Berry Energy Balls – the perfect grab and go snack. Supercharged for nutrition. Delicious any time of day. Gluten Free; Dairy Free; Vegan.
This post has been created in collaboration with Erbology who provided a selection of ingredients towards making the recipe. All creativity and content belong to Gluten Free Alchemist.
DON’T LOSE THIS RECIPE! PIN IBerry Energy Balls FOR LATER…
Berry Energy Balls for a healthier snack
Berry energy balls are currently my ‘go to’ snack… Delicious and filling and healthily moreish. If like me you’re a ‘snacker’, then you probably eat more crisps and chocolate than you’re happy with. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Energy balls are easy to make and can be ready for a healthier boost when you need to satisfy the craving.
This particular recipe has been created in partnership with Erbology. A small company that celebrates the most amazing natural plant-based ingredients, supercharged for health and wellbeing. Working with local farmers, their products are organic and sustainable. And they also inspire creativity of the most nutritious kind.
You may not have come across some of their ingredients before. But I’ve tested and tried a few products that were kindly sent to me and have welcomed them into my kitchen, both for taste and versatility as well as health. These Berry Energy Balls are my first recipe to put those ingredients to the test.
Berry Energy Balls, Bliss Balls or Energy Bites – What’s the difference?
Basically none! Bliss or energy… bites or balls… It’s all one and the same. Recipes will vary. Some will add dates. Others use fresh fruit. There are lots of options, but generally, they will be no-bake, mostly raw and very healthy.
‘Protein’ balls on the other hand are slightly different, but only in as much as they appear to contain added ‘protein powder’.
I’m sure protein powder has its place, but I would much rather source protein naturally. For these energy balls, the protein is largely derived from nuts. And it’s the same for other energy ball recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist too : Hazelnut-Cacao Energy Balls and Coco-Banana Freeze Bites.
Why these Berry Energy Balls are ‘supercharged’ for nutrition
Berry energy balls contain nothing bad. Seriously. Every ingredient (even the chocolate chips) has been picked for the value it will give to your body. So, what’s included?
Almonds are a favourite ingredient at GFHQ. Rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, Vitamin E, manganese and magnesium, they’re full of great nutrition. They’re also loaded with anti-oxidants that help reduce inflammation and cell damage. And they support the natural control of blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This makes ground almonds the perfect base for berry energy balls.
Cashews are another super-charged nut. They’re rich in unsaturated fats which help to lower risk of heart disease. And like almonds, they are a fantastic protein source while also being high in fibre, minerals and low in sugar.
Although a carbohydrate grain, Oats also offer protein and good monounsaturated fats. They provide iron, plenty of B vitamins and also Vitamin E. But they also give us Beta-Glucan – a soluble fibre that supports heart health, helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and also supports controlled blood sugar and insulin levels.
Although dried and shredded, desiccated Coconut offers more than flavour and texture. It may be higher in fat (we only use a little in these berry bliss balls), but it’s also packed with fibre, iron, manganese and copper. So, it’s great for your blood and gut health as well as bone strength and overall energy levels.
Freeze-Dried Berries for Berry Energy Balls
They wouldn’t be Berry Energy Balls without berries. But this recipe uses freeze-dried Berries rather than fresh fruit. Why? Because using freeze-dried berries means the energy bites have a longer shelf-life and pack a much bigger flavour intensity.
Even better, the freeze-drying process preserves all the amazing nutrition, flavour and colour, without intensifying sugar levels. So that’s all the good stuff with no ‘mush’.
And what do berries bring to the bliss ball party? Flavour… AND loads of antioxidants to fight inflammation as well as plenty of vitamin C.
To buy freeze-fried berries in bulk, I usually head to the Healthy Supplies website which has an amazing selection.
We’ve all heard about the amazing healing qualities of Aloe Vera when applied to sunburnt skin. But have you ever considered eating it? When I was sent some ERBOLOGY Organic Aloe Vera Juice I admit I was a little intrigued. But it would seem it is as good for cleansing and hydrating from the inside as it is out. According to Erbology, research has identified a wealth of body-positive minerals and vitamins (particularly B12, C, E and folic acid), as well as 7 out of the 9 essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. Aloe vera is indeed polysaccharide nourishment which supports our immunity, digestion and cell metabolism.
Poppy Seed Oil
If you love the nutty, earthy flavour of poppy seeds, then you’ll enjoy the uniqueness of Erbology Poppy Seed Oil too. Although there’s only a little added to my berry energy balls, the back flavour remains unmistakable and quite delicious.
