These Chocolate Orange Energy Balls are packed full of nuts, bound with dates and flavoured with orange, cacao and cinnamon. They are a great snack/dessert at any time of the year but especially delicious at Christmas. The mixed nuts, dates, orange zest and cinnamon give a flavour profile similar to that of Christmas pudding. Yummy!
Energy balls are great because they are so easy to prepare, you simply
- Throw everything into a food processor / high-speed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Roll into balls &
So simple, and great for getting the little ones involved in the kitchen.
For this recipe, it is best to blend the nuts before adding the remaining ingredients. This produces a smoother, more uniform ball.
Cacao and cinnamon have been added to this recipe but there is no need to be specific with measurements. You can easily adapt the ingredients to suit taste. If you prefer a sweeter profile you can also up the dates or add a little sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup.
As the balls are quite rich I decided to make them small, around a heaped teaspoon each. If you prefer, you can obviously make them bigger.
Topping them with a little orange zest adds a touch of decoration. You could also roll them in cacao powder, desiccated coconut or drizzle them with chocolate.
Nut-Free Chocolate Orange Energy Balls
Although the main ingredients in this recipe are nuts, I am often contacted asking for nut-free alternatives for my recipes.
I, therefore, trialled this recipe replacing the nuts with oats.
I found that the oats produced quite a dry ball, probably due to the lack of fat from the removal of the nuts. However, once I reduced the volume of oats to 90g (½ cup) the balls held together beautifully and tasted great.
If you want, you could add some desiccated coconut or coconut oil to the ball to provide a little more fat for texture.
These balls are perfect for storing in the freezer. Freeze on a single layer before transferring them to an airtight container. They taste amazing straight from the freezer.
Alternatively, store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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Chocolate Orange Energy Balls
- 200g (1.5 cups) Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts (I used pistachio, cashew, hazelnuts, macadamia, almonds and walnuts) * SEE NOTE 1
- 4 Medjool Dates
- 1 tablespoon Cacao Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ Naval Orange (juice and zest)
- Add the mixed nuts to a food processor and blend until they have broken down into a crumb.
- Add the dates, cacao powder, cinnamon, orange juice and half the zest. Blend until fully combined.
- Using your hands, roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls. I made 25 balls from the mixture.
- Sprinkle the remaining zest on top of the balls.
- For a nut-free version, you can replace the nuts with 90g (½ cup) of oats. You may also wish to add some desiccated coconut or coconut oil.
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