Date Walnut Energy Balls
Who doesn’t like to snack on some walnuts or dates as a healthy afternoon treat? These energy balls are a great way to enjoy healthy snacking with the added benefit of coconut. They make fore great treats for parties, kids, travel or just to treat you.
I made this recipe for an event at Studio A, a yoga studio in Orange County. These bites are a crowd pleasure with picky eaters, health nuts and those with food allergies. The trick is the simple list of ingredients. Only three. This allows the flavors to blend and stand out on their own with each bite.
Before making these nut and fruit balls, keep the following recommendations in mind.
- Walnut halves and pieces were just fine in this recipe (they actually make it easier since they are already broken down)
- Fine shredded unsweetened coconut works better then larger flakes
- Add ¼ cup of cacao nibs to this recipe if you want more texture, flavor or an added antioxidant kick
- Make sure your dates are soft (if they have hardened, soak in water for 30 minutes before using)
- Add a pinch of salt if you like a sweet and salty contrast to your snacks
- To get consistent sized energy balls, use an ice cream scoop with a thumb press or squeeze handle (I like the ¾ of an ounce size that you can find at any restaurant or culinary store)
Make these energy balls your own by customizing the recipe with one of these additions.
- Add ¼ cup of chia seeds for added omega’s
- Add ¼ cup of flax seed for added fiber
- Add a 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to kick the flavor up a notch
- Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon for antioxidant power
- Switch up the nuts to any combination that equals 2 cups
2 cups Walnuts
1 cup Shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
- In a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly.
- Add in the dates and process again until a sticky, uniform batter is formed. You don’t want to over process, or the batter will become oily, so process until crumbly, but sticky when pressed between your fingers.
- Using an ice cream scoop, form balls by pressing and rolling between your hands. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, then place in the fridge or freezer to set for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for an even longer shelf life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Whitney Aronoff is a Natural Foods Chef based in Laguna Beach, California. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Communications, and went on to culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. She works as a personal chef and teaches cooking classes, with a focus on healthy, whole foods cooking. You can follow her food and travel adventures on Instagram at @WhitneyAronoff or on her website www.WhitneyAronoff.com.