Pumpkin Energy Balls are packed with superfoods, including pureed pumpkin. These energy bites are perfect for fall and make a healthy dessert or snack.
WHOLE INGREDIENTS FOR LASTING ENERGY
All foods can give you energy, but it’s important to recognize that there are different kinds of energy.
Sugary foods, sodas, coffee drinks, and energy drinks provide a burst of energy. But they put too much sugar in your body too quickly, leading to an energy crash. You are quickly tired and hungry again.
LOVE THE PUMPKIN ENERGY BALLS AND WANT MORE EASY PUMPKIN RECIPES? CHECK OUT OUR PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CANNED PUMPKIN!
But protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats take longer for your body to digest. That means they give you a steady stream of energy, and also satisfy your hunger longer.
That’s our family calls these whole foods “fuel foods” and their sugary and simple carb cousins “junk foods”. Our kids really get the concept that fuel foods will give them energy to play and feel good. They still want the junk foods, but they are learning to recognize the value of whole foods.
Fortunately whole ingredient snacks and desserts, like these pumpkin energy balls, are wonderful treats that also fuel our bodies.
WHOLE INGREDIENTS IN PUMPKIN ENERGY BALLS
Here are the whole ingredients in my pumpkin energy balls recipe and why they are so good for you.
- PECANS – Pecans are very energy rich, high in healthy fats and protein.
- PEPITAS – Pepitas, or shelled pumpkin seeds, are also packed with healthy fat and protein. They also have potassium and vitamin B2
- ROLLED OATS – Oats are one of the healthiest grains on the planet, and a good source of complex carbs and fiber. They also help bind together the pumpkin energy balls.
- CHIA SEEDS – Chia seeds are a high source of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids along with protein and fiber.
- HEMP HEARTS – Hemp seeds are technically a nut and are a great source of iron, which plays an important part in your body’s energy.
- FLAX SEED MEAL – Flax seeds are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. I use flax seed meal in the pumpkin energy balls because the healthy fats are in the outer shell, which is hard to digest unless it’s ground up.
- PUMPKIN PUREE – Pumpkin is nutrient dense and low calorie. It’s an excellent source of beta carotene which our bodies turn into vitamin A. We need vitamin A for eye health, healthy skin and mucous membranes, and our immune system. And of course they give these pumpkin energy balls their pumpkin flavor!
- MAPLE SYRUP – Maple syrup has high amounts of manganese and zinc. But it also has high amounts of sugar. It does however raise blood sugar levels slightly slower than regular sugar, and is a great substitute for sweetness, in small amounts.
- COCONUT OIL – Coconut oil is very high in healthy saturated fats that provide quick energy for your body and brain, while raising the good HDL cholesterol in your blood.
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The only piece of equipment needed to make these pumpkin energy balls is a food processor. I have gone through a few different food processors and my favorite is this this 8 cup Hamilton Beach Food Processor.
This food processor is under $50 but still holds up well to regular use and dish washing. The 8-cup size has been big enough for everything I’ve needed, while easier to store than some of the bigger ones I’ve owned.
I love the pulse setting because it lets me control the chopping and mixing, but often use the fast and slow settings for purees and dips.
Another item that is helpful but not required is a good food storage container. We prefer to store our food in glass containers, and I love this rectangular glass food storage container from OXO.
I just stack the pumpkin energy balls up in the container and they stay really fresh without drying out thanks to the airtight seal.
WE USE THOSE FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS FOR ALL OF OUR ENERGY BALLS RECIPES!
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN ENERGY BALLS
Here’s how ridiculously easy it is to make these pumpkin energy balls.
Place pecan halves, pepitas, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seed meal, kosher salt, and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl of your food processor.
Pulse several times until everything is incorporated and crumbly.
Add canned pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil. Make sure you are using canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which is full of sugar. You can also use homemade pumpkin puree.
Pulse to incorporate the wet ingredients. The dough will be pretty wet so add another 1/4 cup of rolled oats and pulse until just combined. This will leave some of the oats whole for added texture.
Roll the pumpkin energy ball dough into 3 dozen balls about an inch in diameter. Seal in a food storage container and keep in the fridge. Use within 10 days.
I know the photo above is a plastic food storage container but we really prefer glass. I was just 9 months pregnant when I made and photographed these and didn’t have a clean glass one to use!
Another hazard of food blogging while pregnant? You baby bump just loves to photobomb those overhead shots!
PIN TO SAVE PUMPKIN ENERGY BALLS FOR LATER
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PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD FOR PUMPKIN ENERGY BALLS
Pumpkin Energy Balls
Pumpkin Energy Balls are packed with superfoods including canned pumpkin for a healthy fall treat. Feel free to add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to take them to the next level!
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup pepitas, shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats, divided
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, make your own pumpkin pie spice with our recipe
- Place pecan halves, pepitas, 1 CUP of rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seed meal, kosher salt, and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until crumbly.
- Add pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil.
- Pulse until combined.
- The energy ball dough will be very wet so add the remaining 1/4 cup oats and pulse a few times until just combined.
- Roll into 26 balls about an inch wide.
- Place in a sealed container in the fridge and eat within 10 days.
- You can make your own pumpkin puree by roasting, pureeing, and straining fresh pumpkin. Find out how in our post on how to cook a whole pumpkin.
- Make sure to use gluten free oats if you need these to be gluten free.
Serving Size:26 balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Saturated Fat: 2gSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g