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 11 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
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.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 12 balls | Calories 160 calories | Total Fat 11 grams
Saturated Fat 1 grams | Sodium 45 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 12 grams
Fiber 3 grams | Sugar 7 grams | Protein 4 grams
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

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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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

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Rebecca Gomez June 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Made these again today. Delicious and the kids love the ones with the unsweetened cocoa on the outside. They are really great to take traveling with as a pick me up snack.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) June 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Hey Rebecca, So glad you’re making them again! And that your kids love them. Ours do too (well, most of the time…such a fickle age right now! hah).

Reply

Suzanne June 19, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Recipe Rating:

Another great recipe! I didn’t have all the pretty wrappings for these, nor the chilled coconut milk for the mini cookie-dough pops, so I ended up making a kind of weird hybrid between the two recipes. It worked! Protein balls with mini-chocolate chips rolled in almond flour, chilled, and dipped in melted vegan chocolate with a little vegan margarine, and chilled again so they had a hard chocolate shell. Gone 15 minutes after putting in front of the family!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) June 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Oh my goodness this sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing. :)

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Larissa July 3, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Hi!

What can I use instead of cashews if I don’t have any on hand? I don’t mind grabbing some but in case I can spare the trip ;)
thanks!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 9, 2018 at 8:30 am

Hi Larissa, I haven’t tried any swaps for them yet, but I think a mix of almonds and walnuts may be nice. I’d love to hear what you try!

Reply

Somer August 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Hello Angela,
I hope you are doing well. I wanted to write to you and ask you a few questions. First of all, you truly have inspired me. I have followed you for the past 8 years (before your first book was published)… using your recipes. I still need to purchase your book though. Your recipes are delicious. Also, your story regarding how you initially obtained your master’s and went into research and then left all of that behind infuses me with a sense of camaraderie and I must say that takes courage. I have obtained my master’s as well however, it was in mental health counseling and while I also love research, my heart I believe is also in different things. Which is why I wanted to write you. First of all, I thought that maybe you could give me some advice. I thought about starting a blog or maybe a website. I am not sure which so that I can begin a foundation that would encourage people to learn to step outside of their computers or phones and engage with one another via different ideas that I had in mind. I worry about the suicide and homicide epidemic that we have going on here. There are many things that I would love to do. The concern that I have is that I would like to also make a living doing something like this and I am not sure how I can do this using a blog as well as how I can get people to come to my site. Do you have any suggestions, in addition to wisdom that you have regarding how you became so successful so that I might be able to apply it as I venture out in this area?
I know that you are extremely busy and I would be honored if you had any feedback for me. I appreciate your time and like I said… your cookbooks are beautiful… I love the cover for the canadians in your first book. :)
Sincerely
Somer Brown

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) September 5, 2018 at 9:01 am

Hey Somer, thank you so much for all of your kind words! :) Your support truly means the world to me. I always find it challenging to give advice like this because each person’s journey is truly different, and we never know where life will lead.

When it comes to starting something new, I think passion, hard work, and dedication are key. When I started Oh She Glows (nearly ten years ago…whoa!), I simply knew that I wanted to share my journey to health and passion for healthy eating with other people. I didn’t think it would last more than 2 weeks, but if you truly love something and you can picture yourself spending all of your free time working away at it, then it really has the chance to blossom into something amazing over time. I made sure my posting was consistent in the beginning to allow my readership to grow…to think I was blogging 3 times a day while working full-time! I don’t think you need to post that much (I’m now all about quality over quantity), but having a consistent schedule while growing really helps. I also connected with the amazing blogging community and met so many new people and read a lot of blogs along the way. This helps you figure out how to find your own niche in a sea of blogs. I commented on the blog and this helps others find your own blog. I’d also highly recommend going to conferences in your field…it’s a great way to learn and meet people! I haven’t been to any in a while, but I’m dying to get back into some again as they are so fun. Anyway, in a nutshell I think if you have a passion for something and can see yourself doing it long-term then that is half the battle! Chip away at it and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to grow too fast. A podcast that has helped me a lot is Jenna Kutcher’s “Goaldigger” podcast…all about business and blogging…and truly fun to listen to! I hope this helps :)

Reply

Lucy Nguyen August 21, 2018 at 10:31 am
Recipe Rating:

Incredible!! Sooooo good right out of the freezer

Reply

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