~ Quick, healthy, and delicious Date Energy Balls with an awesome tropical twist! These are full of chia seeds, dried fruit, protein and grains – great as a post-workout snack and also perfect for kids! Super easy to make and totally freezable!! Make a double batch! (Originally published as Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia.) ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Freezable • Make Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
As we originally called them, “Snack Bites” have been a staple of THK since the very beginning. But, we recently realized that these little, munchable bites are so much more than a snack – they’re energy balls – and they have the fuel to get you through even the toughest day.
For all of you who rave about our original, Quick and Healthy Snack Bites: Buckle up … we’re heading to the tropics!
A Tropical Retreat … at Snack Time!
Yep, our traditional Energy Balls just got a new, jungle-inspired groove!
These bites are loaded with sweet and healthy dates, the omega-3s of chia seeds, protein-rich almonds, chewy coconut and oats, not to mention a delicious hint of pineapple.
They’ve still got the same portability and make-ahead convenience of the originals, but these new energy balls are packing their bags for a tropical retreat (and just in time for summer!).
We’ve been making so many energy balls around the THK kitchens that our families suffer withdrawal any time our supplies run low. Our hubbies get all sad and fussy (not attractive emotions in adult males – trust us!) if there aren’t any “Snack Bites” for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or a refueling kick after a long run. And our kids are equally bummed if they have to munch on store-bought snacks (egads!) because we’re out of these beloved, energy rich, bites.
So really, you can probably just imagine the excitement when we told our families we had new, date energy ball, flavor to taste test! (Hint … hint … more yummy versions still to come … shhhhhhh!)
The only problem was that most all of the new versions were wildly popular, and we couldn’t seem to get our taste testers to agree on just one or two big winners. So, we chose (hey – it’s our blog after all!), and decided this tropical date, chia seed, and pineapple version was just the right way to welcome summer.
These energy bites are great to toss in your backpack as you head off to the pool or on a family bike ride. They’ll be the perfect accompaniment to all your summer adventures … and they’ll help keep your troops feeling full of good energy. (We all need a little extra positive energy for some of those long family adventures, right!?!?!?)
Just like our original Quick and Healthy Snack Bites, these freeze great, so make your life easy and do a triple batch while you’re at it!
How to Make These Date Energy Balls
Don’t worry – making a batch (or three!) is easy!
You really have only one decision to make – do you want to purchase almond butter or take the couple of extra minutes to whir up your own in the food processor?
Purchasing the Almond Butter for This Recipe: Almond butter can be pricey, but you can sometimes snag good deals and stock up. If you’ve never purchased it before, just look for it near the natural peanut butters. Generally, you can choose unsalted or salted – go with whatever you prefer, but if you choose salted, remember to skip the 1/8 teaspoon of salt we call for in this recipe.
Making Your Own Almond Butter: Can’t find almond butter at your local store? We understand! We typically make our own almond butter – it’s so simple!
For this recipe, just dump about a cup of almonds into a mini food processor (we like to use the smallest, “mini” container in our Ninja processor set), and let it work its magic for a few minutes. Give it a stir and scrape down the edges every so often.
You’re done once the almonds are about the consistency and texture of natural peanut butter. How long that takes will vary based on whether you use whole, sliced or slivered almonds. The sliced and slivered will save you a little time, but whole almonds work just fine, too.
You should end up with about 1/2 cup of almond butter (if you don’t sneak too many spoonfuls along the way!). Transfer your almond butter to a medium-sized bowl.
Add your other ingredients: oats, coconut, chopped dates, pineapple, honey, chia, almond extract, and salt. (Hint: if you’re having trouble finding chia seeds – although they’re pretty common at most stores these days – you can grab some HERE.) Oh! And remember to omit the salt from your mixture at this stage, if you purchased salted almond butter.
Just mix it all together and shape it into little one-inch balls. If you’re really in a time crunch, you can even toss the bowl in the fridge at this point and finishing shaping all the little date balls later when you have more time.
Now, grab those kids and a handful of these date energy balls with chia seeds, and set off on your adventure with confidence! No energy crashes for you!
Update: Hey There, Energy Ball Lovers! We’ve Got More Recipes You’ve Gotta Try …
Scroll through ALL the yummy flavors in our Energy Ball Recipes collection, or go ahead and just click on through to the one that you wanna make next …
Mmmmmm … so many options! Happy snacking …
- 1 cup whole, sliced or slivered almonds (to make 1/2 cup almond butter once processed) or 1/2 cup purchased almond butter
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup dried chopped dates
- 1/4 cup dried chopped pineapple
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using purchased, salted almond butter)
- To make almond butter, place 1 cup of almonds in a mini food processor (we like to use the smallest, “mini” container in our Ninja processor set). Process, scraping sides occasionally until the butter is the consistency of natural peanut butter. (The exact timing for this will vary depending on your processor and on whether you begin with whole, slivered or sliced almonds.) You should end up with approximately 1/2 cup of almond butter.
- Place almond butter in a medium bowl and add all other ingredients.
- Stir to combine.
- Using your hands, press firmly to form one-inch balls.
- Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate until serving.
Freezing: These freeze very well. If frozen, they will be thawed and ready to eat in about 20 minutes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 2 balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.