By now there’s no shortage of energy date ball ‘recipes’ online. There has been an overwhelming response to these bites and for good reason- dates are a great source of natural sweetness, potassium, magnesium and fiber. They make a great mid-day snack, dessert, or breakfast food. I grew up eating dates regularly. They have deep history in our culture and religion as they are the main food we use to break our fast during Ramadan. Energy balls are not new either; every Ramadan my mom would make these bites and prepare them to break our fast or snack on during the night. After a long day’s fast these bites are perfect because they provide a quick burst of energy.
To make the date balls my mom would buy date paste that is found in Arabic grocery stores. No need to pulse dates. Just open the date paste and make the balls. We add a special spice to the dates to give it some ethnic flavor: cardamom. Cardamom has a unique, strong taste and smell. Adding just a pinch is all it takes to provide a burst of flavor. Growing up my mom would roll the energy bites in sesame seeds or pistachios. They sure didn’t last long!
Bottom line if you are looking for a healthy dessert or want to satisfy a sweet craving or are looking for an energy boosting snack (like before or after a workout) then I highly recommend these energy date balls. And they are so versatile because you could seriously add whatever you like (oats, flaxseeds, chia, coconut, chocolate chips, etc).
I’ve included two other variations that were inspired by the many versions found online (note: the ‘truffles’ are my favorite now!)
Note: To make the date balls I used organic pitted Deglet Noor dates from Costco. They work out great but you can also use Medjool dates or any variety you like.
Traditional Energy Date Balls with Cardamom
1 cup dates
¼ tsp cardamom powder
¼ cup pistachios, pulsed
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp butter, softened (or you can use coconut oil)
Chocolate ‘Truffle’ Energy Date Balls
1 cup dates
1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond butter)
1 tsp cocoa, and 2 tbsp cocoa on the side
Almond Date Energy Balls
1 cup dates
1/3 cup almonds
1/2 tsp butter, softened
Welcome! I'm Rahaf, a Registered Dietitian with a mission to inspire you to Eat healthy, Enjoy Foods, and Empower you with practical nutrition advice for a happy nourished life.