Energy Balls with Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Dark Chocolate and Dried Cranberries

  energyballs

If you come over my house and peek in my fridge (but please don’t – it’s so unorganized), you’re almost guaranteed to see these energy balls in there every single time. I keep a stash tucked away in there for when I need that little “pick me up.”

 

This quick snack is my go to when I want that extra boost. They are a great source of protein and packed full of healthy, good for you fats to keep you satisfied. And they’re super yummy and a cinch to make, too!

 

Did you know that sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrients? They contain 27% protein along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They are also good sources of B vitamins and carotenoids.

 

Plus shredded unsweetened coconut and coconut oil are nature’s best source of lauric acid. Lauric acid is an essential (healthy!) saturated fatty acid that enhances the immune system and protects us against viruses, yeasts, parasites, and other pathogens in the gut. AIDS patients and other people with compromised immune systems are now even being treated with coconut oil because of it’s ability to strengthen the immune system. Also, the medium chain fatty acids in coconut give us quick energy, which is why I decided to name these balls “energy balls.” :)

 

Give them a try and you’ll see that they really will give you an energy boost. Oh, one more thing! Please do me a favor: Ditch the energy drinks and get some “real” energy (with no sugar crash!) with these nutrient dense, healthy little energy balls!

Energy Balls with Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Dark Chocolate and Dried Cranberries

Makes 10, 1 ½ inch balls

Ingredients:

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup sunflower seeds

4 dates, pits removed

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons dried cranberries or other dried fruit

DIRECTIONS:

Add the shredded coconut, sunflower seeds and dates to a food processor. Blend until finely chopped. Pour in the coconut oil and dark chocolate chips and blend until the oil is incorporated into the mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries. Form into about 1 ½ inch balls. Refrigerate until hardened (only takes about 5 – 10 minutes). You can eat them right away, but just keep in mind that they won’t harden until they are in the fridge for a few minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

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72 Responses to Energy Balls with Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Dark Chocolate and Dried Cranberries

  1. Beth says:

    What does the T stand for ie.2T coconut oil? I’m in the UK

  2. Chef William says:

    O.K. We’ve got to have a few rules here. The first one is that when you post a recipe this good you must have samples available. I’ll be back home by Monday night. I think I can make these by Tuesday afternoon. Any idea of the calorie count? I am adding more and more coconut oil to my diet.

    • LOL, Chef William, I like your rules :) Coconut oil is the bomb and this is a great way to get that coconut oil in!! No, I don’t have the calorie content, but I’ve heard http://www.myfitnesspal.com is a great way to plug ingredients in and they calculate it for you. One of the reasons I don’t have that information is because there are so many different types of ingredients one could use that would really throw off all the numbers. For example, is someone using roasted, salted sunflower seeds or raw seeds? Unsweetened cranberries or a little bit sweetened? 85% dark chocolate or 50%? There’s just too many factors in certain ingredients that could really throw the numbers off so I just don’t include it because I don’t want to mislead people, especially people with medical conditions. Hope you understand and hope you like these, though!! :)

  3. Kelli says:

    These sound so great. I’m just wondering if you knew the carbohydrate content of them? I’m a diabetic and need to measure this for my insulin.
    Thanks

    • Hi Kelli! No, I don’t have the carb content, but I’ve heard http://www.myfitnesspal.com is a great way to plug ingredients in and they calculate it for you. One of the reasons I don’t have that information is because there are so many different types of ingredients one could use that would really throw off all the numbers. For example, is someone using roasted, salted sunflower seeds or raw seeds? Unsweetened cranberries or a little bit sweetened? 85% dark chocolate or 50%? There’s just too many factors in certain ingredients that could really throw the numbers off so I just don’t include it because I don’t want to mislead people, especially people with medical conditions. Hope you understand and hope you like these :)

  4. Ashlie says:

    What is binding these together? I did not work for me at all! It’s just…wet. Still tastes delicious, but it’s not tacky enough to hold together…

  5. viv blake says:

    But as a cardiac patient, I was given to understand that coconut raises the blood pressure. Now what do I do, I love coconut! Could I use olive oil?

    • Oh man! I think olive oil would have too strong of a flavor in these. The coconut oil helps bind all the ingredients together so it can form into balls. I think I would try adding some water (try 1-2 Tablespoons to start out with) in with the dates and coconut when you process it. That should form a paste to help hold all the other ingredients together. Good luck!

  6. These are amazingly good!! LOVE!

  7. Marian says:

    These are AMAZING!!! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for small energy treats like this, but they all have nuts in them. I am allergic to nuts and this is so perfect!

  8. Carolina Mandie says:

    Do you think these would be a good alternative to cliff bars. Bikini season is on the horizon and I’m back to the gym; my husband recommended that I eat half a cliff bar an hour before my workout to have enough energy but they’re gross! I’m addition, if they are a good alternative, how many would you recommend to substitute for half a clif bar? Thanks in advance for your time;)

    • Hi! I think this would be a great alternative to clif bars (and I agree- they are kinda gross. lol). I’m just guessing here, but I would think about 3 little balls would be close to half a clif bar. Hope you like these :)

  9. Krista says:

    I tried to make these today and they did not turn out! Lol. My boyfriend picked up sweetened shredded coconut that was kind of moist because he didnt know what he was looking for so idk if that made a difference or what but it still tastes good as a munchy instead of a ball! Lol
    Also do you use the coconut oil when it’s melted or solid? Because mine was melted since its been hot here the last couple days so that also may have made a difference.

