How to create delicious energy snacks for athletes

Posted on July 7, 2020 by

Energy balls, sometimes called protein balls, are small bite-sized doses of energy-dense goodness. They’re ideal for athletes who are short on time with high energy demands.

And in most cases, they generally only contain a small amount of protein, unless protein powder has been added.

However because they only have a fraction of the protein needed to recover from training, they make a better snack for slow release energy outside of training times. They’re a good way to satiate hunger and fill in gaps between meals.

The best part about energy balls is that there is no one set recipe. There are of course some key ingredients to get the formula and consistency needed, but the number of combinations is endless. Choose from a big range of flavours and put your own unique spin on it.


How to make Energy Balls

Here’s a guide to get you started. A food processor makes it easier to blend ingredients to bind. For the best result, and to be able to have energy on the go, add each ingredient in the above order and blend them together before adding the next one.

1 cup – Binder 

A sticky dried fruit which will hold it all together. This forms the base of the ball. For example: 

  • Fresh Mejool dates
  • Dried prunes
  • Soft dried apricots
  • Dried figs (depending on the brand, should have consistency of a prune)


½ cup – Nuts and/or seeds

This will help to hold its shape and give texture and form. For example: 

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Sesame seed
  • Peptitas
  • Sunflower seeds


1-2tb – Powder

Not essential but will reduce the amount of nuts needed for texture and can help get the right consistency depending on what binder you use. For example: 

  • Almond or hazelnut meal
  • Cocoa
  • Coconut
  • Oats
  • Protein powder


If your creation seems a little dry, you may need to add some honey, peanut butter or orange juice to bind the mix together. You want it to be soft, but still gold shape like play dough does.


Optional extras

For added zing you could add the zest of lemon or orange, or other dried fruit like cranberries or goji berries (although these aren’t sticky enough to be the binder).

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