Carrot Cake Energy Balls are bringing their double-packed punch of healthful + delicious goodness!
These little babies are the total package: gluten-, dairy-, and processed-sugar-free bundles of nutrients and flavor.
I love healthy foods because they make me feel good, all sharp-brained and physically energized. And I love delicious foods because, well . . . that’s pretty self-explanatory! I’m regularly on the lookout for ways to combine both qualities into one recipe. So it’s no surprise that Carrot Cake Energy Balls are a melding of tasty-yet-good-for-you stuff: fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, spices, and natural sweetener.
When I got the idea to make Carrot Cake Energy Balls, I admittedly didn’t expect them to turn out. I was nervous about the prospect of including raw shredded carrot in a date ball. And I certainly didn’t expect these Carrot Cake Energy Balls to actually taste like carrot cake. But you know what? Carrot Cake Energy Balls DO taste like carrot cake! At least, in my humble opinion, they do. They’re sweet and moist and kissed with warm spices, and the shredded carrot totally works! It’s subtle, blended enough so you don’t actually notice the rawness or overt carrot flavor.
Dates are the superhero ingredient of Carrot Cake Energy Balls, bringing their decadent-yet-processed-sugar-free sweetness and the moistness that mimics a perfectly baked cake. They’re augmented by sweet, sweet honey. Cashews lend both a buttery creaminess and a pack of protein. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are those warming spices that make the carrot cake flavor complete. Rounding things out are raisins and unsweetened shredded coconut, ingredient extras that make these Carrot Cake Energy Balls extra special! I’ve also snuck in a tablespoon of chia seeds (to up the fiber and antioxidant intake) as well as a bit of sea salt – because who doesn’t love a little salty with their sweet?
While these tantalizing nuggets of tastiness include the term “Energy Balls” in their moniker, they’re adept at playing multiple roles. Carrot Cake Energy Balls aren’t only ideal as a post-workout snack or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, they also make for a filling breakfast. Densely packed with protein and fiber as they are, three or four easily fill me up. And, as their name denotes, Carrot Cake Energy Balls are ideal as dessert! Void of gluten or refined sugar, they make a sweet-yet-guilt-free treat.
One recommendation for making Carrot Cake Energy Balls: use freshly bought raisins. They’ll blend better than extra-dried-out ones that have been in the cupboard for a while. Or soak the raisins in water for about 15 minutes before throwing in the food processor.
And with that, it’s time for my favorite part: the on-to-the-recipe part!
These small-but-mighty energy balls are nutrient-packed, even as they totally taste like cake. They're ideal as breakfast, a snack, or dessert – or whenever, really!
Add the cashews and chia seeds to a food processor or heavy-duty blender and process until crumbly.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until ingredients are well incorporated and broken down into a sticky, dough-like consistency.
Do your best (because it will be rather sticky!) to roll the mixture into balls 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. You should end up with around 25 balls.
And that's it! Carrot Cake Energy Balls are ready to enjoy – though if you prefer, you can chill them for several hours first. Will keep refrigerated for at least one week.