How To Make Herb-Infused Energy Balls
I’m going to show you how to make herb-infused energy balls today that are packed full of energy-providing herbs and other beneficial ingredients. These energy balls are not only nutritionally dense, but they are also quick and easy to make and are a healthy snack alternative while still being really tasty.
These balls require no baking and no setting so are perfect if you’re in a hurry. They also keep in the fridge or freezer and travel well if you’re on the go.
Herbs for Energy Boosting
There are many wonderful herbs that provide us with energy. The most notable is ginseng which is also one of the most popular and widely-used herbal remedies. While there are more, there are two main types of ginseng: Panax ginseng (Asian) and Panax quinquefolius (American). Both Asian and American ginseng are quite similar as herbs belonging to the same family, and both hold a plethora of medicinal benefits. One main difference is that American ginseng is relaxing, whereas Asian ginseng is invigorating. However, even though American ginseng has a cooler, more relaxing energy, it can still be used to fight fatigue.
I used Panax ginseng, which is often called the ‘true’ ginseng because it has higher quantities of ginsenosides. Ginsenosides are the major bioactive components of ginseng. These components have a stimulating metabolic effect, hence increasing energy.
Licorice Root Extract
This too is commonly used to boost energy levels. It is excellent at fighting adrenal fatigue, which sufferers usually get after a prolonged period of burnout. Used for over 1,000 years, it is highly effective and can even help fight the side effect of moodiness.
You’ll also find cinnamon in this recipe, known for its energy-enhancing properties. As a medicinal tree bark that has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries, it is very reliable. What once used to cost a fortune, is today, one of the cheapest and most readily available spices. Several studies have proven that even just the scent of cinnamon is stimulating and increases energy levels and concentration.
Another ingredient that will aid energy is shredded coconut. It’s a great form of energy thanks to its exceptional level of manganese and the fact that it contains copper. These minerals both aid in energy metabolism, which is the process of generating energy from nutrients in the food you eat.
Even the delicious pure cocoa powder in this recipe helps energy levels. Being rich in phytonutrients helps regulate energy use in the body. Cocoa powder also keeps you fuller longer, reducing your appetite. A common reason many of us get tired is that we overeat because we’re not feeling fully satisfied.
They are a key component of energy balls. I used cashews which have a good level of healthy fats and are high in fiber, important for slow-release energy. On top of this, some of the nutrients in cashews are essential for energy production. Of course, they also provide calories, but in a way that doesn’t cause weight gains like sugar or trans fats. However, as with everything, moderation is key.
There are also dried fruits in these balls: figs and dates. Both are good sources of natural sugar which will give you an instant energy boost. As well as energy, figs have many nutritional benefits including being high in dietary fiber, potassium, and calcium. Dates have a ton of health benefits too, but importantly contain choline – a vitamin B that improves memory and learning and helps keep your brain alert.
How To Make These Herb-Infused Energy Balls
As I mentioned, these really are easy to make and should take you no longer than 15 minutes from start to finish. I rolled the mixture into 12 balls which makes it 108 calories per ball.
- 2 tsp Panax ginseng tincture
- 1 tsp Licorice root extract
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Unsweetened shredded coconut (4 tbsp if you roll the balls in coconut after)
- 4 oz Cashew nuts
- 4 oz Dates
- 2 oz Dried figs
- 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp Honey
Note: Regarding the Panax ginseng tincture, the active ingredients and quality will vary between brands, so make sure you calculate this isn’t going to take you over the recommended daily dose.
In order to make these energy balls, you will need a food processor. You will use this to finely dice the figs, dates, nuts, and blend the rest of the ingredients into the mixture.
1. Figs & dates – Get 2 oz of dried figs and tear or cut off the stems and discard those. Place the rest of the figs into your food processor along with 4 oz of dried, pitted dates and mix on high until they are cut down finely (approximately 20 seconds)
2. Cashew nuts – Add 4 oz of cashew nuts to the food processor and blend until the mixture is course but you can see that the dried figs, dates, and nuts are evenly combined.
3. Final ingredients – Now you want to add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor (2 tsp ginseng tincture, 1 tsp licorice root extract, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp pure cocoa powder). Mix these together on low or medium for another 20 seconds or so, until the mixture clumps into one giant mass.
4. Coconut – (optional step). I like to roll them in shredded coconut because it adds extra flavor, goodness, and texture, plus stops them from being so sticky later (if you freeze them they lose any stickiness to touch even without the coconut). If you are going to follow this step then you’ll need 1.5 tablespoons for 12 balls. Sprinkle some onto a plate, ready to roll the balls in.
5. Roll – Lightly wet the palms of your hands with water and using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaped tablespoon (or whatever size you prefer) of the mixture and roll it into a ball using your palms. If you want to roll them in coconut, now is the time.
That’s it, your herb-infused energy balls are ready to eat.
How long will they keep?
These will keep in the fridge for five days and in the freezer for up to six months. If you put them in the freezer all you need to do is gently thaw them out for 30 minutes at room temperature before eating.