  10. Energy Balls says:

    I’m glad to see you using coconut oil to the energy balls which helps with shelf life and adds nutritious fatty acids to the mix as well!

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  12. Teresa hanson says:

    What are the nutrient counts for these?

  13. Julie says:

    I love them but cant get them to form into balls – don’t know what I did wrong. I ended up spreading them into a pan and cutting bars LOL

  14. PJ says:

    What kind of sunflower seeds do you recommend…raw vs roasted, salted vs unsalted…?

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  16. Leea says:

    Made these last night and soooo delicious but I sure can’t keep them in the fridge! Sweet is my drug and trying to get off of it is murder!! lol
    Mine didn’t turn out like yours. I wound up not having as much product so I didn’t have as many balls and smaller. Think I had too much oil so a little greasy and they were dark. But they hardened up and yummy!

    • LOL! I hear you on the sweets ~ I hide mine in the very back of the fridge so I can’t see them!! Even if they seem really greasy when you are making them, they will harden up nicely in the fridge. So I’m glad it worked out for you! I used raw sunflower seeds so that could be why mine were a little lighter. Thanks for the comment :)

  17. Sarah says:

    I do not have a food processor. Can I do this with a blender? By the way, I love your site! I’m trying to look at every item I purchase and see if I can make it or a substitute for it myself both for budget and health purposes and this is a big help. Thanks for teaching me!

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for your comment :)
      I used a magic bullet so I’m fairly sure a blender would work with some patience. If it’s a high powered blender, yes, it definitely would work easily. Sometimes normal blenders can be frustrating, but I think with some patience (pulse, then stir, pulse, then stir, etc.) it will work!

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  19. Amy says:

    Just found your site recently, and have been busy making recipes today!
    I just did these and they are FANTASTIC! I couldn’t find unsweetned coconut so I used regular, and I did freak out a tad trying to put these together and they were so runny, but it worked. Mine are more oblong and ugly, but they still taste wonderful! Thank you!

  20. Ashley says:

    Sorry if I missed this information but I was just wondering what the calories are in one energy ball? And how many do you eat at once? Just one? I am new to these! Thanks!

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  22. Amy says:

    Wonder if you could make batches of these and freeze…

    I haven’t tried these yet, but they look amazing! :)

  23. Trish says:

    These are fabulous! Love ‘em with dried cherries in place of the cranberries. A little more time consuming to snip the cherries, but well worth it!

  24. Stephanie says:

    I love this recipe and was super excited as I am on a 30 day paleo challenge and no fruit for 2 weeks so just incorporated fruit back in. I did omit the chocolate chips :-( due to the challenge but I just made them and could not form them in a ball that would stick together so I just pushed it down in a tuberware and put that in the refrigerator, hope that is ok? They are still chilling…

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  27. Beth says:

    These are amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!

  28. Don says:

    No luck in getting them to stick… read all the forums with no luck!! Is Coconut oil all the same? Too bad!! =(

    • Don, here’s what you can do! Try adding a little more coconut oil. If that doesn’t work, put the mixture into the fridge for 5 mintues or so – it might be easier to work with then. If it still doesn’t stick, just press them into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Put them in the fridge to harden and then you can break them off or cut them into squares. They won’t be balls, but squares are just as yummy :) Let me know what worked for you!

  29. Allison says:

    I could not get mine to form balls or bars. The mixture was plenty “wet” with coconut oil but it was just all crumbly and would not stick together, even after refrigerating. I am wondering if the dates I used was the problem. I bought a package of pitted dates so I thought maybe they were too dry because they just got all chopped up in the food processor rather than becoming soft and pasty to help hold things together. :(

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  32. Cathy D says:

    Couldn’t get these to ‘ball’ either…just squeezed hard and made clumps.lol They are so delicious, the flavor synergy is amazing. I’m going to continue to work with the recipe to see if I can get it to form balls eventually. Thanks for this!

  33. Katie says:

    How long will these keep in the fridge?

  34. Sejal says:

    Do you think I can use my vitamix to make this? I don’t own a food processor. This looks delicious!

  35. Marlene Braun says:

    Just made these! Yum! I also make these kinds of treats for my kids snacks! A great alternative to the carb/sugar laden snacks that are out there! Thanks!

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  37. Felicia says:

    Unless I’m missing it, which is very possible..could you please add a “printer friendly” button for easy printing?…Thanks…Looks yummy and I can’t wait to try it!

  38. Brenda says:

    My husband and daughter are allergic to dates. Is there something I could substitute for them? These sound delicious. Thanks for posting!

  39. Marion says:

    I don’t like coconut, so I added some cashews in place of the coconut flakes. It was still very tasty to me! I also just spread them in a loaf pan and just cut them into squares. Thank you for the recipe!

  40. Anna says:

    Hi!
    I need to be VERY low sugar. I could get away with a few of the dried cranberries (I’d chop fine so to spread the love of fewer) and the same for the dark choc (I make my own with stevia) ? I’m wondering if I omit the dates if it will still hold… I know the coconut oil will solidify in the fridge but I imagine the dates add some “stick” too? Any trouts on a low/no sugar option for that… Or if you think I can just omit them? Thanks!

  41. Jeannette says:

    Using sweetened coconut, trader joes coconut oil, 72% dark chocolate, reduced sugar craisins, raw sunflowers, and whole pitted dates, the myfitnesspal app calculated about 110 calories per ball. Hope this helps!! They are yummy! Of course your calories will differ depending on what ingredients you use.

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