Cranberry Energy Balls
Published Nov 25, 2019, Updated Jun 12, 2023
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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.
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.
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
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.
More Energy Bite Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls
- Apple Pie Energy Balls
- Lemon Energy Balls
- Superfood Energy Balls
- No Bake Energy Balls
- No Bake Protein Balls
- Vanilla Cake Balls
Cranberry Energy Bites
- 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.
- 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 information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.