Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls
Sweet Apple Cinnamon Energy balls are delightfully chewy and crispy, packed with fruit and nuts, and free from added sugars. Keep a batch in your fridge for a healthy snack or dessert.
Kids play hard. And when they get hungry, they often crave quick energy to fuel active play (or a tough homework assignment!) Here’s a fast, make-ahead-friendly recipe to satisfy those high-energy needs, using only five whole-food ingredients.
These Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls are as sweet as pie, with a pleasantly chewy/crunchy/crispy texture created by the blend of dates, walnuts, and apples. Your kids will love the fruity, familiar flavor of these balls… the apple flavor comes through really strong! It’s actually kind of amazing. And the secret lies in the particular type of apple we use in this recipe.
What’s In Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls?
You only need five simple ingredients to make these tasty little energy balls, and here’s the complete list: dates, apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and oats. That’s it! (We do love a short, pronounceable list.)
The only thing you need to remember when you’re gathering your ingredients for this recipe, is to buy the right kind of dried apples. Specifically, choose crunchy “baked” apple chips, instead of the soft and squishy dehydrated apples often found in bulk sections.
We used the “Bare” brand, which you can buy at most grocery stores, or on Amazon (here’s a link.) These crunchy apple chips lend a deliciously strong apple flavor to this recipe, and a really nice variety of textures when paired with the chewy dates.
The only downside to using apple chips is that they’re a little on the pricey side. But even this has a silver lining. Because if your kids love apple chips, using them in energy balls does help them last a little longer! (Because if we give our kids a bag of apple chips plain, they’ll be gone before you can say “red delicious.”)
Once you have your ingredients, it’s time to get blending…
How to Make and Store Apply Cinnamon Energy Balls
Your food processor does double duty in this recipe. To start, process the dry ingredients (minus the dates) until you get a medium-coarse meal. You can really process these ingredients as finely as you like, but we like to keep some medium-sized bits in the mix to ensure that nice crispy/crunchy texture.
Dump the ground meal into a mixing bowl, then add your dates (pitted, please!) into the food processor. Blend those right up until they turn into one big sticky ball.
Next, dump the date ball into the mixing ball with the rest of the ingredients, and use your hands to massage it all together. Make sure everything’s evenly incorporated. Then roll, baby, roll! We use 1-2 tablespoon-fulls of “dough” per ball.
You can keep the finished energy balls at room temperature in a sealed container, or you can refrigerate them for extra freshness.
Don’t miss out other popular energy bite recipe packed with whole grain oats, honey, chia seeds, and good old-fashioned PB.
Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls
- Add the oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and freeze-dried apples* to a food processor, and pulse until the texture turns to a medium-coarse meal. Dump the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Remove the pits from the dates, and add them to the food processor. Run the processor for about two minutes, until the dates clump together in a single sticky ball. Place the ball in the mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.
- Coat the date ball with the dry meal, then use your hands to continue kneading the dry ingredients into the sticky dates, until well combined.
- Roll the mixture into balls. We like them just under an inch in diameter. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week, or refrigerate or freeze for up to a month.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
For the dried apples, are we talking apple chips or apple rings that are thicker and sponging?
Hi Cortnee, we use the dried apple chips for this recipe (the crunchy ones.)
Can this be made school friendly by substituting the walnuts for a seed? What would you recommend?
Hi Vanessa, I think that would totally work! Try sunflower seeds. You might get a slightly different flavor, but I think they’ll still hold together and taste yummy.
Is this 26g of sugar in 100g? Thanks
Hi Malenka, that number refers to the amount in a serving size, which is two energy balls.
You mention 1/2 Cup pieces of what?
Hi Keryn, those are the walnut pieces. Sorry for the confusing label, I’ll look into making that more clear!
You did not mention the cup size equivalent for the dates. Medjool dates come in different sizes so the quantity as listed in this recipe will have an effect on these energy balls. Since I didn’t have Medjool dates when I used this recipe I used Delnet dates. The balls were dry & crumbly without much taste.
I increased the amount of cinnamon & added vanilla to give it more taste. Still crumbly so I added maple syrup.
Also, used Trader Joe’s dried apples which are soft with good flavor. Already had these dried apples so did not want to make a special trip just to buy apple ‘crisps’. I expected the soft apple rings would have helped hold the balls together. Wrong assumption on my part.☹️
Sorry it didn’t turn out for you! Medjool dates and Delnet dates are really different – Medjool dates have a much softer, more sweet, caramel like texture and are typically much larger than Delnet dates. There is a small size difference with Medjool dates, but typically not enough to majorly alter a recipe. My recommendation would be to stick with Medjool dates for this recipe :).