefer a crunchier consistency, you can roll the balls in ground nuts or stir some chopped nuts or chocolate into the dough itself.

 

To make the pink shredded coconut, I mixed unsweetened shredded coconut with a bit of beet juice.

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Dodo February 22, 2018 at 10:33 am

Hi ! What si the pink topping ??
Thanks !!!!

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JoAnn M Lakes February 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

She mixed the coconut with a bit of beet juice. It’s in the comment section of the recipe.
I’m making today for a vegan meetup group!

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Kelly McGill February 22, 2018 at 11:17 am

Such a clever idea to add a pop of colour this way! Hope you feel better soon!

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Heidi February 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made these yesterday and I’m taking them to my daughter at college tmrw. She’s going to love them. Thanks Angela… I hope she likes them as much as your perfect granola. That’s in the the care package too! 😄😊

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Hey Heidi, That’s such a sweet idea. I hope she loves them too…and I’m glad they passed your taste test! Thanks for trying them out.

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Anna February 22, 2018 at 9:19 pm

Your photos look gorgeous, as always! Can’t wait to try the recipe!

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Patsy February 23, 2018 at 4:32 am

Just discovered your blog. I loved it. Can’t wait to make one of your soups tomorrow. I like that they seem quick, but very healthy & delicious.😋😋❤️

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Bonnie February 23, 2018 at 8:28 am

Talking about colour making food look gorgeous, check out Erin Gleeson’s cookbook “The Forest Feast Gatherings – Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends and Family”. Your photographs are so pretty, I would love to see you make a vegan version of this. Thanks for a great energy ball recipe. I love to take something like this on my long walks. I hope you feel better soon Angela.

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Shar February 23, 2018 at 9:27 am

Calories?

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Sarah February 23, 2018 at 9:31 am
Recipe Rating:

Oh! These are so good! I don’t have the pretty pink coconut flakes, but they came out just perfectly. Thank you! Yum…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Oh yea I agree that they definitely stand on their own without the roll-ins ;) So glad they were enjoyed Sarah!

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Laura ~ Raise Your Garden February 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm

I was wondering like Dodo what that pink topping was too! Anyhow, if you’re a blogging dinosaur………………….then that explains why my 5-year-old always likes your recipes! She LOVES dinosaurs especially t-rex. And don’t we all need a little more energy. Yup Yup. I don’t know how you keep up this blog with young kids!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Well I have talked to Eric about moonlighting on a kids show some day…lol. ;) That’s so great she loves my recipes so much. High fives to your daughter!

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Louise February 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Must be just me but I’m having trouble viewing this post in my Outlook mail. I do not see any other comments to this affect but thought I’d mention anyway. It’s coming through quite large.

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JoAnn February 23, 2018 at 6:42 pm

I have been home sick with the flu as well. No fun! I hope you get well soon! I have tried so many of your recipes over the past few years and have loved them all. My daughter learned to cook using your first cookbook. She would go through it and make all of the recipes that sounded good to her, which is why we have tried so many! I have your second cookbook and app as well. I recommend them all!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 1:37 pm

So sorry to hear you have the flu too, JoAnn! It’s absolutely awful this year, isn’t it?
And that is the sweetest story ever about your daughter learning to cook using my book. Thank you so much for the smile…I’m so touched! And I can’t thank you enough for your support and sharing my work with others.

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Kathy February 23, 2018 at 7:45 pm

I am always looking for naturally-sweetened protein bites. These are so pretty! Love the trace iron with the beet powder! I hope you recoup soon, Angela….mamas always need down time and get it for n less- than desired means!

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KC February 24, 2018 at 12:56 am
Recipe Rating:

I made these with my 4 year old today and we loved them! Mom-approved snack, for sure! Feel better, mama—hope you get some time to rest and recover!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Thanks KC :) I’m so glad you and your 4 year old loved them! My kids do too. I love knowing they are just sweetened with dates.

