These no bake chocolate energy balls are a raw vegan, nutrient dense sweet treat that take just minutes to throw together. Packed full of nuts, seeds and dates, this energy ball recipe is easy to adapt and a great healthy energy snack that will keep you going through the day.
Whether you call them energy balls, protein balls or power balls, they are all pretty much the same thing. Little energy bites of blended up nuts, seeds, dates, cocoa and maple syrup. A raw and vegan energy ball recipe for healthy snacking on the go. This is the only energy ball recipe you need!
What are energy balls?
Energy balls, or protein balls or power balls as you might know them as, are a combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other add-ins like maple syrup and cocoa powder. They are nutrient dense little balls that will give you plenty of energy without the sugar crash.
Great for a breakfast or snack on the go, and kids love them too. They taste far more indulgent than they actually are.
Why you will love them
- No bake - We love anything that means we don't have to turn on the oven. These are no bake, raw homemade energy balls. Just blend it all up and roll into a ball.
- Adaptable - Use this protein ball recipe as a guide and then feel free to adapt it with the suggestions below.
- Stores well - We like to make a big batch of these and then store them in the fridge throughout the week for snacks.
- Nutritious - These are packed with all natural and nutrient dense ingredients.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Oats - This is what bulks out the energy bites and makes them more filling. You could use other flours, but we love oat flour (ground down oats). Anything with oats makes us feel like we are eating cookies too.
- Nuts - This is what gives texture and extra protein to the balls. We used cashews, but you could also use peanuts, walnuts or pecans. You could even use a mixture of a few.
- Desiccated coconut - We love the texture and flavour that coconut gives, and it kind of lightens them up too.
- Dates - These not only add some natural sweetness, but they help to make the balls nice and sticky which binds them together.
- Seeds - This is where we added lots of extra goodness. We used chia, pumpkin and flax seeds. You could also use sunflower seeds.
- Cocoa powder - This is where the chocolate flavour comes from. If you want to add some extra chocolate to these, then some dark chocolate chips are a delicious add in.
- Maple syrup - Honey or maple syrup can be used as the liquid sweetener in this recipe. We used maple syrup because not only do we love the flavour, but it meant these are vegan energy balls.
- Nut butter - This is what binds the balls together and give them lots of healthy fats. We used almond butter, but if you want peanut butter balls then use peanut butter. Cashew butter or seed butter will work well too. We like to use natural nut butters, or even homemade like our Homemade Peanut Butter.
- Water - We add just a little but of water to make them stickier so they will hold together well. Without it they can be a little crumbly.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make chocolate energy balls - Step by step
One: Add the oats, cashews, desiccated coconut (a), dates, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds (b) and cocoa powder (c) to a food processor.
Two: Process until everything is finely chopped. A few large pieces are okay as these will add texture.
Three: Transfer to a bowl then add the water, maple syrup and almond butter (a). Mix well to combine everything (b).
Four: Roll into balls. Each ball is about 4cm/1.5in in diameter and weighs around 35g/1.25oz. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
These protein balls are pretty high in calories, due to the nuts and dried fruit, but you could lower the calories by making them into smaller balls. We make a few little ones for the kids too.
This energy ball recipe is bursting with healthy fats and no "weird" ingredients. We have used all natural ingredients and these are nutrient dense.
Cashews are rich in unsaturated fats, a category of fats linked to a lower risk of premature death and heart disease. They are also low in sugar, a good source of fiber, and they contain almost the same amount of protein as an equivalent quantity of cooked meat. Oats are also a good source of high quality protein and fibre, with a good balance of essential amino acids.
The great thing about these homemade energy balls is that they are so easy to adapt. You can use different nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, seeds and there are SO many different add-in. We are going to share all our favourite ways to adapt these little energy bites:
- Double chocolate - You can never have too much chocolate right? You can add in some chocolate chips to these after everything has blended, but keep in mind that they won't roll quite so well. You could use dark, milk or even white chocolate.
- White chocolate and cranberry - For a bit of a festive twist on these, leave out the cocoa powder and add in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
- Spices - Add some winter warmth with a little ground cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg. You could even use a mixture of the three.
- Raisin - If you love oatmeal raisin cookies, then add a generous amount of raisins to the mixture after everything has blended.
- Flavour - Chocolate and mint and chocolate and orange are classic flavour combinations. You can create that by adding mint or orange extract. Use extract rather than essence, as you will have a more natural flavour.
Store: You can store energy balls in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Perfect for keeping for a snack on the go.
Freeze: These actually freeze really well. Flash freeze them on a baking tray first and then you can keep them in a ziplock back in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: You can defrost these in the freezer over night.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have marked them gluten free as a lot of people who are gluten free can tolerate oats (they are gluten free but there can be some cross contamination). If this is an issue then make sure the oats you are using are certified gluten free and there is no other cross contamination.
They will last about 3-4 days at room temperature, but storing them in the fridge means they will last for 2 weeks.
As long as you use maple syrup instead on honey, and make sure any add-ins are vegan, then these are vegan.
More chocolate recipes
No Bake Chocolate Energy Balls
- 60 g (0.75 cups) Oats
- 100 g (0.75 cups) Cashews
- 40 g (0.5 cups) Desiccated coconut
- 40 g (0.5 cups) Pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoon Chia seeds
- 2 tablespoon Flax seeds
- 100 g (0.75 cups) Pitted dates
- 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoon Water
- 80 g (0.25 cups) Maple syrup
- 180 g (0.75 cups) Almond butter
- Add 60 g Oats, 100 g Cashews, 40 g Desiccated coconut, 40 g Pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoon Chia seeds, 2 tablespoon Flax seeds, 100 g Pitted dates and 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder to a food processor.
- Process until everything is finely chopped. A few large pieces are okay as these will add texture.
- Transfer to a bowl then add 3 tablespoon Water, 80 g Maple syrup and 180 g Almond butter. Mix well to combine everything.
- Roll into balls. Each ball is about 4cm/1.5in in diameter and weighs around 35g/1.25oz. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- If you are adding in things like chocolate chips or raisins, these need to be done after the other ingredients have been blended. They will make it difficult to roll the balls though.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture and roll them into balls so they are all the same size.
- To make sure these are gluten free, use gluten free certified oats.
- For a little extra flavour boost, sprinkle them with a little sea salt.
- To make these look even nicer, roll them in desiccated coconut once they are rolled into balls.
- The texture of these will depend on how 'drippy' your nut butter is. If they feel a bit dry, you can add a little more water.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.