Sweet, chunky, healthy vegan energy balls. Is there a better snack in the afternoon? I can answer that one – nope, there is not. These energy balls are like cookie dough balls in texture and flavor, but healthier! They’re sweetened with dates and therefore completely free of refined or processed sugars. (Dairy-free chocolate chips are completely optional.)
Sweetening with Dates (WFPB Compatible)
One of the best methods for sweetening anything naturally is to use dates. Dates are a whole food, so they’re WFPB compatible. They’re sweet without being “too sweet”, and they’re full of nutrients that our bodies love. I’ve condensed the Nutrition Facts for dates below, but for a more comprehensive look, check this out.
The Glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly specific foods raise our blood sugars. This chart might help paint a better picture if you’re not already familiar with GI. Dates have a low GI of around 44-53 depending on the type of date. That being said, there isn’t a big difference health-wise between different types of dates. So make your choice based on flavor and availability. Any date is an awesome, rich, and flavorful choice.
For these Chunky & Healthy Vegan Energy Balls, I used Medjool Dates. Medjool dates are usually easy to find in any grocery store, and they’re plump, moist, and sticky. In other words, they’re the PERFECT base for our vegan energy balls because they bind AND sweeten all at once!
Nutrition Facts Per 100g Serving of Dates (pitted)
- Calories: 282
- Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 2.5g
- Vitamin B6: 10% RDI
- Magnesium: 10% RDI
- Iron: 5% RDI
Can I substitute Peanut Butter instead of Almond Butter?
Yes! Actually, that’s the basic substitution I used to create my Vegan Peanut Butter Chip Cookie Dough Balls. So check out the recipe for the tweaks, or just sub it out here in equal parts for the almond butter. Make sure your peanut butter is creamy and well mixed. Some can be quite a bit thicker than almond butter. If that’s the case with yours, you may need to add a touch more maple syrup or an extra date to get it to bind properly.
What if I don’t have Oat Flour?
If you have a Vitamix or high powered blender, you can make oat flour from your rolled oats. Just pour the rolled oats into your blender and run it on high for 20 seconds to a minute. You can stop the blender and knock down the sides if needed to make sure that it’s all hitting the blades. As soon as it looks powdery like flour, stop. It will be light and without any chunks or larger sized pieces remaining.
Once you make your own oat flour, you may never buy it again. It’s usually quite a bit cheaper to make, and very easy to do!
These Chunky Healthy Vegan Energy Balls are:
- Naturally Sweetened
- Gluten Free (if using GF oats)
- Worthy of your cookie dough cravings
So here they are.. our Chunky and Healthy Vegan Energy Balls! They’re one of our favorite snacks and sweet treats. And above all, they’re EASY to make! Leave us a comment and tell us what you think! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do 🙂
Looking for more deliciousness in your sweet snacking? Try these!
- No Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
- Goji Coconut Vegan Cookie Dough Balls
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
- 3 Ingredient Crispy Cereal Bars
- 3 Ingredient Almond Butter Freezer Fudge
Healthy Vegan Energy Balls
- Food processor
- spatula and mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 8 medjool dates
- 1 cup oat flour or rolled oats – add rolled oats to food processor before other ingredients and run on high until a flour forms, then remove it from food processor and continue with 1st step below
- 5 tbsp almond butter can sub other nut butters – keep in mind flavor will resemble whichever nut butter you use
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup crushed peanuts optional
- add dates to food processor and run on high until they're broken up or "paste-y"
- add oat flour, almond butter, salt and vanilla
- run on high until a dough forms (won't take long so watch closely)
- transfer dough to mixing bowl
- fold in optional chocolate chips and crushed peanuts with your hands or a spatula
- use your hands to form into bite sized balls
- serve immediately or chill for a firmer texture