Lara’s Bone-Healthy Energy Balls (No Baking Required)

Published: August 31, 2018
Updated: April 23, 2020

Hands up, who finds it difficult to satisfy their sweet tooth without feeling guilty?

I know I do. Well, I did I should say. But then I discovered this recipe for date and nut energy balls, and I just had to share it with you! Get this: Not only are they yummy, but they also contain ingredients that, in moderation, work wonders for your bone health! (More on that in just a moment).

These energy balls are the perfect after-dinner treat to satisfy those sweet cravings (in moderation of course). What’s more, they lend themselves to batch preparation, so you can wow your friends by offering them as a dinner party gift… If you can bring yourself to give them away that is!

I actually like to eat a couple of these energy balls before I exercise too– as the name suggests, they’re great for that little boost of energy you need to seek out one more repetition. So let’s get to it!

Healthy raw energy balls on a white wooden background

Lara’s Bone-Healthy Energy Balls (No Baking Required)

Not only are they yummy, but they also contain ingredients that, in moderation, work wonders for your bone health!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking 1 hr
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 50 servings
Calories 45 kcal

Ingredients
  

Main Recipe

  • 2 cups dates organic, pitted
  • 1 cup nuts organic, raw
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds organic
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa organic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil organic, melted
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds organic
  • 1/2 cup coconut organic, unsweetened, shredded
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract organic
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Toppings

  • berries powder freeze-dried
  • matcha powder
  • cacao nibs
  • mini chocolate
  • carob chips
  • coconut unsweetened shredded, flaked, raw or toasted
  • seeds toasted
  • nuts toasted

Instructions
 

Main Recipe

  • Put the dates in a glass bowl, cover them with cool water, and leave them to soak for at least one hour– or ideally overnight.
  • If you do soak the dates overnight, you can soak the nuts overnight too. It'll make them more digestible!
  • Drain the dates (and nuts if you soaked them too) thoroughly.
  • Add the nuts, dates, coconut, coconut oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cocoa or carob powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue to process the mixture until everything is very well blended. Tip: You're aiming for a thick, sticky dough.
  • The longer you blend the mixture (and the more powerful your food processor is), the smoother the dough and the softer your energy balls will be. If you prefer firmer energy balls, stop blending as soon as the mixture holds together when you roll a tablespoon of it between your palms to form a ball.
  • If you prefer softer energy balls but your dough is too sticky to roll, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes and try again. Rolling your balls with damp hands will also help.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop your dough out of the food processor and form the balls with your hands. One full tablespoon of dough is about the right amount for one energy ball.
  • Place the balls on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
  • Roll the energy balls in your chosen toppings (or a combination of them–for example berry powder plus coconut, chopped seeds or nuts plus chocolate chips) and transfer them to an airtight container lined with parchment paper you can store in the fridge or freezer.
  • I use a rectangular glass container with a glass lid. If you have to use plastic, place a piece of parchment paper beneath and on top of your energy balls to separate them from the plastic.
  • Your energy balls will keep in the fridge for 10 days or in the freezer for months (my husband Joe makes sure that they don't stick around for that long though!)

Toppings (you can use one, all, or a combination of a few of these!)

  • Powder made from freeze-dried organic berries or fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or mango for example.) To make the powder, pulverize the berries or fruit in a coffee bean grinder or blender. Or you can put the berries or fruits between 2 sheets of parchment paper and grind them into powder using a rolling pin
  • Organic matcha powder
  • Mini chocolate or carob chips or cacao nibs
  • Unsweetened shredded or flaked organic coconut, raw or toasted
  • Toasted organic seeds or nuts, finely chopped (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds for example)

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 62mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword energy balls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Step by step recipe of healthy no bake energy balls top view.


The Ingredients Your Bones Will Love

As I alluded to earlier, these energy balls satisfy more than just your taste buds… Two ingredients, in particular, provide several health perks, and that includes some bone health benefits!

Dates

There’s more to the humble date than first meets the eye. See, dates contain modest amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. All of which are necessary nutrients for optimal bone health. That’s a great bonus when you use dates sparingly in recipes like this one, but they shouldn’t become your go-to bone healthy snack. They contain a lot of sugar (albeit natural sugar), so moderation is key.

The high level of fiber in dates means they help promote healthy, regular bowel movements too.

What’s more, dates have a low glycemic index value. One study shows five popular varieties of date (fara’d, lulu, bo ma’an, dabbas, khalas) have glycemic index values ranging from 46-55. For reference, a glycemic index of 55 or below is considered low.

A low glycemic index means your body breaks down the carbohydrates in that food slowly and takes a long time to convert them to glucose– the sugar your body uses for energy. So foods with a low glycemic index are far better for controlling your blood sugar levels than foods with high glycemic indexes like refined sugar products and bread! In fact, dates are a great alternative for refined white sugar in any recipe! It’s super easy if you have date paste too– just swap out the required value of sugar for the same amount of date paste.