But it’s not just the flavour that makes poppy seed oil special. It’s also a great source of vitamin E and essential unsaturated fatty acids… In particular, oleic acid which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
These berry energy balls also contain a little Aronia juice. Aronia? You ask. Yep… That was my reaction too when I unboxed my ERBOLOGY treats. But always one to embrace new ingredients with the excitement of a kid in a sweet shop, I am loving the Aronia.
Actually, Aronia berries may just be heading our way as the next health berry. Native to North America, these small dark fruit are also known as ‘chokeberries’. Perhaps not the best berries to eat as direct fruit (they have a drying effect in the mouth from the tannins), but they nonetheless have some powerful nutritional properties. And as a juice, are a perfect addition to smoothies and (of course) berry bliss balls.
Low in calories, Aronia (like many berries) are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, fibre and antioxidants. They provide anthocyanins that help your body fight free radical damage and may even help reduce inflammation, support cognitive and heart health and fight pathogens.
Milk Thistle has long been known as an internal cleanser and liver protector. Although more often ‘taken’ in tablet form from health stores, the milk thistle used in these berry bliss balls comes as Milk Thistle Powder. Mildly nutty in flavour, I also tried toasting it for another recipe and loved it sprinkled on top of macaroni cheese and salads.
Milk thistle provides vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids and other phytonutrients that support cell health.
Unfortunately, the milk thistle powder from Erbology is made in a factory that handles gluten, so will not be suitable for some of my readers. I personally tried it and was fine. But if you are very sensitive or don’t want to risk it, then stay safe.
Berry energy balls still need a little extra sugar. Adding dates was an option, but they can be overpowering and also excessively sweet. I wanted the flavour of the berries to shine and the delicate texture of the nuts and coconut to stand strong. So, Maple Syrup (which is natural and unrefined) seemed a perfect alternative.
Sure, it’s sugar. There’s no getting away from the fact. But it will also give you some useful minerals too. In particular, manganese and zinc and (perhaps surprisingly) a good dose of antioxidants to support cell recovery.
Possibly a controversial addition to healthy berry energy balls? Or maybe not. Providing you use very dark chocolate in the mix, it actually has some benefits. When I undertook a little research for my Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse, I discovered that chocolate above 70% cocoa/cacao content (but the higher the cocoa content the better), is actually a bit of a health treat. Being well publicised and researched for the antioxidants (flavonoids) and minerals (zinc; iron; magnesium; copper) it contains, it is a more than welcome addition to the recipe.
If you can’t find very dark chocolate chips to add to the bliss balls, simply grab a bar and chop finely.
Here’s the recipe to make Berry Energy Balls
If you make my Berry Energy Balls (with or without adaptations) I’d love to hear from you. I’d love for you to leave a comment or tag me on social media (links at the top of the page).
Don’t forget to check out our amazing Recipe Index for loads more gluten free inspiration. If you’re Vegan, we also have a dedicated Vegan-Gluten Free Index a well. And why not subscribe for the latest recipes straight into your in-box. Just fill in the box below or on the home page.
Berry Energy Balls – No Bake Supercharged Nutrition
- Kitchen scales
- measuring spoons
- large mixing bowl
- wooden/silicone spoon
- small bowl
- Baking tray
- 100 g ground almonds
- 25 g freeze-dried raspberry powder or other freeze dried berry powder (strawberry/blackberry/blueberry, etc) – Finely ground
- 15 g desiccated coconut unsweetened
- 45 g oat flour GF if required
- 1 tbsp milk thistle powder
- 60 g cashew nut butter
- 50 g maple syrup
- 2 tsp poppy seed oil (or 1 tsp walnut oil)
- 1 tbsp Aloe Vera juice see Notes
- 2 tbsp Aronia juice see Notes
- 50 g very dark chocolate chips or carob chips
To roll and dust
- 35 g toasted ground hazelnuts
- 5 g freeze dried raspberry powder
- ½ tbsp milk thistle powder
- Weigh all the ingredients for the energy balls (not the ingredients under the heading 'roll and dust') into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a firm wooden or silicone spoon, mix all together until well blended and even.
- Using hands, roll the mixture into about 18 to 20 balls (the size of large walnuts) and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the ground hazelnuts with the 5g raspberry powder and milk thistle powder.
- Roll the balls in the hazelnut mix to completely coat and set on a tray.
- Chill the balls for a couple of hours, before storing in an airtight container.
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