Paleo Energy Balls
These paleo energy balls made with almond butter and dates have saved my life last month while following a strict paleo diet. Not only do they make a great snack (or I’ve even had them at breakfast too) but they have 100% helped satisfy my sweet tooth! They’re free of grains, dairy or refined sweeteners. Plus with the addition of collagen protein, they also have a nice little boost of protein.
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Reflecting back on last month, I have to say transitioning to eating paleo for a whole month was both hard and easy at the same time.
Easy Parts of Eating Paleo
The easy part for me was coming up with paleo recipes to make. When you think about it, paleo cooking is as basic as it gets. It’s a lot of simple ingredients (meats, fish, poultry, veggies, fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds.) So dinner often looked something like just tossing a bowl of root veggies with herbs, salt and avocado oil and roasting them. Plus a pan of roasted chicken thighs and a green salad with a paleo friendly dressing. Nothing fancy, but pretty much delicious! I made paleo shepherd’s pie a few times (rave reviews on that) and meatloaf without any breadcrumbs. But what I am saying is, there is no lack of paleo recipes to choose from!
Here are a couple paleo cookbooks I bought and enjoyed last month. (These are affiliate links.)
Also on the easy list was feeling satisfied. I did not have any problems feeling satisfied. Using intuitive eating, I was able to listen to my hunger, and eat enough to satiated. My weight has remained steady. I did find that a bigger-than-normal breakfast really helped me not turn into an afternoon snack monster. I also found that having a tin of almonds, a banana or some of these paleo energy bites handy was a good way to make sure I had something paleo-friendly if hunger struck when I was out and about.
Challenges of the Paleo Diet
On the “hard” side of the equation, eating paleo meant that I spend more time in the kitchen. On the paleo diet, pretty much everything is made from scratch. And without dairy or grains, I had to spend time making alternatives. For example, when I made cauliflower mashed potatoes, instead of splashing in some yogurt, butter or buttermilk, I had to take the time to make a batch of cashew cream. The difference was subtle, but the number of dirty dishes in the sink don’t lie!
Another challenge while cooking and eating a paleo diet for the month of January, was produce management! This was a bigger issue than I thought it would be. Usually when I plan our meals, we have a protein, a veggie and a grain. But with paleo, we’d have a protein and two veggies. Often more! So we basically had double the veggies on hand at all times. Plus instead of snacking on crackers and such, we filled the counter with fresh fruit. All of that produce takes up a lot of grocery cart and fridge space! That’s not something I could have anticipated and was an eye-opener.
Budget-wise, I was really worried that paleo was going to be way more expensive than our already high grocery bill, but I found that it actually all worked out. I tried to stick with less expensive cuts of meat (slow-cooking roasts and braising meats and ground meats.) The real reason it wasn’t more expensive is that instead of buying expensive convenience breakfasts and snacks, I was making them from scratch. Plus every day, I made two extra servings for dinner so Jase and I had a lunch as well. That means no lunch trips to Panera for Jase, and we stayed on track.
The last thing I would say was satisfying my sweet cravings. I am not a huge sweet person, but after lunch I do like to have a cup of tea and a little something sweet. I found myself digging into the dried fruit on multiple occasions! That’s how I got turned on to these Paleo Energy Balls. They are naturally sweet and paleo-approved because they do not have any refined sugar, dairy or grains.
How to Make Paleo Energy Balls
- Dates: I like to use Medjool Dates to make these energy bites. They are very soft so the break into a smoother paste very easily. I find the dates that come pre-chopped and coated in starch are too hard. Plus, I’ve been keeping a package of Medjools on hand for simple snacking anyway. Make sure you keep them in the fridge. They have a higher moisture content and will start to go bad if left at room temperature for a long time.
- Pit and Rough Chop the Dates: Remove the papery blossom end of the date if it is still attached. That’s where it was attached to the date palm, and it looks like a little brown disk attached to the flatter end of the date. Then slice lengthwise until your knife hits the pit. Pry the date open and take the pit out. To make sure the dates don’t get stuck in your food processor, cut them into a couple pieces.
- Food Processor: Blast the date pieces in the food processor with almond flour and coconut flour. I added these to add bulk to the energy balls. The coconut flour is very absorbent, so make sure you only add 2 tablespoons! The flours will help keep the dates from clumping together too much so you can add the remaining ingredients and they will disperse evenly.
- Almond Butter: Next add in the almond butter. Look for almond butter that is made with almonds and salt only. The kind with palm shortening is too solid and will result in more dry energy balls.
- Protein and Maple: Along with the almond butter add in maple syrup and collagen protein. Collagen protein is a great way to add a little bit of needed protein to these without altering the texture or flavor. The maple syrup helps the mixture come together. Plus salt which really seals the deal why these are so delicious.
- Test Texture: Once the dough is ground up completely evenly, then check it to see if it will come together. Just pinch a little bit and if it comes together as a dough, you’re ready to rock and rollllll. As in roll the date mixture into balls.
