Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls Recipe

Starbucks introduced pumpkin spice latte in 2003, and since then, the beloved autumnal spice-y blend shows up in the fall in pretty much anything from hummus to turkey breast. Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge develops family-friendly recipes, and with that in mind, she's created the perfect healthy snack for an afternoon pick-me-up that parents and kids will love. Energy balls are a no-baked confection, a harmonious blend of dried fruit and some kind of nut and/or seeds all rolled up into a two-bite ball.

Olayinka's version of energy balls has no added sugar and depends on the natural sweetness of the dates and raw pecans for providing a much-needed energy boost. Rounding out the flavor profile, she's sprinkled a healthy dose of pumpkin spice powder that infuses these energy balls with the warming spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and cardamom. This incredibly easy recipe will take you only five minutes to make.

Gather the ingredients for these pumpkin spice energy balls

Store-bought energy balls are not only too expensive for what they are — or what they should be! — but they can also be filled with processed ingredients. But the best energy balls truly only have a few natural ingredients, and Olayinka's recipe has only four, one of which is just some sea salt. You'll also need one and a half cups of shelled, raw pecans, two cups of pitted dates, and half a teaspoon of pumpkin spice powder. If you're a pumpkin spice devotee, then odds are you've got a jar of the potent stuff in your pantry or kitchen cabinet, or maybe you even make your own special blend. 

Olayinka loves pecans for their nutritional benefits but also because they're super filling, unlike many sugary snacks. She chose dates for their deeply flavorful taste but also for how well they bind the energy balls together. If for some reason, you can't get pecans or dates (although they are plentiful for the holidays), Olayinka recommends replacing the pecans with almonds, cashews, or even pumpkin seeds, which are one of the healthiest seeds out there. If dates are unavailable, then Olayinka suggests using raisins instead for the sweetener.

Grind the pecans with sea salt and pumpkin spice

Most nuts are incredibly nutritious, packed with plenty of protein and healthy fats that can help increase flagging energy. Olayinka uses raw pecans for her recipes, but there are many other healthy nuts you could substitute. Using a dry measuring cup, measure out one and a half cups of shelled, roasted pecans (or other nuts of your choice). Measure out an eighth of a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of pumpkin spice powder into individual small bowls. Measuring out the ingredients separately makes it easier to add them to the blender in stages. 

Add the pecans to the blender, and give them a few pulses to start breaking them down. Add the sea salt and pumpkin spice powder, and blend everything at high speed for 10 seconds. Check the consistency of the ground nuts: They should be very finely ground and starting to stick together.

Add the dates to the ground pecans and blend together

You may not know that dates are little power bombs of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not all grocery markets sell pitted dates, but if yours does, buy them instead of the ones with the pits, and you'll save yourself a lot of time making this recipe. If you can only find dates with pits, it will take you a few extra minutes to remove them from the fruit. 

Add two cups of pitted dates to the ground pecans in the blender, and pulse them a few times. Dates often get stuck on the blender blades, so if that happens, carefully remove them. After pulsing, blend the date-pecan mixture at high speed for 10 seconds until a finely ground paste forms.

Roll the date-pecan paste into balls and serve

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the date-pecan paste out of the blender into a medium bowl or onto a plate. If possible, divide the paste into 11 equal portions. Roll each portion between your hands to form a ball, and arrange the energy balls on a plate to serve. This simple recipe is perfect for a Thanksgiving Day treat, or you could always pack them up for a quick snack on the go. "If you're on the go like me, you need something in your bag that you can eat that's not chocolate!" Infused with pumpkin spice, these energy balls hit all the sweet spots for any time of year.

Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls Recipe
4.9 from 10 ratings
Olayinka's version of energy balls has no added sugar and depends on the natural sweetness of the dates and raw pecans for providing a much-needed energy boost.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
11
energy balls
pumpkin spice energy balls recipe
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups raw pecans
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups dates, pitted
Directions
  1. Place the raw pecans, pumpkin spice powder, and sea salt into a blender. Blend on high for 10 seconds.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the blender, and add pitted dates. Blend on high for another 10 seconds.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape out the mixture onto a work surface or cutting board. Divide the mixture into 11 equal portions.
  4. Roll each portion with your hands to form a ball. Transfer the energy ball to a plate. Repeat with the 10 other portions and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 207
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 27.7 g
Sodium 21.8 mg
Protein 2.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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