The perfect pick-me-up in two bites – Chocolate Espresso Tahini Energy Balls. Vegan-friendly, gluten-free and nut-free.
I feel like tahini is having a moment… If you’re a health foodie you probably know what I mean. But if you’re here and you’re asking your computer “WTF is tahini?” don’t freak out – it’s just ground sesame seeds. And once the sesame seeds are ground up it forms a paste, like a nut butter consistency (but no nuts).
For the past month I’ve been seeing a holistic chiropractor and have gotten some muscle testing done. I won’t go into too much detail because it’s kind of a long story and probably needs an entire post of its own. But in short, she’s discovered I have some food sensitivities – which from my understanding seems mostly related do some of my major organs not functioning properly. One of the no-go items for me right now are almonds. And coconut isn’t great for me either. I kind of had an inkling that those two foods were causing some skin reactions but the muscle test gave me confirmation. So as of right now, coconut and almonds are off the table.
But this discovery had me thinking about food intolerances in general… Basically they suck. They really do. I now can understand the struggles of someone needing to avoid certain foods, even healthy ones, because their bodies can’t tolerate them. And I also realized how many of my go-to and favorite recipes typically have nuts in them. Tons of my paleo recipes and pretty much all of my oat energy balls.
Of course I know I can’t make everyone happy, which is why I try to offer a variety of recipes using various ingredients and recommended substitutions. And in my case, the doctor thinks these sensitivities are temporary until we get my major organs functioning again. But all in all, my circumstance has gotten me to think outside the box a little bit when it comes to the recipes I share here on Fit Mitten Kitchen.
So for the nut-free folk, I made you a a fun little energy ball flavor that I hope you will love!
Chocolate Espresso Tahini Energy Balls
I enjoyed these bad lads while camping the other week. I had one or two just about every day with coffee or as an after dinner treat.
what you need
- tahini (ground sesame seeds)
- honey or brown rice syrup
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- organic rolled oats (gluten-free as needed)
- cocoa powder
- espresso powder or instant coffee (could omit if you don’t care for coffee)
- plant protein powder
- mini chocolate chips
- non-dairy milk of choice (opt for soy, hemp or pea milk to keep nut-free)
How to make the tahini energy balls
Just like my other oat energy balls, you don’t need a food processor here – just a bowl and some muscle power for stirring.
- I find it’s helpful to combine the tahini, honey, maple syrup and vanilla together first.
- Add the dry ingredients (oats, cocoa powder, espresso powder, plant protein and chocolate chips) and stir them with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.
- At this point the mix may seem a little dry (the plant protein tends to soak up extra wet ingredients) so a few splashes of a non-dairy milk or creamer will help the mixture come together.
- Then I typically pop the mixture in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to chill for easier ball rolling.
- Using a rounded tablespoon will help you get even rounded energy balls, or you can just eyeball it.
All in all these Chocolate Espresso Tahini Energy Balls are a great snack or healthy treat.
Let me know if you make them! Leave a review/comment on the blog – also say hi on Instagram! XX
Chocolate Espresso Tahini Energy Balls – perfect for the afternoon slump! Nut-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly. One bowl, no food processor and ready in less than 20 minutes.
- 1 TBSP instant coffee or 2 tsp espresso powder*
- 1 TBSP non-dairy coffee creamer or milk of choice
- 1 1/4 cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 1/4 cup plant protein powder**
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 2/3 cup tahini (or sunbutter)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 TBSP maple syrup***
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- In small bowl combine instant coffee with creamer (or milk) and stir until coffee has dissolved; set aside.
- In a large bowl combine rolled oats, cocoa powder, protein powder and chia seeds; set aside.
- In a small bowl add tahini, honey and vanilla extract; stir with spatula or spoon until combined.
- Add tahini mixture to your bowl of dry ingredients, stirring gently with sturdy spatula or wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Add coffee-milk and chocolate chips, stir until mixture is combined. If mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon of milk. Use your hands if necessary to ensure everything is well coated and combined.
- Using a rounded tablespoon scoop dough and roll into balls. You should get about 20 balls. Store balls in airtight container in the fridge up to 2 weeks, or store in freezer for a longer period of time, about 1-2 months if stored properly.
*Feel free to add more coffee flavor if you prefer a stronger coffee taste.
**Plant protein powders will vary but I like Aloha Protein and Vega. Adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time will ensure you don’t add too much liquid. If you feel like your mixture is too sticky/wet, simple add in some more cocoa powder or another tablespoon of protein powder.
***You can likely omit the maple syrup if you prefer – I added it to make sure the tahini wasn’t too overpowering and there was the right balance of sweetness.
Keywords: no-bake snacks, ways to use tahini