whether you call them energy balls or energy bites or bliss balls, it’s hard to deny the appeal of having a grab-and-go snack ready in your fridge where you can actually pronounce all of the ingredients in it.
and in this case, there are only 5 ingredients so it doesn’t even take that long to read off the list: oats, almond butter, cinnamon, dates, and chocolate chips. done. and technically, the chocolate chips could be considered optional but really, i think y’all know where i stand on that issue.
besides the fact that these energy balls have just a few ingredients and are quick to make (look ma, no oven!), my favorite thing about them is actually that they let me calibrate my snack to my hunger level.
my husband and i tend to eat dinner on the earlier side and then work on our computers for a few hours before bed. frequently this means that by the time we’re supposed to be getting ready for bed, i’m kinda hungry. i can go to bed without a snack, but then when i wake up in the morning i am sooooo hungry.
enter the oat and almond butter energy balls! unlike a granola/protein bar that is a relatively fixed size and designed to be a bigger snack, i can have just one or two energy balls before bed so that i’m not hungry anymore but also not so full that lying down sounds unappealing. (am i the only one who *hates* lying down with a full stomach??)
as a result, i’ve been keeping a supply of these energy balls in the fridge for the past few weeks (fresh ones! not the same batch! though honestly, they’d probably be fine for a while…) and it’s been a total late night/early morning/dashing out the door to run errands game changer.
in fact, my success with these oat and almond butter energy balls (on the third try anyway) has led me to experiment with some other combinations, which i will hopefully get worked out soon so that i can share them here with you. in the meantime though, i hope you enjoy these oat and almond butter energy balls!
- 1 cup (99 g. / 3 1/2 oz.) old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if need be)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup (127 g. / 4 1/2 oz. – 178 g. / 6 1/4 oz.) almond butter, see notes
- 2 pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 cup (42 g. / 1 1/2 oz.) chocolate chips, cut in half if they’re large/disc shaped
- in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the oats, cinnamon, 1/2 cup almond butter, and pitted dates. process until the mixture forms a mostly cohesive ball. if the mixture is too dry, add a bit more almond butter.
- turn the mixture out into a medium size bowl and add the chocolate chips. use your hands to mix the chocolate chips into the “dough”.
- form the dough into small balls. i like to use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon so that the balls stay the same size. store the energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
depending on what brand of almond butter you use (or if you make your own), you will need to tweak the amount of almond butter that you use so that the energy balls hold together and aren’t too dry or too gooey. before you move the mixture out of the food processor, pinch off a small piece and try to roll it between your hands to see if it stays together. if it doesn't, add a bit more almond butter.
also, be sure to use a brand of almond butter that is pretty liquidy – it should run off of a butter knife or spoon dipped in the jar. the costco store brand and the trader joe’s brand both work well. i would not use a drier almond butter like justin’s where you have to dig it out of the jar. if that’s all you can find, you may wish to add a teaspoon or two of a neutral flavored oil (such as extra light olive oil) to the dough to improve the consistency.
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