The Great Ball Recipe Round-up!

by Kim on March 8, 2013

A couple years ago, a movement swept the blogging world. I call it the Healthy Ball Movement.

Basically, cookie dough and granola bars had a baby, and then they healthified that baby. No sugar, no butter, mostly natural ingredients, and a little punch of protein.

After the “original” ball recipe was published, everyone else hopped on the bandwagon quick. Today, there are countless variations and substitution ideas all over the internet.

And I want to try them all.

So, I decided to spend some time gathering up the most delicious-looking/interesting ball recipes I’ve seen (mostly, so I could pin them in one place). Part of my research involved going to Pinterest and typing in “healthy balls,” which I was only barely mature enough to do. I also spent a lot of time reading comments to make sure I was picking the recipes people have loved the most across the web. I tried to include a variety of ingredients and flavors, and to pull from a good mix of sources.

The result is the little list below.

(Note: these are NOT in any particular order, except for the first two, which I listed first just because I personally make them the most frequently.)

25 Healthy Energy Ball Recipes

 

1. No Bake Energy Bites from Smashed Peas and Carrots

 

Smashed Peas and Carrots Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Oats, PB, honey, coconut, flax, chocolate chips, vanilla

What makes them special: I think of this recipe as the original, and it’s still my personal go-to ball recipe. These things are amazing and I’ve pledged my undying loyalty to them for life.

Besides being mind-blowingly good and relatively not-horrible-for-you, these were a LIFESAVER when Mason was born and we were too wrapped up in the Newborn Hangover to do much in the grocery shopping or cooking departments. I was literally making a double batch every few days for awhile. (…Should I have admitted that?)

If you know any new moms, I highly recommend rushing over a batch (or five) of these ASAP. (You should also bring some of Heather’s lactation oat cookies.)

One thing I love about this recipe is how flexible it is—if you scroll down the blog post, you can find tons of substitution ideas. Personally, when I make them, I usually toast the coconut and add chia seeds per this version. I’ve also added dried fruit before. I swear you can’t mess these up!

2. Amazeballs from the Fitnessista

 

Fitnessista Ball Recipe 2

Ingredients: Vanilla or chocolate protein powder, almond butter, coconut, maple syrup, Stevia, sea salt, cinnamon

What makes them special: These are my go-to ball runner-ups. (What am I even saying right now?) They’re a little smaller/less hearty than the first recipe without the oats and PB, but the Stevia/sea salt/cinnamon combo is completely bomb. (Gina also uses that combo in her amazing cookie dough breakfast cereal, among other places.)

3. Chocolate Coconut Protein Cookie Balls from Healthy Diva Eats

 

Healthy Diva Eats Ball Recipe 1

Ingredients: Oats, chocolate protein powder, baking powder, egg white, coconut extract, Stevia, carob chips, almond butter, flax

What makes them special: This recipe is here representing the DO-bake balls, which (obviously) come out more cookie-like than dough-like.

Sort of unrelated: every time I look at that picture, I think for a second that the balls are all connected by black sticks, like those little molecule models we used to make in chemistry class.

4. Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls from Mommy Run Fast

 

Mommy Run Fast Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Chickpeas, maple syrup, nut butter, oats, baking powder, vanilla, dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder

What makes them special: Representing the chickpea-based ball category (as well as the DO-bakes) is this gem from Laura at Mommy Run Fast (a blog I’ve been LOVING lately). Skip the cocoa powder for the original, add it in for the chocolate version!

5. Peanut and Date Energy Balls from 7 Spice

 

7 Spice Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Peanuts, medjool dates, cocoa powder, PB, vanilla, sea salt

What makes them special: Dates! Hubby recently decided (out of nowhere) that he LOOOVES him some dates, so I have a feeling he’ll be requesting these once he sees this recipe.

6. 2-Ingredient Coconut Cookie Dough Balls from Chocolate Covered Katie

 

Chocolate Covered Katie Ball Recipe 1

Ingredients: Dates, coconut butter

What makes them special: TWO ingredients!?!? Talk about no excuses. Plus, Chocolate Covered Katie always knocks her healthy dessert recipes out of the park.

