Get in a boost of caffeine with these Dirty Chai Energy Balls. Rolled oats and your favorite nut butter are the primary ingredients, so no food processor needed! Gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Yes, we are going there… chai + espresso= DIRTY CHAI.
And we are putting this traditional coffee drink in BALL FORM. Because everything is better in (snack) balls…
I don’t know. But I do love coffee… I also have a love for all things chai. And with energy balls being one of the best snacks around, I thought why not marry the two? Okay I guess technically we’re marrying three things but you get the point.
Hopefully you love your coffee and spices as much as I do because these dirty chai energy balls have been my favorite these past couple weeks!
Dirty Chai Energy Balls
I’ve been using these guys as a little pre-workout snack for my morning classes at FLEXcity Fitness (Michigan peeps, where you at? You must try this studio!! #notsponsored just spreading the love). I don’t have a gym membership right now and I was getting a little bored with my workouts at home. The FLEXcity workout is a cardio and strength training class set up in intervals using the treadmill, spin bike, TRX and other floor equipment. It literally kicks my butt every time. It’s one of those workouts that you love and hate at the same time. Take the spin bike, for example. I actually love going on bike rides, however I am not so much a “spinner”. I swear I am completely incapable of pacing myself on a spin bike. I’m honestly not sure I could successfully take a SoulCycle or RPM class without dying in the first 10 minutes. Is there an art to mastering not dying in spin? Because I need lessons…
While we’re on the topic of workouts… any AM exercisers out there? I’ve noticed no matter what I’ve got going on the rest of the day, when I start my morning with a workout, I am in such a better mood! I just feel so good after sweating within a couple hours of waking up. The classes I’ve been heading to are at 8am, so really not bad for waking up. However I am contemplating switching to the 6am class… Call me crazy, but I did about 8 weeks of 6am classes a couple winters ago. Even though I was up at 5am because of the commute (and yes it kind of sucked in the moment), on those days I would still walk into the office with a positive attitude, ready to take on the day. The endorphins are REAL, my friends. If you have the ability and/or flexibility in your schedule to start making morning workouts a routine, I truly suggest you give it a shot. It might be hard at first, but I think you’d be surprised at the positive effect it can on the rest of your day.
Okay, back to other topic we must talk about today. BALLS.
Dirty Chai Energy Balls, that is.
Here’s what you need
- rolled oats
- nut butter (chai spiced, for extra points)
- sticky sweetener (honey, brown rice syrup or similar consistency)
- espresso powder
- chai spices (I made my own, recipe below)
- cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips
- vanilla extract (not entirely necessary but recommended for more flavor)
All you need is one bowl, a spatula or large spoon to stir, and some muscle power.
Here are the dry ingredients
Then it’s just mixing all of those ingredients in a bowl, adding in the honey or brown rice syrup plus nut or seed butter, then working everything together until all of the ingredients are combined. I pop the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes which makes for easier ball rolling.
Watch the video to see how easy these dirty chai energy balls are
And that’s that.
A quick note, if I may!
I’ve made these a couple times now and played around with the amount of espresso powder used. The first time I did 2 TBS, which I thought was a little heavy. But if you LOVE espresso or black coffee, you may want that much. The second time around I did about 1 TBS plus 1 teaspoon and thought that was a good amount.
OR guess what? If you don’t like coffee but really love chai, just leave it out.
Same goes for the chai-haters. If you’re not a fan of cardamom and all that jazz, you can leave out a majority of the spices but I would recommend leaving some cinnamon to balance out the bold espresso taste. 🙂
ALSO. I opted not to add protein powder to these chai energy balls. If you think you want to add a scoop or two, you will likely need to compensate by adding a couple tablespoons (or possibly more) of liquid. I haven’t tested this myself yet, but I would love to hear from you if you do!
- Have you tried a new workout that you love lately?
- Are you an AM or PM exerciser?
- 1 1/4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 TBS espresso powder (use 1/2 TBS for less flavor, or up to 1.5 TBS for stronger taste)
- 1 TBS chia seeds
- 1/2 cup creamy natural nut or seed butter (I used homemade)
- 1/3 cup honey or brown rice syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS cacao nibs (or mini chocolate chips)
homemade chai spice blend:
- In a large bowl combine oats, chai spice blend, espresso powder, chia seeds and cacao nibs/ mini chocolate chips..
- Add in nut butter, honey or brown rice syrup, and vanilla extract. Use sturdy spatula or spoon to combine.
- Once ingredients have come together, place bowl in freezer for about 10 minutes (or fridge for 20 minutes). The cold mixture will make forming the energy balls a lot easier.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop mixture into rounded balls and roll between palms to shape. You should get roughly 18-20 balls. Enjoy with your morning chai or coffee!
Store balls in container in fridge for about 2-3 weeks. Balls also keep well in freezer in airtight container for about 3-4 months.
Nutrition approx, based on 18 servings using cacao nibs.
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 98
- Sugar: 5
- Fat: 5
- Carbohydrates: 12
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 2
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