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These no-bake granola balls are soft, fudgy, and so good! They come together with minimum effort and taste divine. They are the perfect portable snack for when you crave something sweet but looking for a healthy alternative to store-bought treats.
Granola Balls: Soft, Fudgy, So Good!
Some days we just need a little pick-me-up. Something sweet to satisfy our cravings. And these healthy little balls are just the perfect emergency snack to come to the rescue and fill you up. And did I say they taste incredible?
They are fudgy, soft, and chewy. Plus, as they are made with whole, nutritious ingredients. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
And they are easy to prepare in advance, so they can be ready to eat whenever you like. It’s my favorite healthy snack after a workout or the perfect sweet treat after dinner, and Dan loves them with his afternoon coffee.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Old-fashioned oats: I used rolled oats. Large flake oats and quick oats work as well. Make sure to use gluten-free oats if needed.
- Dates: For their natural sweetness. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they give these chewy granola balls a caramel-like flavor.
- Almond butter: Make sure to use natural almond butter made with 100% almonds. Or even better, make it yourself with my almond butter recipe.
- Maple syrup: Use pure maple syrup for an extra touch of sweetness, or substitute with agave syrup or date syrup if needed.
- Goji berries and cranberries: An antioxidants powerhouse. But you can substitute for any other dry fruits.
- Almonds: To give our energy balls some extra crunch. You can leave them whole or chop them for smaller bites.
- Sunflower seeds: For an extra dose of zinc and selenium.
- Chia seeds: Rich in omega 3s and fiber.
- Vanilla: I use vanilla powder, but any extract will work.
How to make granola balls
- Process the dates: Add the pitted dates and 2 tablespoons of water to a food processor, and blend until the dates become like a dough-consistency paste. I prefer to use Medjool dates: they are softer and have a richer caramel-like flavor. But if you can only find regular dates, soften them in warm water for a few minutes, discard the water, and then add them to the food processor.
- Prepare the granola mixture: Place the oats, nuts, dry fruits, seeds, vanilla, almond butter, and date paste in a bowl and mix everything well.
- Shape: Pick a tablespoon or cookie spoon of mixture and roll it into your hands to create smooth balls. If the mixture is a bit sticky, wet your hands slightly before shaping them.
- Rest: Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or, if you can’t resist, you can even eat them straight away but they’ll be a bit softer and stickier.
How to store
These granola balls are perfect for making ahead as they store incredibly well. You can keep them at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Just leave a bit of space between each ball, and divide each layer with some parchment paper. You can then remove them individually and let them thaw at room temperature before enjoying them!
Depending on the ingredients you use, your mixture can be a bit too dry or too wet. If your mix seems too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time to help binding everything together. Or, if your mixture is too soft, add a bit more oats or chia seeds to help bind it together.
Almond butter: You can use any nut butter you like ( peanut butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter), or if you are allergic to nuts, substitute with seed butter. No matter what nut or seed butter you use, make sure it’s made with 100% nuts or seeds and no added oil.
Maple syrup: Maple syrup is optional, but it adds a bit of extra sweetness. You can substitute it for date syrup, agave nectar, or honey (if you are not vegan).
There are so many things you can add to these granola bliss balls! If you want to mix any of these ingredients, add the same quantity as in the recipe. For example, if you’re using walnuts instead of almonds, make sure you still use ½ a cup.
Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks: Make sure to pick high-quality dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips.
Dried fruits: Apricots, plums, sultanas, figs, banana chips, coconut flakes, shredded coconut, mango are just a few examples.
Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds.
Why I love these granola balls
- Soft, fudgy, and chewy
- Made with wholesome ingredients
- The perfect easy snack
- Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
- Incredibly delicious!
More snack ideas you should try
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Oil-Free Granola
- Vegan Granola Bars
- The best healthy breakfast cookies
And if you are looking for more sweet yet healthy treats, check out these snack ideas.
If you try this granola balls recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
No-Bake Granola Balls
- Add the pitted dates and 2 tablespoons of water to a food processor. Blend until the dates become like a dough-consistency paste (see note 1).
- Place the oats, nuts, dry fruits, seeds, vanilla, almond butter, and date paste in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Using a tablespoon or cookie spoon, pick some of the mixture and roll it into your hands to create smooth balls. If the mixture is a bit sticky, wet your hands slightly before shaping them. You should be able to make 24 balls.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for the perfect consistency, or eat straight away.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!