7. German Chocolate Fudge Bites from Chocolate Covered Katie

 

Chocolate Covered Katie Ball Recipe 2

Ingredients: Pitted dates, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, coconut, pecans, chocolate chips

What makes them special: See above Re: Chocolate Covered Katie knocking things out of the park. I haven’t tried these yet, but they reportedly taste exactly like fudge brownies.

8. Double Cookie Dough Balls from Oh She Glows

 

Oh She Glows Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Cashews, macadamia nuts, coconut sugar, Sucanat, cane sugar, non-dairy buttery spread, vanilla extract, sea salt, cinnamon, chocolate chips, maple syrup, oats, spelt flour, coconut

What makes them special: This one’s a bit more involved and might include some ingredients you don’t have lying around. Part of the reason for the laundry list is that the prep process is split into two parts: first, you make Angela’s cookie dough nut butter, and then you use that butter in the actual balls.

But the result: SO worth it. I’ve made tons of Angela’s recipes, and they have NEVER failed me.

*Note: If you’re still in a trance from looking at the picture above but aren’t quite ready to tackle Angela’s recipe, here’s an easier adapted version from 52 Kitchen Adventures.

9. Peanut Butter Cup Protein Ballz from the Fitnessista

 

Fitnessista Ball Recipe 1

Ingredients: PB, protein powder, cocoa powder, nutritional yeast, coconut flakes or oats, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla, maple syrup, Stevia, chocolate chips, almond milk

What makes them special: This is the PB version of Gina’s amazeballs. I know—she had you at “peanut butter cup.”

10. Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls from The Lemon Bowl

 

The Lemon Bowl Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Banana, oats, cocoa powder, PB, flax meal, vanilla protein powder, sea salt

What makes them special: I like this recipe because it’s reminiscent of the original no-bake cookies I grew up on, without the sugar, eggs, and butter. Only 60 cals a ball!

11. Fig and Vanilla Cinnamon Protein Cookie Balls from Healthy Diva Eats

 

Healthy Diva Eats Ball Recipe 2

Ingredients: Oats, vanilla almond butter, baking powder, vanilla stevia (or any sweetener), egg whites, vanilla protein powder, dried figs

What makes them special: Figs, of course! I’ll be honest: I’m not a huge fig girl, but I know that makes me a weirdo, so I thought I’d include this variation for all the normal people of the world.

12. Dark Chocolate Trail Mix Balls from Zesty Cook

 

Zesty Cook Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Oats, quinoa, coconut, protein powder, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, sea salt, vanilla, almond butter, PB, honey

What makes them special: Talk about some hearty balls! (Yes. I HAD to.) This is the only recipe I’ve seen with quinoa in it—interesting touch!

13. Raw Chocolate Chip Chickpea Peanut Butter Bites from Priscilla Mtizwa

 

Priscillamtizwa Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Chickpeas, PB, oats, chocolate chips, almond milk, dates, cinnamon

What makes them special: I’m always attracted to simplicity when it comes to recipes (well, when it comes to a lot of things). This version of the chickpea-based ball doesn’t drag out the recipe list, and I appreciate that.

14. Dried Fruit and Nut Bites from Whole Living

 

Whole Living Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Dried fruit, nuts/seeds, cinnamon, salt, sesame seeds

What makes them special: See above Re: simplicity. Combine any dried fruit and any nuts, and boom. BALLS.

15. Baked Dessert Hummus Balls from Purple Bird Dog

 

Purple Bird Dog Blog Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Chickpeas, white beans, PB, brown rice flour, maple syrup, vanilla bean paste, salt, vanilla stevia, vanilla almond milk, chocolate chips

What makes them special: Last chickpea-based recipe, I swear! I haven’t made these yet, but they got a lot of buzz on the interwebs, and that has to count for something. (Much more than my single lowly opinion, anyway!)

*Note: If this recipe looks scary, here’s a simpler adapted version from Spabettie.

*Another note: Christin (of Purple Bird Dog) also made a crazy amazing-looking COCOA CARAMEL version of these!

*Last note (promise): Speaking of dessert hummus, there are also TONNNS of great healthified cookie dough dip recipes around, like this one from The Wannabe Chef and these from the Lean Green Bean.

16. Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites from Averie Cooks

 

Averie Cooks Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Cashews, oats, agave, maple syrup, vanilla

What makes them special: They’re simple, vegan, and raw. They also use agave, which is something I’ve been wanting to experiment with.

