With so many Energy Ball recipes available on the internet, what makes these Tahini Hemp Energy Balls different? Tahini is made from roasted sesame seeds, and that’s exactly what it tastes like – some would describe the flavour as nutty or earthy. Energy Balls often use protein powders for added protein, where these ones use pure hemp hearts for protein. I’ve opted not to use dates, as I prefer local unpasteurized honey for sweetness instead. The flavour combination of tahini with honey and toasted coconut is what makes this No Bake Tahini Hemp Protein Balls Recipe one of my favourites, and comparable to the 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls which are one of most popular recipes on my blog.
“Tahini, as in this tahini hemp protein balls recipe, is made from roasted sesame seeds. It is a good source of calcium, as well as other minerals including magnesium and iron.”
Taking flavours from far-off countries inspired the combination of tahini and honey in these No-Bake Tahini Hemp Energy Balls. In the Middle East, I loved dipping my flatbread in tahini, and then in honey for a healthy, satisfying snack. Now at home, I enjoy my sweet potato toast slathered in tahini and topped with local honey. When I am feeling nostalgic for Middle Eastern style sweets, Superbaba in Victoria makes amazing tahini rose cardamom cookies. If you’re not in Victoria you owe it to yourself to try and recreate them, this recipe for Tahini Rosewater Cookies is also delicious.
Tahini is a staple in my house and it makes a great base for salad and buddha bowl dressings (my favourites are Miso Tahini Dressing, Creamy Garlic Tahini Dressing, and Savoury Glory Bowl Dressing). It has been most popularised in homemade hummus recipes (see Roasted Garlic Hummus). Tahini is made from sesame seeds that have been hulled, ground and toasted and the processing makes the nutrients from the sesame seeds more available. Tahini is known in the nutrition world as one of the highest non-dairy sources of calcium, and like many other nut and seed butters it contains B-vitamins, magnesium, iron and phytosterols. The roasted sesame flavour lends itself to these simple no-bake energy balls. I have used raw tahini in the recipe in the past and may be preferred by those looking to maximise the availability of the B-vitamins, though the flavour isn’t as deep. I would suggest adding ground ginger and other spices such as cinnamon to the no-bake energy ball recipe if you opt for raw tahini.
Hemp hearts need no introduction on my blog. I’ve share some of my favourite recipes including Vegan Ranch Dressing, Hemp Sunflower Seed Pate, Hemp Milk and Hemp Vegan Pesto as well as some nutrition and sustainability tips (see Chia Seed, Flaxseed, Hemp Seed Which One Is For You). We are lucky here in Canada to have Manitoba Harvest providing our very own hemp hearts. Hemp hearts are one of the best plant-based protein sources, containing all essential amino acids. Each one of these Tahini Hemp Energy Balls contains 5g of protein, making them a great snack to help keep you going and your blood sugar levels stable. Make a batch and freeze them, that way you will have a healthy tasty treat at your fingertips when you most need it.
No Bake Tahini Hemp Protein Balls Recipe
- 2/3 cup toasted shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1 cup rolled oats traditional
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp flaxseed ground
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup honey unpasteurized
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger optional
- 2 tbsp water optional
- If the coconut is not already toasted, heat a heavy bottom frying pan over medium-low heat. Add coconut and toast for 2 minutes, stirring the pan regularly so it doesn't burn. Make sure you watch it, you will know when it is done when the coconut is nice and golden.
- If your flax seeds are not ground, add them to a food processor to quickly grind them. Add all the ingredients except for the water into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
- Cover bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.
- Check the mixture, if it seems to dry add the water. I usually add 2 tbsp of water.
- Now roll the mixture into 15 evenly shaped energy balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. They also taste great frozen, taken out as needed.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup over honey Don't have tahini: Use almond butter or peanut butter instead
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition, and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.