But remember, while dates are a healthier alternative to refined sugar, you should still enjoy them in moderation. Natural sugar is still sugar after all!

Walnuts in a wooden bowl

Raw Nuts

I suggested a few types of nuts in the ingredients list, but you can try pretty much any type of nut you like with this recipe (my favorite so far is walnuts.) And whichever you choose, you can’t go far wrong. See, raw nuts provide a few powerful health benefits…

Obviously there are a whole host of nuts to choose from, but generally speaking raw nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, magnesium, and healthy fat.

And the main benefit raw nuts provide your bones is reducing inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting and healing itself. But overexposure to pro-inflammatory foods like refined sugars and refined grains, and environmental toxins can confuse your inflammatory response into attacking healthy cells and tissues. This is chronic inflammation. And it’s bad news for your bones because chronic inflammation inhibits your bone-forming osteoblasts and cranks up the activity of your bone-resorbing osteoclasts!

Studies show walnuts, pistachios, and brazil nuts are particularly effective at easing inflammation.

But just like dates, you should enjoy raw nuts in moderation.


Let Me Know How Your Energy Balls Turn Out!

So there you have it! I hope you’ll enjoy my energy ball recipe and share it with your friends. Experiment with the toppings until you find your all-time favorite, and please let me know how your energy balls turn out in the comments section below.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Sherry Braud

    September 1, 2018 , 9:44 am

    Dean and Lara,
    Thank you for this recipe, and the Nutritional values as well. I am all about helping my bones, as I have Osteoporosis. I am taking the Algae Cal with the Strontium Boost, and I know from reading many of your customers posts that it is going to help my bones.
    I appreciate the many emails you share with us.
    Sincerely,
    Sherry B.

  2. Shirley

    September 1, 2018 , 11:22 am

    So if I’m not using peanuts, do I include 1 cup peanut butter in this recipe?

  3. Jenna AlgaeCal

    September 3, 2018 , 3:38 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    You can use 1 cup of organic raw nuts or 1 cup of organic peanut butter!

    So if you don’t want to use peanuts, just use 1 cup of your preferred nut (walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.) 🙂

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  4. Lynne Wood

    September 1, 2018 , 12:27 pm

    Sally Fallon in “Nourishing Traditions” recommends soaking nuts then dehydrating them to make them more digestible, reducing the lectins. Does this process make the nuts less nutritionally good? I do have digestive issues, so this is very important to me. I do not eat legumes because of the lectin issue. Thanks for your help.

  5. Jenna AlgaeCal

    September 12, 2018 , 11:03 am

    Interesting, Lynne!

    From the research we’ve seen, it appears soaking nuts may increase their nutritional content, but the advantages of digestibility aren’t necessarily supported by peer-reviewed published research. There’s more reading about this on the world’s healthiest foods website here.

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  6. lida koronewskij

    September 4, 2018 , 1:27 pm

    I so love these energy balls. Absolutely delightful!
    I used pecans and carob powder this first time. WoW! even my 94 yr Mom loves them.

  7. Jenna AlgaeCal

    September 7, 2018 , 10:12 am

    So happy to hear you and your mom enjoy them as much as we do, Lida!

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  8. Sarah Cummings

    September 4, 2018 , 6:55 pm

    Awesome! I cherish desserts however I as of now began viewing my wellbeing! Happy you share this post!

  9. [email protected]

    October 16, 2018 , 3:58 pm

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I can not wait to start build back my bones.
    Amira

  10. Jenna AlgaeCal

    October 23, 2018 , 11:11 am

    Let us know how you like it, Amira! 🙂

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  11. Penny Mitchell

    December 16, 2018 , 11:24 am

    Thank you for your recipe! I brought these to a holiday party organized for our bone health Pilates exercise class.
    The final result was tasty but I had to modify the recipe to make it work. Unfortunately, I over processed the mixture in the food processor. To rectify this, I poured the mix into a piping bag and piped them into miniature Christmas cupcake shells and sprinkled the tops with various toppings recommended here. The fridge helped to solidify the mixture but they will eventually soften if left out in a warm room for several hours. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like a photo of the finished product.

  12. Jenna AlgaeCal

    December 17, 2018 , 1:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Penny! It’s awesome to hear you brought these to your pilates holiday party. And adding the mixture to cupcake shells was a smart save 😀

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  13. Sonja Harris

    May 13, 2019 , 2:11 pm

    These were a hit for my family.

  14. Jenna AlgaeCal

    May 14, 2019 , 8:41 am

    That’s awesome Sonja! Glad to hear it. 🙂

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  15. Donna

    January 18, 2020 , 10:53 am

    I have medjool dates. Can I use them and do they need to be soaked? I’d just cut the seed out.

  16. Megan AlgaeCal

    January 21, 2020 , 8:48 am

    Hi Donna, good question!

    We would recommend soaking for 5-10 minutes in warm water, just to soften them up so they’re easier to blend. Hope this helps and let us know how your energy balls turn out! ?

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, PhD - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,