Whether you’re craving something sweet or need a boost of energy to get through your day, energy balls are a great choice. Watch this video to learn how to make our recipe for homemade zesty orange chocolate energy balls. Not only are they delicious, but this recipe takes just eight ingredients and 15 minutes to create! RELATED: 17 High-Protein Snacks You Can Eat on the GoThe best thing about these chocolate energy balls? They deliver the same creamy, indulgent taste as a chocolate truffle, helping to satisfy your craving for something sweet and decadent—without any of the refined sugar. The natural sweetness in these energy balls comes from dates, which are packed with a slew of good-for-you vitamins and minerals and can help with everything from digestion to energy. To make these energy balls for yourself, grab a food processor and pulse cashews until they become crumbly. Add dates, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla, then process again. Next, add in some orange zest and cacao nibs. You can also pump up the flavor even more with a sprinkling of cinnamon or chili powder. After all the ingredients are blended together, roll the mixture into bowls, then dust them with dried coconut or orange zest. Place them on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving (even though it will be tempting to snack on them ASAP). These energy balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month. 

Elise Museles


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
15 mins
20 (1-inch) balls


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Process cashews in a food processor until crumbly. Add dates, cacao powder, salt and vanilla; process again. Pulse in range zest, then cacao nibs.

  • With slightly wet hands, roll mixture into 1-inch balls. If mixture is too sticky to handle, freeze until firm enough to roll, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Dust each truffle with coconut or orange zest; place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. 


From Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles. Copyright © 2016 by Quantum Books.

Nutrition Facts

82 calories; fat 5g; saturated fat 2g; fiber 2g; protein 2g; carbohydrates 8g; sodium 11mg; iron 1mg; calcium 6mg.