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Healthy Energy Balls sweetened with Medjool Dates. These no-bake, raw bites are packed with wholesome ingredients like oatmeal and sunflower seed butter. They are "guaranteed" to put a smile on your face and just might give you a surge of energy too!
These tasty little energy balls are not new at our house. But, the way they're sweetened sure is. Instead of honey or agave nectar, they are sweetened with medjool dates. We use this date paste to sweeten Chocolate Date Balls and Date Balls with Rice Krispies too!
It's love at first bite. 🙂
It's a new year and the perfect time to move out of your comfort zone and try new recipes and ingredients. Ever wonder what nutritionists and healthy foodies are trying next? The wait is over! Hop down to the bottom of this post and see links to recipes using "new" ingredients by the members of the Recipe Redux. Prepare to be inspired.
Energy Balls with Medjool Dates Tips and Tricks
Medjool dates! Where have you been all my life? I should have known how much I'd love you. I've always been a big raisin fan.
But you are even better. Larger, plumper and sweeter than other dates with an almost caramel-like taste. I could gobble you up like pieces of candy. Turns out you are also an incredibly delicious, all natural sweetener too!
Check out How to Make Date Paste or watch this quick video on how to make a large batch of Medjool Date Paste:
And so...a new sweetener has been added to our arsenal.
These dates are larger than they look. They are about an inch in length and come with a large pit. Buy them pitted or make a slit down the center and remove it.
Medjool dates are naturally very soft. Still, I soak them for a few minutes in hot water while assembling the other ingredients.
Add the dates and a little water that they soaked into a small-sized food processor and pulse to create a "date paste." Add additional water as desired to thin the consistency. Done. You have your sweetener.
This year is all about simple and healthy recipes. And, this whole process seems contrary to this focus...at first. I do it because it's that good.
In addition, you can make lots of "date paste" and just store it in a jar in the refrigerator. So, the next time you want to make healthy energy balls, it's super-duper easy. And, I bet you'll find other ways to incorporate this natural sweetener in other recipes too!
Once the paste is made, it's a matter of simply combining all of the other ingredients and then rolling the dough into balls...lots and lots of balls, somewhere between 20 and 30, depending upon how small you make them...and how many bites you take in between.
Healthy Energy Balls with Medjool Dates
- 8 medjool dates pits removed
- 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oatmeal
- ½ cup ground flax seed
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)
- Fill a glass container with very hot water. (I heat about 2 cups in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes.)
- Add dates to water, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 5-10 minutes. This softens the dates and makes them easier to puree, but may not be necessary if dates are very soft.
- Remove dates from water and place in a small food processor.
- Add to the food processor about 1 Tablespoon of the water the dates soaked in.
- Pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add additional water to thin the consistency of the paste, if desired.
- Set date "paste" aside.
- Combine oatmeal, flax seed, coconut flakes and chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl.
- Add date paste, vanilla extract and sunflower seed butter to the dry mixture.
- Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Refrigerate dough for about 15 minutes if possible. (It's not required, but does make it easier to work with.)
- Form dough into Tablespoon-size balls.
- Refrigerate balls in an air tight container.
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