Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

When you want a little treat but have already eaten through a bag of chocolate chips this week (just me?!?), why not try making coconut-sunflower seed energy balls? 

Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free, these little bites are packed with flavor and have plenty of protein, fiber, and fat! I'm a big fan of having energy balls in the fridge. (See chocolate brownie energy balls, pecan pie energy balls, and spiced pumpkin energy balls. Like I said, big fan.) 

How to make Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

The ingredients are simple here. Date syrup and coconut butter are two ingredients I've started keeping in my pantry at all times. Date syrup is a lovely natural sweetener - it's made with, you guessed it, dates! Coconut butter is made from coconut puree. It's smooth and creamy; imagine coconut-flavored peanut butter. So good! 

how to make Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Start by giving sunflower seeds a whir with a bit of salt until finely chopped. 

coconut butter in measuring cup

Next, you'll add coconut butter, date syrup, and vanilla. This is a good place to use that plunger-style measuring cup

how to make Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls
Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

In goes the unsweetened shredded coconut. If the mixture is a little dry, add a tablespoon of olive oil or melted coconut oil. 

how to make Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Form into balls, then roll in more coconut. If you're used to rolling cookies in sweetened shredded coconut like these coconut snowballs from Foodie Crush, you'll notice that unsweetened doesn't have quite the same stickiness. As a matter of fact, unsweetened coconut isn't sticky at all! Not as much will adhere to the bites, and that's ok! 

Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

Here's where the magic happens. Pop them in the refrigerator. I'm not sure what goes on in there, but once these coconut energy balls are chilled, they're irresistable. I literally made a batch this morning, and Mr. E has put in a request for another batch tomorrow. 

Coconut-Sunflower Seed Energy Balls

{makes 24}

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

pinch fine sea salt

2/3 cup coconut butter

1 1/2 tablespoons date syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + more for rolling

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil), if needed

Whir sunflower seeds and salt in a food processor on high until the seeds are finely chopped. Add coconut butter, date syrup, and vanilla. Process on low, stopping to press the coconut butter down as needed, until combined. Pulse 1 cup coconut into the mixture until evenly distributed. 

Test to see if the mixture will hold together in a ball. If it is too dry or falls apart easily, add 1-2 tablespoons oil. 

Shape into 1-inch balls. Finely chop the remaining coconut and roll the balls in to to coat. (It won't be as sticky as sweetened coconut.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating. Store in the refrigerator. 

[*adapted from The Elimination Diet]

how to make coconut energy balls

What are your go-to healthy snacks? 

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