Coconut Energy Balls - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Coconut Energy Balls

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

My Coconut Energy Balls are high in protein, nutrients and store super well!  They are the perfect mix of sweet and savory that will satiate and satisfy, and fuel you through your day.

Power Snack!

Snacks can be a lifesaver to stave of turning into a “hangry”––hungry + angry––monster. When you are on the go and don’t have the time for a proper meal or need a post workout snack or just something to hold you over, my Coconut Energy Balls are the answer!

My Coconut Energy Balls have all 3 macronutrients––protein, sugar and fat. They are the perfect blend of protein (pecans), fat (pecans and coconut flakes) and sugar (dates).  Most snacks are sugar bombs that are processed and devoid of anything, but sugar and salt.  The food industry has mastered how to create addictive snacks by shaping sugar into a cute shape and adding salt to enhance the flavor.

Protein

A majority of snacks are mostly sugar and salt, keeping us addictively going back for more and more.  It also causes a spike in blood sugar, a short-term burst of energy and then a steep crash often leaving us feeling tired.  When we pair sugar and protein snacks, the digestion and breakdown is slower leading to less of a spike in blood sugar, which leaves us feeling full for longer.   In my Coconut Energy Balls, I use pecans because they are high in protein, fat and fiber.

Pecans, similar to other nuts like walnuts and almonds are nutrient dense, a one ounce portion­­ or about 15 pecan halves includes 196 calories, 2.6 grams of protein and 2.7 grams of fiber!

Pecans contain over 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.1  Multiple studies have shown that a diet rich in nuts, reduces risk of heart disease and can lead to people living longer lives.2

Fat

In my Coconut Energy Balls, fat is provided by pecans and coconut flakes.  Pecans are a tree nut with a creamy smooth taste thanks to their high fat content.  The high fat content of pecans is thanks to unsaturated fats, which are heart healthy!

I prefer using unsweetened coconut flakes in my Coconut Energy Balls.  I love the coconut flavor and texture that they provide.  The calories are made of mostly saturated fats with that full on, yummy coconut flavor.

Carbohydrates

Most snacks like chips, pretzels and baked goods are chock full of refined carbohydrates, processed to a degree that all the nutrients are removed leaving only sugar.  I do not mean to demonize sugar, because sugar equals fuel.  It is important to power us through the day, but it needs to be in the correct ratio to fats and protein.

My Coconut Energy Balls on the other hand have dates, a slightly dehydrated fruit that is way more than just sugar!  Dates offer about 1.5 grams of fiber, each (!) and are a significant source of potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.  The fiber in dates will increase the feeling of fullness so you are less likely to overindulge like with a bag of candy.

Cordycep Mushroom Powder 3

I love adding mushroom powders to my meals and snacks for an extra nutrition boost, and Cordyceps are all about energy! Cordyceps have rejuvenating properties to improve endurance, recovering from exhaustion and minimizing stress.  I get my Cordyceps, and other mushroom powders from Qi Traditions.  All of their products are organic and rigorously researched and tested.

The health effects were first noted in traditional Chinese medicine and were shown to be effective in treating asthma, cough and cold, and chronic back pain.  The active ingredients, Cordycepin and Adenosine are the bioactive compounds that provide the pharmacological benefits.

Let’s Get Snacking

Now that you have learned what it takes for a snack to be energizing and nourishing, lets roll up some Coconut Energy Balls!  Using a food processor is definitely the easiest method to mix all the ingredients together before rolling into balls.

I always make at least a double batch as my Coconut Energy Balls store super well! I always keep a bag in the freezer and will pop a few into a container before I head out for the day.  Enjoy!

Similar Pages

Looking for more snack ideas? Try my Stuffed Dates, Vegan Oatmeal Cookies, and Chocolate Covered Pecans.

References

  1. FoodData Central. Accessed June 7, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/784400/nutrients
  2. Guasch-Ferré M, Liu X, Malik VS, et al. Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(20):2519-2532. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.09.035
  3. Cordyceps mushrooms – Qi Traditions. Accessed October 29, 2020. https://qitraditions.reamaze.com/kb/products/questions-about-cordyceps
Thumbnail, Over Head, Coconut Energy Balls with Cordyceps

Coconut Energy Balls

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: coconut, energy bites, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1 cup medjool dates pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cordyceps mushroom powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • In a food processor, add pecans, dates, coconut, cacao, Cordyceps, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is chopped and sticky. You should be able to pinch it into a dough.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix well to ensure that all ingredients are dispersed throughout.
  • Using your hands, form 16 balls. Place energy balls on a plate or baking sheet. Once the energy balls have been made place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour or the freezer for 15 minutes so they get firm.
  • Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

Feel free to leave out the mushroom powder. These will still be delicious and nutritious!

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