I’m a hardcore snacker to the point where it sometimes gets me in trouble. Whether it’s cashews, crackers, or my ultimate weakness, pretzels, I’m relentless, and I keep grabbing for more.
These days, there are some really awesome healthier snacks on the shelves, which I’m planning to highlight in an upcoming post. But if I have the time to make a portion-controlled, wholesome, and filling snack at home, I’ll gladly do it. And today, I’m going to show you how!
Energy balls. Protein bites. Call them what you will. There are a million recipes out there, but for good reason. These little balls pack some seriously nourishing ingredients such as oats, nuts, nut butter, and dried fruit. And with a touch of creativity (think DESSERT flavors), you can make a fun, customizable snack.
Obviously, I had banana splits on my mind when I developed this recipe. Packed with cashews, dates, dried strawberries, dried bananas, cocoa powder, and peanuts, these Banana Split Energy Balls are completely satisfying and exactly what you need to have on hand when a snack or sweet craving hits.
And the best part? These balls are a 3 for 1 deal. Strawberry, banana, and chocolate flavors are swirled together to give you that banana split taste in each bite.
Making these balls is a quick and easy 4-part process. First, make the 3 flavors. Here are the ingredients you’ll add to the food processor for each flavor:
Strawberry: Cashews, dates, freeze-dried strawberries, almond milk
Banana: Cashews, dates, dried banana chips, almond milk
Chocolate: Cashews, dates, peanuts, cocoa powder, almond milk
Then, get your roll on. Grab a teaspoon of each mixture, mash them together in your palm, and roll. In seconds, you’ll have a beautifully swirled, energy ball AKA a perfectly portioned-out snack.
A note on the ingredients: I purchased the dried strawberries and banana chips at Target. And for the banana split traditionalists, you might be wondering where the pineapple representation is. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to hack it because –is dried pineapple a thing? Turns out it is! I found a bag at Target last week. It’s made by the same brand, Danielle, as the banana chips. So there ya go!
I stored these in the fridge and they kept well for a couple weeks. Another option is to freeze them, and eat right one right out of the freezer for a cool, after dinner dessert or post-workout treat!
- 1 ½ cup cashews (or any nut), divided
- 6 dates, divided
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberries (I used Simply Balanced)
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, divided
- ½ cup dried banana chips (I used Danielle)
- 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup peanuts, divided
- For the strawberry flavor: In a food processor, pulse ½ cup cashews until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Add in 2 dates, and the freeze dried strawberries. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add in ½ tablespoon of almond milk (or more) and pulse until the mixture starts clumping up. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- For the banana flavor: In the same food processor, pulse another ½ cup cashews until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Add in 2 dates and the dried bananas. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add in ½ tablespoon of almond milk (or more) and pulse until the mixture starts clumping up. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- For the chocolate-peanut flavor: In the same food processor, pulse the last ½ cup cashews until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Add in 2 dates, cocoa powder, and the peanuts. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add in ½ tablespoon (or more) of almond milk and pulse until the mixture starts clumping up.
- Form the balls: Take one 1 teaspoon each of the strawberry, banana, and chocolate mixtures. Bring them together in the palm of your hand and roll into a balls. Repeat until all mixtures are gone.