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This nut-free energy ball is inspired by nature.
On Instagram, I talked about how nature can help your gut health and one of the ways is by eating plants. Today’s recipe not only features plants but is also the perfect snack to take on the go when you are enjoying nature!
Plus this recipe only requires a few pantry staples and is super easy to make so you’re going to be racking up some major kitchen confidence which is a pillar of The Mindful Gut™ Approach.
What you’ll need
A lot of the energy ball recipes use peanut butter which is great but you don’t see many recipes that are nut-free. What I love is that this recipe uses a couple of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
For this recipe, you will need sunflower seed butter, oats, cranberries, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and honey.
What makes these energy balls good for your gut
There’s a couple reasons energy balls are are a great snack for your gut. Don’t underestimate how nutritious these energy balls can be!
Energy balls have protein, fat, and fiber
Energy bites make one of the best snacks for your gut because they are PFF which is protein, fat, and fiber. Protein and fat or protein and fiber in your snack help manage your blood sugar and gut hormones.
Includes prebiotic foods
The oats are a source of beta-glucan which is a type of prebiotic fiber. Beta-glucan not only feeds your good gut bacteria but also is good for your heart! Cranberries are also being looked at as a possible prebiotic and cranberries can be good for your gut.
The chia seeds will add omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Many people don’t eat enough omega-3s and you can read more about how they are good for your gut in this blog post.
How to make energy balls
This recipe is super simple.
Mix your dry ingredients with the sunflower seed butter.
Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will help your mixture better be able to be formed into a ball.
When you’re ready to form your energy balls use a cookie scooper to make them use a smaller scoop like this one. You can round out the flat spot for a perfect ball shape or you can leave it as is.
Other ingredients you can use
Energy balls are very forgiving which means if you don’t have an ingredient and want to add something different it’s very easy to do it. A lot of the time I won’t even measure out ingredients and just eyeball it as I go.
Instead of dried cranberries, you can use raisins or dried pineapple. I think pineapple could work well and balance the cocoa powder.
For an extra chocolate flavor, you can add chocolate chips or sub the cocoa powder for chocolate chips.
You can also sub in a mashed up banana or swap another liquid sweetener like date syrup or monk fruit. You can also omit the sweetener altogether. If you use mashed banana you may want to add more oats depending on how much moisture the banana adds.
Try using ground flax or hemp hearts instead or in addition to the chia seeds. Flax seeds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds are all rich in omega-3s.
Some quick tips for your energy balls.
How to prep ahead of time
You can prep your dry ingredients ahead of time by placing them in a mason jar. Then when you are ready to make them all you need to do is add the sunflower seed butter. This works well if you take this as a road trip snack.
How to make energy balls with your hands
This recipe uses a cookie scoop but you can make the nut-free energy ball by hand. Take a big tablespoon full of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.
Can you freeze energy balls
Yes. Energy balls freeze nicely so you can make a double batch for energy balls another time.
Store your energy balls in an airtight container. They should last about a week but you can freeze them as well.
Other recipes you’ll love
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Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Energy Bites
- 1.5 cup oats, old fashioned
- 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1/2 cup cranberries, dried
- 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp honey
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will make the mixture easier to make into a ball.
- Use a cookie scoop to make your energy ball. Or take a big spoonful and shape into a ball with your hands.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.