No Bake Banana Bread Energy Balls
Truth be told. Right now, my kitchen counter is filled with yellow brownish bananas. Let’s just say they need a little love. Now, normally I would whip up a quick batch of my Healthy Banana Bread or my kids favorite Banana Bread Oatmeal Bars.
But, today I was feeling something a little different. And since I’ve really been trying to increase the amount of protein I eat. I decided to make some high protein energy balls! You can’t go wrong with those. Not only do they give you energy, they usually curb that sweet treat craving I have around 2pm. Anyone else?
What is an energy ball?
Energy balls go by a variety of names. They are called protein balls, energy bites and power balls. Basically, they are all the same thing. Energy balls are a snack formed in the shape of small ball. Typically, they are made with oats, a nut butter, a sweetener of some sort and then any other add in’s.
Are energy balls actually healthy for you?
It depends on what’s in it. A lot of recipes out there are loaded with fats and sugars. You really need to keep an eye out on the ingredients. Overall, if your energy bite has real ingredients and not loaded with nut butters or chocolate they are great. I’d keep an eye on the grams of sugar, fat and protein. You want to make sure that you are getting what you need from these powerhouse balls. Which is protein, good carbs and fiber.
Ingredients you’ll need:
This recipe has less than 10 ingredients in it and is sweetened naturally with dates. To make these banana bread bites you’ll need the following.
- Banana – Mash them up first then measure.
- Oats – I use regular oats for this, not steel-cut or quick cooking oats. I also usually buy Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Oats because I find them to be milder on my stomach.
- Dates – Skip the honey or maple syrup. Just go all natural with these dried dates as the sweeteners.
- Almond Butter – Normally I add peanut butter to my date energy bites. But, I wanted the banana flavor to come through so I choose almond butter. This adds a creaminess, helps the balls stick together and more protein. My favorite brand is Maranatha no stir and no sugar.
- Pecans – These crunchy nuts give a nice nutty flavor and pack nutrients and protein.
- Protein Powder – I love to use plant based protein powders. My favorite is Vega Protein Powder. I use a vanilla protein powder here to keep with the banana bread theme. Think of it like adding your “vanilla extract.”
- Cinnamon – A classic spice that is always in banana bread. Plus the health benefits are great. Did you know that cinnamon can help you stay full? Yep!
- Water – I know this seems odd, but just trust me here. This will help your balls stick together.
How to Make Banana Bread Energy Balls
Making protein energy bites in a bowl with a spatula is so old school! The new way is in the food processor. Let’s call it “energy bites 2.0”. You can thank me later! Here’s how to make these bad boys.
- Mash Bananas: Add bananas to a small bowl and mash with a fork.
- Blend in Food Processor: Add mashed bananas to food processor or blender along with oats, dates, almond butter, pecans, protein powder and cinnamon. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped. (about 7-9 times)
- Add Water: Slowly add water to the food process and blend until the mixture sticks together or forms a ball. You may need to add more or less water depending on your energy ball dough.
- Roll into Balls: Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Take energy bite mixture and roll into 1.5-2″ balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Storage: Serve immediately or store in air tight container in refrigerator.
How to Store Energy Bites
I find the best way to store energy balls is in an air tight container in the refrigerator. If stored properly, they usually last 5-7 days before they start to get soggy.
Like all other things, energy bites can be tweaked to fit your flavors or even dietary needs. Here are some easy variations to spice things up or just change it up.
- Other Sweeteners: Don’t want to use or don’t have dates. No problem. You can use dried apricots, honey, maple syrup or even agave to sweeten.
- Turn them into bars: Press the mixture firmly into a parchment lines 8″x8″ baking pan, chill and then cut into bars and serve.
- Add Chocolate: Add mini chocolate chips, cocoa powder or a chocolate drizzle on top to make these Chocolate Banana Bread Bites. You can’t go wrong with chocolate.
- Change up the nut butter: I not everyone buys almond butter. So if you don’t have it, you can use peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini or even sunflower butter.
- Load up the Nutrients: I also love add ground flax seed, hemp seed or chia seeds for an extra boost of nutrients and fiber.
More Energy Ball Recipes you need to try:
- No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites
- Vegan Cookie Dough Energy Balls
- Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls
- Snickerdoodle Energy Bites
- 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup dry pitted dates (about 6 large ones)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup water (or more if needed)
- Add gluten free oats, mashed banana, cinnamon, dried dates, almond butter, pecans, and vanilla protein powder to food processor.
- Pulse until ingredients are blended and oats are finely chopped, almost like flour consistency. (about 7-9 times)
- Slowly add water to the food process and blend until the mixture sticks together. You may need to add more or less water depending on your energy ball dough.
- Form energy bite mixture into 1″ balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Serve immediately or store in air tight container in refrigerator.
- Serving Size: 1 energy ball
- Calories: 125
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 16 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 13 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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