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wakemeupbeforeyoucocoa February 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

These look delicious!

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Emily February 25, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Hi there, just wanted to pass along a note and say I absolutely love your recipes! They are always so good. Your banana bread recipe is seriously the BEST. I make it into banana muffins all the time and am lucky if I get more than 2 days out of a batch ha! I’m a huge energy ball fan so I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. Thanks so much for all that you do!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm

Aww thank you so much, Emily! I’m grinning from ear to ear (I literally just typed eat to eat…oh boy) over here. And I can relate to the banana bread/muffins not lasting more than a couple days. ;)

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Teri February 26, 2018 at 11:46 am

Looks great! I”m not a vegan but my son is and I will definitely make these. I wanted to make a comment about lemon water. I realize it is very popular these days but one has to be very mindful of the effect the acidity has on teeth. I am a dentist and I have had many patients develop multiple areas of decay as a result of drinking lemon water. Please talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about how to avoid creating a problem while trying to do something virtuous.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2018 at 9:36 am

Hey Teri, I hope you and your son enjoy them! Yes, I have read that a lot about lemon water too. I only make it when I’m sick and I drink it with a straw when I do.

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Amelia February 26, 2018 at 3:10 pm

So thrilled with this recipe! No sugar and no coconut oil, is great. They are absolutely delicious. Thank you and hope you are all better by now.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

Hey Amelia, I’m so glad you love them! They are my new go-to’s :) Can’t get enough of that almond extract.

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kissanime February 26, 2018 at 9:48 pm

These are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to try them.

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Season February 26, 2018 at 10:11 pm

Thanks for this recipe on triple almond energy balls.
Looks delicious. I am a big almond fan and can’t wait to try this recipe.

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Melissa February 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Yummy! Almond extract is one of my favorite flavors, so I had to try these out. I’m new to vegan cooking and didn’t have high expectations, but these were amazing! I’m also trying to reduce my family’s waste, and this is just what I needed to replace our individually packaged energy bars. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2018 at 8:50 am

Hey Melissa, Oh I’m so glad you loved them. And that’s such a good point about reducing waste…we are conscious of this too. And I find homemade just tastes so much better! I love that they store in the freezer quite well.

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Scarlet February 27, 2018 at 5:43 pm

These sound delightful. That was such a good idea to add the beet juice to the coconut because I love the variety of colors that you chose for the garnish. Yum!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2018 at 8:49 am

Thanks Scarlet! It was fun to create and Adriana was quite impressed with the PINK coconut! lol

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Lolaslot February 28, 2018 at 4:51 am

Just discovered your blog. I loved it. Can’t wait to make one of your recipe tomorrow. I like that they seem quick, but very healthy and delicious. Thanks for posts! :))

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2018 at 8:47 am

Thank you so much…I hope you love the recipes :)

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Wynne March 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Recipe Rating:

Delicious! I accidentally doubled the almond extract (but it’s my favorite, so no problem).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

Good call on doubling it! ;) So glad you enjoyed these Wynne.

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Elizabeth March 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made these today, and they are fabulous! I rolled them in cocoa powder. which tastes especially great with almond extract. These are so easy and good that they’ll stay in my regular rotation. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 3, 2018 at 7:40 am

Hey Elizabeth, Thanks for your review! I’m so glad they were a hit. :) They’re my new go-to’s as well. I’m bringing a couple with me to a hair appointment this morning actually, hah.

