Cranberry Energy Balls

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These cranberry energy balls are the perfect easy snack. Made with just 7 simple ingredients including almonds, cashews, dates and dried cranberries.

It’s been a minute since I shared a recipe for energy bites! Energy balls are one of my favorite healthy snacks. They’re similar to granola bars but a little more fun to eat in my opinion. I like to keep them in the fridge or freezer and grab a couple any time I need an afternoon snack or a healthy breakfast.

White bowl full of cranberry energy bites.

Why Make Energy Balls?

So what’s the deal with energy balls? Why are they such popular snacks? For one, they are typically gluten free and dairy free. They are protein packed and loaded with healthy fats thanks to the nuts so they actually satisfy your hunger and keep you full for longer than a half hour.

Hand holding a cranberry energy bite with a bite taken out of it. A bowl full of cranberry energy bites is in the background.

Ingredients in Cranberry Energy Balls

  • almonds and cashews – raw and no salt added
  • Medjool dates – You can buy medjool dates that are already pitted or pit them yourself (it’s super easy). Two brands that I like are Natural Delights and Joolies. You can find Natural Delights in the produce section of most grocery stores (near the bananas) and Joolies are offered on Amazon and Thrive Market.
  • dried cranberries
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon or orange juice
  • sea salt
Hand holding a cranberry energy bite with a bite taken out of it. Hand is holding an energy bite above a bowl full of cranberry energy bites.

I kept this recipe fairly straight forward, using my blueberry muffin energy balls for inspiration. That said, if you feel like adding in some additional flavors and/or ingredients, have at it! I think these would be delicious with shredded coconut, chia seeds and chocolate chips! You can never go wrong with berry + chocolate.

How to Make Cranberry Almond Energy Balls

You need one kitchen appliance to make these energy bites: a food processor. If you don’t have one yet, get one. I use mine all the time.

Place your almonds and cashews into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces. Add in the pitted dates, dried cranberries, vanilla, lemon juice and sea salt. Pulse until everything is combined and the dough is sticking together. Use your hands to form the mixture into small balls and enjoy.

How to Store Energy Balls

You can store your energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. They’ll last up to 1-2 weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. I like using glass storage containers or Stasher bags for storing energy balls.

What to Do If Your Date Energy Balls Aren’t Holding Together

Fresh medjool dates are usually soft and give easily when squished. If your dates are older or just seem dry and hard, you may want to soak them before using. Simply place a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes to soften and rehydrate them. Drain well and pat dry before using.

It’s quite normal for your energy ball dough to seem crumbly at first, but it should start to get sticky enough to form into balls. Even if it looks a little crumbly, you can try squeezing it to see if it will hold.

If it seems way too crumbly, your dates might have been too dry. If you don’t feel like your dates were dry/hard, you can always add a couple more dates to the mixture and see if that helps bind everything together.

If your dates did seem a dry/hard, you can try adding a little water to the dough until the mixture is sticky enough to form into balls. Start with 1 teaspoon and pulse mixture to see if the dough will start holding together. Be careful with this as too much water will make the dough too wet.

Bird's eye view of a bowl full of cranberry energy bites. On the table are some nuts and dries cranberries.

More Energy Bite Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Cranberry Energy Bites

4 from 14 votes
These cranberry energy bites are the perfect easy snack. Made with just 7 simple ingredients including almonds, cashews, dates and dried cranberries.
Bowl of cranberry energy bites.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 22

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup about 10 Medjool dates, pitted*
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange juice
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Process: Place almonds and cashews into into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-shaped blade and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces.
  • Add dates, cranberries, vanilla, lemon juice and sea salt. Pulse until everything is well combined and dough is sticking together. (See note if your dough seems too crumbly.)
  • Form balls: Once mixture is combined, scoop out about 1 Tablespoon of dough (with your hands or a cookie scoop) and use your hands to form the dough into balls. Enjoy right away or store for later.
  • To store: Place balls into a sealed storage container and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

  • Hard/dry dates: If your dates are hard and dry, you can soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes to soften. Just drain them well before using.
  • Crumbly dough: If your dough seems too crumbly to stick together after processing even when squeezing it together with your hands, you can try adding a couple more dates or adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the mixture starts to hold together well enough to form into balls. See note above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball Calories: 84kcal Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 2g Fat: 4g Sodium: 6mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry energy balls

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    25 comments
    1. Helen Doherty
      August 3, 2021 AT 4:52 pm

      5 stars
      I loved this receipe but I found the rolling of dough difficult. I didn’t use either fruit juice in the recipe. I used water to stick them together near the end with a tea spoon.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 4, 2021 AT 6:00 pm

        You shouldn’t need to roll the dough out! Are you using a food processor to combine all the ingredients?

    2. Emma
      January 25, 2021 AT 10:58 am

      5 stars
      I’ve been making date balls for a while now, but always just plain date and nut combo because my family enjoys it! This is the first deep ball recipe I did that had a new flavor, and it is absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try the other flavor recipes from EBF!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 26, 2021 AT 8:55 pm

        Woo!! So glad you loved this recipe, Emma. Thanks for the review. I really appreciate it!

    3. mimi
      November 9, 2020 AT 6:03 pm

      5 stars
      These were so yummy! I had a bunch of random nuts and seeds hanging around so instead of almonds I used a combo of pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans – yum! I kept the cashews and everything else the same. These proportions are perfect no matter what nuts/seeds you use.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 10, 2020 AT 5:20 pm

        So glad these turned out for you, Mimi! Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    4. Elizabeth K Brown
      October 23, 2020 AT 2:15 pm

      5 stars
      great and easy! Proportions were perfect, not too dry or sticky. Love the sea salt addition. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2020 AT 4:03 pm

        Yay!! So glad these energy balls turned out for you. Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Jennifer B.
      October 10, 2020 AT 10:23 am

      5 stars
      These little beauties are perfect for fall & that cranberry/orange combo can’t be beat! I was out of OJ so I juiced a clementine for a fresh spoonful & I am SO GLAD I did. Thanks, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 10, 2020 AT 7:32 pm

        Woo!! So glad these energy balls were a hit, Jennifer. Thanks for making them!!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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