Saturday, July 12, 2014

Energy Balls

I have become quite addicted to these, taking them to work each day to have at morning coffee break. 

Like a lot of things in life, I’ve come to these late.  By some kind of osmosis I’ve gone from barely noticing them in café cabinets to realizing that people everywhere are making, buying or eating them. They have now seeped into my skin and I am habitually whizzing up some form of them to substitute for a muffin, which I’m presuming is a good thing, right?

I store them in the freezer and drop one in a ziplock bag on my way to work.  I favour eating them straight from the freezer as they’re chewy and dense and the eating sensation lasts just that bit longer.  Once they come to room temperature they’re softer and therefore disappear faster. 

A colleague makes a blockbuster chocoholic version of these.  Gigantic, fudgy spheres with, wait for it, a surprise square of chocolate in the centre (think Caramello or other flavoured squares of chocolate bars). Full on.

I’ve gone for a more restrained version that you can be all virtuous about eating (although, as with most things, in moderation).  Whilst it’s not a quite the same as a chocolate hit, they do deliver enough of a consolation and they are so easy to make.

These treats bear some oddball names such as amaze balls (although I think that’s actually a brand?) and the more frequent bliss balls.  Well I have to say that just sounds a bit dodgy and reminds me (not in a good way) of David Beckham’s moniker Golden Balls!  Enough of that – I’ll stick with energy balls, thank you.

Energy Balls

16 pitted and chopped dates (Medjool dates are best)
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder

zest and juice of 1 orange
a pinch of sea salt (optional)

½ - ¾ cup desiccated coconut for coating
If you’re not a fan of coconut, roll them in crushed nuts or sieved cocoa powder.

Use this recipe as a base but the possibilities are endless.  Substitute the fruits and nuts shown for other dried fruit (apricots instead of dates) and nuts; add different flavourings – after reading The Kitchen Maid’s version, I’ve taken to adding a teaspoon of orange blossom water to mine. 
If you can’t get Medjool dates (and you really want to as they are soft and thick with a sweet taste), soften hard dates (or apricots) by heating in a little water (or the juice of the orange from the recipe). If you use a little water, you won’t have to drain but to be on the safe side set aside any drained water in case you need to add to the mixture.

Grind the nuts in a food processor until fine.
Add the dates, cocoa powder, orange zest and juice and salt.
Process the mixture in the food processor until it is smooth and forms a ball.
Roll into walnut or golf-ball sized balls (your choice – I started with walnut and upsized to golf-ball.  I used a mini-ice cream scoop to measure out the balls.)
Spread the desiccated coconut on a plate and coat the balls in it.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks or in the freezer.


  1. Love these although I don't make them very often as they just don't last long when I'm working from home. So easy and delicious :o)

    1. I manage to restrict myself to one a day (unless I've got bad cravings!).

  2. Gorgeous! I LOVE the idea of biting into one of these with a square of chocolate inside, but that's far too decadent for everyday (what a dull life I lead). This sounds like a great combination of ingredients.

    1. I just rolled some in chocolate ganache & Fresh As freeze-dried raspberry powder & they were good!