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I love chia seeds and use them in one many different ways. They add a nice crunch when they are used dry and gel when added to a liquid. Even better, I love their breathtaking nutrient profiles. I’ve used chia seeds in many ways, but these chia seed energy balls are definitely my favourites!
They make a great post-workout snack, but the whole family loves to munch on them, too.
All about chia seeds
You may have heard about chia seeds before from the fascinating commercial stories about chia seeds pets. Chia seeds that we use in food are such seeds.
They are small seeds that are black or white. I see black most often in stores, but the two are pretty similar in use, taste, and nutrient content.
Chia seeds are naturally gluten-free and pack a powerful source of nutrients. They have:
- 4.7 grams of protein/ounce and all eight essential amino acids
- as much calcium as a glass of milk
- more Omega-3 healthy fats than one serving of walnuts
- as many antioxidants as blueberries
- an impressive amount of iron
- lots of fiber
That was amazing!
Non-baked energy ball
No-bake energy balls or real energy balls give you energy. All of. Day. Long. Not jittery energy like you’ve had too much sugar or caffeine, just I-can-do-a lot-now energy!
These delicious energy balls are a great snack for kids or a healthy breakfast addition. They’re also nut-free, dairy-free, and grain-free so they can be safe to send to school even with allergy restrictions.
A word of warning: DO NOT eat this high-energy snack after dinner! I made that mistake (because they were so good and tasted like cookie dough). As a result, I have difficulty falling asleep.
Using Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have some interesting properties that make them really fun to use. Most notably, they can absorb a lot of liquid! As they do, they will become a zigzag-like, viscous texture. When I use them in a liquid medium, it’s usually one of the following:
I also use ground chia seeds to thicken sauces and stews. However, you can also use dried chia seeds. They add a nice crunch to salads and are perfect for making granola bars, energy balls and other snack recipes.
Create an energy bite from Chia seeds
When I first started making this healthy snack, I pressed the mixture into a pan and cut it into bars. Recently, I realized that I can save myself a treat and just roll them into balls. They are also much easier to grasp and dribble!
Some chia seed ball recipes call for maple syrup or agave for sweetness, but dates do the job well. It makes for a super chewy, superfood snack that helps satisfy cravings for something sweet yet healthy.
To make a paste, puree the dates in a food processor. I use the big Medjool date. Make sure you remove the pits first! Pureed dates form a thick paste that acts as both a sweetener and a “glue” to hold the balls together. If the dates are too dry and you have trouble blending them, add just a little water.
Then mix the date mix with chia seeds, coconut oil, and whatever modifier you want to use together. I like to use a combination of dried fruit (like dried cranberries), grated coconut, and mini chocolate chips. Sometimes I also add a little cinnamon or sea salt. Ground flaxseed, a little cocoa powder or pecans are also a great addition.
After everything is mixed together, scoop out a tablespoon and roll it into a ball. This is a great job for kids! You can eat it right away or chill until firmer. Store the rest in the refrigerator.
These energy balls are a great thing to add to a meal plan because they make a delicious quick snack. I love prepare meals sometimes to make things easier, and this is an easy recipe to add to my prep list.
Chia seed energy ball
These homemade chia seed energy balls are simple to make and packed with nutrients for lasting energy. An easy on-the-go snack for the whole family!
Optional add-ins (up to 1/4 cup total)
Remove pits from dates and remove them.
Blend the dates in a food processor or blender until they form a smooth paste. If the dates are too dry and clumpy to blend, add a very small amount of water.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the dates with the chia seeds, coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon if using, and any optional toppings you’d like to use.
Use a 1-tbsp ruler or cookie scoop to scoop out the mixture, forming balls.
Eat immediately or refrigerate on a baking tray lined with parchment paper to firm up slightly.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Instead of rolling into balls, you can press the mixture into the bottom of a glass or silicone baking dish and refrigerate until cool. Cut into bars.
- They can be wrapped in wax paper or parchment and sent for lunch or snacks.
- For extra calcium, you can add about a teaspoon eggshell powder!
Service: firstbarCalories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 70.6gProtein: 5gFat: 13.5gSaturated fat: 7.5gSodium: 3mgFiber: 11.9gStreet: 43.6g
Do you like chia seeds? How do you use them? Share below!