it’s bliss! our energy ball taste test

energy in a ball

With all the yoga and running that goes on around the office and at our neighbourhood stores, we get mighty hungry. Snacks that are natural, portable and delicious are always in high demand. Ever get hungry for a little healthy competition? We do.

we love bliss in ball-shaped treats

Many people here are either kitchen-savvy or have goals to be. What better way to encourage everyone in the pursuit of their goals than to host an energy ball cook-off? We scouted around for people's favourite recipes and hosted a taste test after an afternoon yoga class led by Tedi Martin.

taste test

the contenders

Bev nominated The Four o'Clock Bar, courtesy of Baker's Balance.

Tedi nominated the Chocolate Earth Ball recipe by Whole Foods.

Pam suggested the Energy Ball recipe from Shelley Adam's Whitewater Cooks At Home cookbook.

I submitted an original recipe inspired by my hearty oatmeal breakfasts.

We had a healthy turnout of very qualified judges. (Just so you know, hungry and opinionated equals qualified.) The ballots were cast. The people have spoken. Whole Foods' Chocolate Earth Balls win.

here's the thing

Each recipe was uniquely delicious. Depending on what you crave, you probably would choose one recipe over another.  Here's what we learned:

If you love peanut butter, you'll probably love the winning recipe. The consensus was that most people wouldn't reach for it before a workout but it was definitely the perfect reward after their afternoon yoga class.

If you're a chocoholic, the Whitewater Cooks Energy Ball recipe has the cocoa fix you're looking for. This runner-up is loaded with other tasty ingredients like sunflower seeds, rolled oats and raisins, so it's a balanced treat.

If you like eating breakfast on the go, you'll enjoy the original recipe from yours truly. It's basically a spin-off of my favourite oatmeal breakfast: oats, dates, ground flax, almonds, coconut, sesame and sunflower seeds and real maple syrup.

If you like simple recipes with minimal ingredients, grab a food processor and whip up the Four o'Clock Bar. All you need is dates, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter and sea salt.

the recipes

First place: Whole Foods' Chocolate Earth Balls (below)

Chocolate Earth Ball

Second place: Shelley Adam's Energy Balls, from the beautiful Whitewater Cooks At Home cookbook. (below)

BC's own Whitewater Cooks Energy Balls

Third place: Elissa's Portable Breakfast Balls (recipe below)

Elissa's energy fix

Elissa's Portable Breakfast Balls

  • 1 cup each: oats, coconut, sesame and sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, all toasted
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 2.5 cups chopped dried dates
  • 2 cups almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 additional cup toasted coconut, for coating
  • love

Preheat your oven to 350F. Soak the dates in warm water to soften them. Spread the first five ingredients on a large cookie sheet. Toast them in the oven for ten minutes. Remove and cool. Drain the dates. Squeeze them to remove excess water. Put dates, toasty ingredients, flax, syrup and almond butter in a large bowl and combine well with your hands. Roll into balls (you choose the size) and roll in coconut.

Fourth place: Baker's Balance's Four o'Clock Bar (below)

4 O'clock Bar, ball style

lessons from our kitchens

We seize every opportunity to learn, whether we're on our yoga mats or in our kitchens. The big one? Making delicious energy snacks from scratch is ridiculously simple - and fun. We recommend you store your creations in an air-tight container in the freezer to prolong the enjoyment of your time in the kitchen.

Here are some of the other lessons we learned along the way.

healthy ingredients

Use organic ingredients wherever possible.

toasty coconut

Get the most flavour out of your ingredients and toast them in the oven.

energy ball recipe in the making

If you're getting creative and making your own recipe, write it down as you go.

want more?

Special thanks to Alana & Ali for prepping the feast and everyone who helped make our taste test a success! What are you busy making?

read more related posts:


I’m LOVING these food blogs, it’s inspiring me to get into the kitchen and TRY things! Thanks Elissa xo

Comment by Elim — February 24, 2011 @ 9:10 am

I paddled a 44km fresh water changes outrigger race last summer, and the Whitewater Cooks Energy Balls saw me through to the end. They are amazing, and so easy. I used dried blueberries instead of raisins, and added some cinnamon and cayenne, to give them a bit of pep. Awesome food blog!

Comment by Heather — February 24, 2011 @ 10:05 am

What a neat idea! Those look scrumptious. I will have to make some of these very soon :D

Comment by Katia — February 24, 2011 @ 10:10 am

As much as these recipes are filled with healthy ingredients, they’re also really high in things like fat and carbs – leading to a “snack” that’s more akin in nutritional value to an entire meal (for some of them). The serving sizes need to be adjusted, and people need to be aware if they’re popping more than one of these, they’re essentially getting their entire days intake of food.

Comment by Krista — February 24, 2011 @ 10:47 am

You’re right Krista – they’re definitely not low in calories. That’s why we like to eat them after a hard class or a long run. :)

Comment by Elissa Joy — February 24, 2011 @ 10:54 am

They all look tasty!How many pieces would you usually consume after a work out or a hot yoga session?

Comment by Jose — February 24, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

Hi Jose!
Great question. The best part about making these at home is that you can make the servings big or small. The Whitewater cookbook suggests 1/4 cup portions but keep in mind, they serve them to people heading up the mountain for a day of adventure. You may want to use a smaller portion if you’re planning on having one before or after a low-impact class.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 25, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

These were delicious…. great job to all of the bakers!!

Comment by Tedi Martin — February 25, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

I am definitely in the market for quick and easy recipes I can make for food that’s healthy and easy to take on-the-go.

Will try and let you know how it goes!

Many thanks for posting this! :)

Comment by Aleksandra S — March 2, 2011 @ 8:39 am

Glad you all enjoyed the post! My friend at the office now keeps a jar of Breakfast Balls at her desk. Seems like they’re a hit. :) Have fun getting domestic.

Comment by Elissa Joy — March 2, 2011 @ 10:01 am

Check out my Cherry Chia Energy Balls here:

Comment by Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] — March 14, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

Adding a little coconut oil to the energy balls helps with shelf life and adds some nutritious fatty acids as well!

Comment by Energy Balls — April 16, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

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