- Coat To Finish: To finish them off, I made a combo of sliced almonds, salt and toasted coconut and coated the balls in it. This is not necessary, but I like the texture it adds. Note: if the mixture doesn’t stick, you can roll the balls in a tiny bit of maple syrup to first.
How to Store Paleo Energy Snack Balls
To store these snack bites, stack them in a small resealable container.
I like to use glass snap top containers so the food doesn’t come in contact with plastic.
Keep them refrigerated.
They will keep for up to five days. Ours never lasted longer than that because we loved them so much!
More Paleo Recipes To Try
- Coconut Apricot Fig Bites by my friend Lindsay are another no-bake paleo snack to try.
- These Paleo Egg Muffins came in handy for us.
- Sweet and Spicy Nuts I love the contrast of salt and spice in these nuts. I also have to try this technique for making candied nuts on the stovetop. Check it out: How To Make Candied Pecans.
- Maple Roasted Plantains, here’s another paleo dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Tuscan Kale Chips Something a bit crunchy and salty is oh so necessary for me. These hit the spot!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you try this recipe by coming back and rating and leaving a review. I appreciate it and it helps a lot!
Paleo Energy Balls
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
These paleo energy balls have saved my life last month while following a strict paleo diet. Not only do they make a great snack (or I’ve even had them at breakfast too) but they have 100% helped satisfy my sweet tooth! They’re free of grains, dairy or refined sweeteners. Plus with the addition of collagen protein, they also have a nice little boost of protein.
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut, toasted
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and cut into pieces (about 10 dates)
½ cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup almond butter
2 scoops collagen
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more if necessary
- Combine sliced almonds, toasted coconut and ¼ teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Set aside.
- Place dates, almond flour and coconut flour in a food processor, and pulse to chop. Add almond butter, collagen, maple syrup and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Process, scraping sides as necessary, until the mixture is evenly ground. Check to see if the mixture will come together by squeezing a bit of the dough. If it doesn’t, add one to two more teaspoons maple syrup and pulse again.
- Form into 12 balls. Roll balls in the almond and coconut mixture. If mixture doesn’t stick, add first roll the batch of balls in a bowl with a tiny bit of maple syrup to lightly coat them. Then roll in the mixture.
- Store in a glass storage container and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- Prep Time: 15
- Category: Snack
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: Paleo
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 126
- Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: paleo,snack,treat,dessert,breakfast,dates,almonds,coconut,diary free,protein,grain free,wheat free,gluten free,energy balls
best protein balls I’ve ever eaten!!! Can’t stop with one though!!!!
Thanks Lee Ann! I agree- they are pretty delicious! Glad you love them too!
These are so yummy!!! I seriously need to keep them away cuz i want to eat them all!!! On a serious note. How many should i allow myself in a day! I know all the ingredients are good/clean, but it is still higher in carbs! Is 3 in a day too many!
These were easy to make. I would just have liked to know how much a ‘scoop’ of collagen measures out. The salt evened out the sweetness. I didn’t have maple syrup on hand so I used Dora’s sugar free syrup. They turned out great!
I will be trying these as a snack for longer runs, thanks!
Regarding mashed potatoes – white potatoes are paleo. I make us simple mashed potatoes by using a plain, coconut milk yogurt and nutritional yeast in place of butter and milk, and they taste amazing! My husband and I have been paleo for 6 years now and have found many short cuts that work for us.
I am so glad you’re trying them! Let me know how you like them. I gave up nightshades as part of the elimination. Turns out I am reactive to tomatoes. Potatoes however were fine. Thank goodness.
These paleo energy balls are really amazing for a snack on the go when your energy level takes a plunge after a long hard day and you start craving something to re boost your energy pronto.
I am so happy to hear it!
LOVE making ‘no cook’ energy balls!
This looks delicious! Thanks for explaining paleo process.
It’s been a learning experience for us! Glad to share as I go.
These are great to have on hand! I love the addition of collagen.
I love adding a bit of collagen to them and smoothies too. So happy you’re finding the recipe useful!
This recipe calls for such simple ingredients yet it sounds so yummy! I cant wait to make some 🙂
Hi Laura. Thanks! Let me know when you try it! Have a great week.
I love making energy balls as part of meal prep because they’re so handy! These look so good and I definitely need to start adding in collagen!
Hi Kari! I am glad you like them!
Simple, healthy, and totally delicious!
Thanks Chihyu! I’m psyched to hear you like them too!
Such a great lunchbox snack for the school week! Thanks!
Speaking of lunchboxes. I should teach my kids how to make these so they can pack them for lunch!
These look like the perfect healthy snack! Love the added collagen!
Collagen has been a great new ingredient for me since going Paleo. I haven’t had any trouble digesting it, and I love the neutral flavor.
These look like a perfect sweet treat with very simple & wholesome ingredients!
So glad you found them Stacey. We have been loving having them on hand!
Yummy — love the collagen and dates! My kids will love these!
My kids do love them! I had to tell them to leave some for me!