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Mike March 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m looking for to making them. After reading about blah pictures of brown things it reminded me… have you ever noticed the hair on the cookie dough ball in OSG cook book? Page 234. Of course I just pull it off and kept eating ;) love that book!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 5, 2018 at 7:55 am

Someone told me about it recently…ugh! A photographer’s nightmare…and also the perils of photographing with antique barnboards/wood. :(

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Lauren Philen March 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm

nutrition info?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 10, 2018 at 6:32 am

Hey Lauren, I’m sorry I don’t have it, but if I calculate it I will add it to the recipe tips :)

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Donna March 10, 2018 at 12:59 am

Could I use date paste?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 12, 2018 at 9:20 am

Hey Donna, Oh that’s a great question! I haven’t worked with date paste for this recipe, but it could work. I think you’d need to adjust the amount probably using less date paste. Maybe add it slowly starting with 3 tbsp to 1/4 cup and going from there until the right consistency is achieved?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 12, 2018 at 9:21 am

Sorry I meant to say starting with 3 tbsp to 1/4 cup (not 1/3-1/2 cup as originally written) :)

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Lisa March 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just made these! Super easy, my 5 year old enjoyed rolling the balls into the hemp hearts and more than that he and his brother enjoyed the finished product! New to your recipes and I loved the first one, will return soon! Five stars from our family!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 13, 2018 at 8:29 am

Aww thank you Lisa! I’m so glad your first OSG recipe was a hit. :) I’d love to hear how your next one goes too!

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Louis March 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm
Recipe Rating:

OMG these are a hit I’m 63 just turned vegan my wife dose weight watchers so was wondering about if anybody fig out the points. Thanks again

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Hey Louis, I’m so glad you loved them! Thanks for your review.

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Gwenyth Wren March 15, 2018 at 10:55 am

Can you substitute raisins for dates?!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I can’t see why not! You may need to make a couple recipe adjustments (water amount, for example) but they should work okay. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it out.

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Mary March 26, 2018 at 12:02 am

These are so delicious and healthy that I had to make them twice in the past two days! My only question is, how do you make the toppings stick to the balls better? I can’t get the coconut to stick as much as I’d like to.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 26, 2018 at 8:35 am

Hey Mary, Oh good question! I found that if I lightly wet the energy balls a bit it helped when rolling in the toppings. I meant to put this in my directions, but maybe I forgot. :) Let me know if that helps you too!

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Chris Linn March 29, 2018 at 11:01 am

Great recipes! Thanks for all your dedication and hard work on your website.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 29, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Thank you so much Chris! Happy cooking :)

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Antri C. | Beauty Blogger & Reviewer March 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Yumyyyyy. I just make few time energy balls with coconut flour and peanut butter… Can’t wait to make those here!!! :) Just save it on my Pinterest Board “healthy meets tasty” xoxo

http://hiddeninbeauty.com/

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Laurie L April 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm

Hi! I’ve many energy balls over the years & my toddler loves them. As we’re moving soon, I don’t want to buy almond extract and have to pack it up. (If you know what I mean.) Hence, I’m wondering if anyone has tried this recipe without the almond extract?
Best Wishes from an intriguing view of a rain storm on Vancouver Island.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

Hey Laurie, Totally understand that! I’m not sure if I have tried it without, but I think they’d still be tasty. I do have to say though that the almond extract adds a WOW factor that I crave. Good luck with your move!

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Margaret B. April 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

I’m not vegan (or even vegetarian) but these look great for hiking/backpacking snacks, rather than purchasing a prepackaged (and more expensive) energy bar. Here’s a question – why do you specify raw almonds and cashews? I prefer the flavor of toasted nuts, but if toasting messes up the texture or the ability to shape these I’ll stick to raw. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Hey Margaret, You can definitely use roasted if you prefer…I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it should work just fine. :)

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Nicole April 7, 2018 at 10:07 pm

I only have raw almond butter, will that still taste good or why is the almond butter in the recipe roasted but the cashew butter raw

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 9, 2018 at 7:31 am

Hey Nicole, You can absolutely use raw almond butter if you’d like. I tend to prefer the flavour of roasted, but they’re generally interchangeable in recipes.

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Adriana May 16, 2018 at 10:32 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is the best recipe for energy balls or bars. So tasty and easy to make, i keep making it over and over. Thank you Angela!!! ❤️

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2018 at 6:44 am

I’m so glad you love them as much as we do :) That almond extract is my fave!

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