17. Nuttzo Chocolate Nut & Seed Balls from Healthy Family and Home

 

Healthy Family and Home Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Oats, flax, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, Nuttzo choco nut butter, honey, chocolate chips

What makes them special: Crunchy! Seedy! Nutty! Oh my! I’ve never tried Nuttzo, but it sounds like something I would get along with.

18. Maple Nut Oaties from Heather Eats Almond Butter

 

Heather Eats Almond Butter Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Oats, nut butter, maple syrup, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips/dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, salt

What makes them special: This was actually the first “ball” type recipe I ever saw, back when the ball movement was first catching steam. Heather calls them oaties, which, let’s face it, is a lot more appetizing than balls.

Here’s the full list of all her oatie recipes (including the lactation oaties I mentioned earlier)—definitely worth checking out/bookmarking/pinning/whatever you do to keep these in your back pocket.

19. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cranberry Popcorn Balls from Savoring the Thyme

 

Savoring the Thyme Ball Recipe Ingredients: Popcorn, agave, PB, dried cranberries, dark chocolate, pretzels

What makes them special: Who doesn’t like popcorn, chocolate, and pretzels? Suddenly, all the other balls look a little boring…

20. Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls from Diets in Review

 

Diets In Review Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Dates, almonds, oats, pumpkin pie spice

What makes them special: Pumpkin! Kinda out of season now, but would you believe that pumpkin is still good in the spring? Who knew!

21. Orange Coconut Power Balls from Fit Foodie Finds

 

Fit Foodie Finds Ball Recipe

Ingredients: PB, honey, oat flour, chia seeds, coconut, orange extract

What makes them special: I think orange flavored things are generally underrated. And I know that orange-coconut flavored things are deeply underrated.

22. Chocolate Coconut Mocha No-Bake Oaties from Heather Eats Almond Butter

 

Heather Eats Almond Butter Ball Recipe 2

Ingredients: Oats, chocolate coconut butter, coconut, nuts, maple syrup, vanilla, espresso powder, salt

What makes them special: COFFEE! Plus, Heather’s magical chocolate coconut butter, which sounds complex but really just involves whipping coconut flakes in the food processor until they get buttery and then tossing in some kind of chocolate.

23. Chocolate Coated Gingerbread Bliss Balls from Nutritionist in the Kitch

 

Nutritionist in the Kitch Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Walnuts, oats, raisins, dates, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, molasses, maple syrup, chocolate chips, coconut oil

What makes them special: Mmmmmmolasses! (<—Lame) This one is unique both because of its gingerbreadness and the fact that it involves melting the chocolate chips on the outside of the balls.

I’m typically not a fan of raisins, but in this case, they’re just blended in with the dates for sweetening purposes. And even I can handle that.

24. Zuzana’s Power Balls from body rock

 

Zuzana Power Balls

Ingredients: Oats, almond meal, baking powder, honey, coconut oil, carrots, pecans

What makes them special: Did you catch the weird ingredient in there? CARROTS!! What?? Yes.

25. Snickers Balls from Wholesome Little Life

 

Wholesome Little Life Ball Recipe

Ingredients: Dates, cashews, PB, chocolate chips, coconut oil

What makes them special: Another example of chocolate chips melted on the outside. Also, I like the use of coconut oil.

What’s your favorite flavor combination?

Do you know of a great recipe that’s missing from this list?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Francesca April 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

Thank you for putting all these repices together, Kim! There are just so many around and I was looking for something specific to energy balls I’d tried, loved, knew most of the ingredients for but didn’t know the quantities. I am going to try the Nuttzo Chocolate Nut and Seed Balls as they seem the closest… Cheers :)

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Francesca April 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

Thank you for putting all these repices together, Kim! There are just so many around and I was looking for something specific to energy balls I’d tried, loved, knew most of the ingredients for but didn’t know the quantities. I am going to try the Nuttzo Chocolate Nut and Seed Balls as they seem the closest… Cheers :)

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Kim April 1, 2014 at 8:21 am

Glad you found it helpful Francesca! :)

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Boo March 13, 2014 at 4:30 am

I need calorie information guys >< they look so delicious but if they are 300 Cals each, it might not be worth it TT_TT

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stacey January 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Hi – is there a good substitute for oats in any of these recipes? I am allergic to oats, among other things and am looking for a delicious treat…..

