Pecan Pie Energy Balls

pecan pie energy protein balls

Pecan pie energy balls. Pecan pie energy bites. Pecan pie protein balls. Pecan pie truffles. Whatever you want to call them, these nutty, crunchy, creamy little nuggets pack the rich vanilla, pecan pie taste all in one bite. (Ok, maybe two.

pecan pie energy protein balls

Filled with all of the good stuff, I reach for these when I want a treat, when I want something sweet, when I need a little pick-me-up...when I remember they're waiting for me in the fridge. Um, I guess you can say, I'll take any excuse to have another. 

pecan pie energy protein balls

You may remember these Spiced Pumpkin Energy Balls. LOVE them. I might love these even more. Maybe because it's November and I have pie on the brain. Don't tell anyone, but I like these MORE than actual pecan pie. Shhhhh. 

Pecan Pie Energy Ball Ingredients

pecan pie energy balls ingredients

The main players here are raw sunflower seeds, pecans, dates, and vanilla bean paste. You can substitute vanilla extract if you don't have vanilla bean paste. No worries. If you want to read more about vanilla bean paste, I shared all about it on the Pioneer Woman

My favorite dates, other than the ones with my husband (I'll be here all week, folks!), are from Rancho Medaluco. SO good! 

Olive oil and date syrup give the bites moisture and hold them together. I love, love, love date syrup, and it works so well here, giving a deep, almost brown-sugary taste. Use maple syrup if you must, but I strongly recommend date syrup. 

almond butter and oats for energy balls

Almond butter and oats add substance and texture. Here I go with another specific recommendation, but I implore, yes, IMPLORE (!), you to use Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter. It's exquisite (did you know almond butter could be exquisite?). Both my grocery store and local Target carry it. You'll love it just by the spoonful, especially with a few chocolate chips on top.

These energy balls just so happen to be gluten-free and dairy-free!

Let's make Pecan Pie Energy Balls! 

how to make pecan pie energy protein balls

Toast the pecans. This is important as toasting the nuts really brings out their flavor. Once toasted and cooled, blitz in a food processor with the sunflower seeds and salt until finely chopped. 

how to make pecan pie energy protein balls

Next, add the dates and vanilla bean paste. Process until incorporated. 

how to make pecan pie energy protein balls

Add the almond butter, oats, date syrup, olive oil, and chia seeds. 

pecan pie energy protein balls

Portion with a small scoop and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator. 

Pecan Pie Energy Balls 

1/2 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds 

pinch fine sea salt

1/2 cup chopped Medjool dates

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)

1/4 cup vanilla almond butter (Justin's recommended)

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

 1 1/2 tablespoons date syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

In a dry skillet, toast the pecan halves, stirring often, for several minutes until fragrant and toasted. Let cool. 

Place pecans, sunflower seeds, and salt in a food processor. Blitz until the nuts and seeds are finely chopped. Add the dates and vanilla. Process until the dates are chopped and mixed throughout. 

Add the almond butter, oats, date syrup, olive oil, and chia seeds. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Test to see if it can easily be pressed into a ball. 

Use a small scoop or a spoon to portion and roll into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate. Store in the refrigerator. 

pecan pie energy protein balls

Have I sold you on "energy balls" yet? I already know the flavor I'll be working on for December. Stay tuned! 

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