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Kim January 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Can you eat quinoa? I’ve heard rolled quinoa is a suitable alternative–never tried it myself though. Depending on which recipe you’re looking at, you might be able to skip oats completely and add more of another ingredient instead, like ground nuts or dates. It won’t be the same but could still turn out tasty. :) For ideas on a specific recipe here, I’d suggest getting in touch with the blog authors who wrote the recipes (the links should all take you to the right blogs). Good luck!

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janet @ the taste space June 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

What a wonderful resource. Now I know where to go when I need some inspiration for snacks. :)
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Kim June 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

Glad you find it helpful! :)

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Sonia March 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Thank you very much for featuring my recipe with pic. The recipe is easy peasy and amazing! Isn’t it? You’ll love it. Other recipes from bloggers sound good too :-)
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Heather Eats Almond Butter March 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Oh my goodness, honored to have made the “healthy ball” list with several mentions. Quite the compilation you have here, and I about fell out of my chair when I saw the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cranberry Popcorn Balls…oh and those chocolate covered Snickers balls look pretty amazing too. All of my children are napping at the moment, and I think I shall go have some fun in the kitchen. Thanks for putting all these delicious recipes into one post.

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Kim March 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

You’re welcome! Thanks for the wonderful recipes. :)

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Katie March 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

THANK YOU for featuring two of my ball recipes! How sweet of you to do this and I am loving the other recipes too!

I just might have to make more protein balls today, has been a while!

Happy Tuesday love! <3

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Kim March 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

You’re so welcome Katie! Thanks for sharing the recipes with the world. :)

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen March 12, 2013 at 4:17 am

I am a HUGE energy ball fan!! Thanks for getting all of these tasty recipes together because they all look great! I can’t wait to try them all out :)
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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

thanks so much for the shoutout!
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Kristina March 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm

oooh, mama – several of these I have seen before, and there are many new ones I’m off to check out! thanks for including me in such a fantastic collection – I have several adaptations of the chickpea ball – chai chia, chocolate mint, mmm…
Kristina recently posted…Meatless Monday – favorite recipesMy Profile

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Wow – this is a great roundup of little bites and balls and cookie doughs and everything I want to nibble on! Thanks for including my Cookie Dough Balls (#16) and for all the great ideas!

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Kim March 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Thanks for coming up with such an awesome recipe! :)

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Laura @ Mommy Run Fast March 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Oh my gosh, I’m drooling!! Thanks so much for including my chickpea balls. This is an awesome round up!

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Kim March 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Thanks for coming up with a fabulous recipe! :)

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 11, 2013 at 11:13 am

Awesome post! I have been trying to come up with new and easy snacks, so these sound perfect. I really want to try the vegan ones and the ones made with chickpeas. Yum! :)
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Tina @ Best Body Fitness March 11, 2013 at 6:01 am

This post is a gold mine! So glad you linked it up and I want to share it again in my weekly reader post going up today.
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Kim March 11, 2013 at 6:49 am

Thanks Tina!

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Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness March 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Yes, I love this post! I saw chocolate covered pistachio cake balls on Sarah’s blog the other day and thought they looked so interesting! These don’t seem as healthy as the other balls you have listed but they are just so unique!

http://makingthymeforhealth.com/2013/03/05/chocolate-covered-pistachio-cake-balls-cake-pops/
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Jessica @ Prayers and Apples March 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

What an amazing idea! I’m all over that first recipe!! :) Thanks for taking the time to put this together! :)
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Christal @ Nutritionist in the Kitch March 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Thanks for featuring my Gingerbread Bliss Balls! :)
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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome March 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I love making protein balls! I need to make some of these recipes for sure! I always just throw whatever in the mix and roll it up! Lately though my favorite was the Lemon Blueberry ones I made for Fitmixer… yum!
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PickyRunner March 8, 2013 at 7:19 am

So many amazing sounding recipes! I want to try some of the chocolate chip ones. I’m worried they’d taste like nuts, though. I’m not a fan but it’s worth a try! Who wouldn’t want to pop raw cookie dough balls three at a time and have it be an afternoon snack instead of a dessert?
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