Sun-Pumpkin Energy Balls


Ode to the Sun-Pumpkin Ball

Oh my wee Sun-Pumpkin Ball… how do you taste so good when you are so small?  You melt in my mouth… bring gaiety to my soul… oh my wee Sun-Pumpkin Ball.


And now you know how much cheesiness I am capable of.  

These little grain-free, nut-free Sun-Pumpkin Energy Balls are something I whipped up this afternoon after grabbing a Larabar at the grocery store and realizing they really aren’t much more than dates and seeds…

or dates and chocolate…

or dates and…

you get the point.

$3+ for something so simple?  No thanks! 

These are Rabble Rouser kid approved and will make the perfect afternoon snack.  I may even try them with my morning frappe for a light breakfast when I’m in a hurry.

They take minutes to make and are super easy.  Might be a good idea to ration them out and freeze some or hide them from your kids (or yourself)… they go fast!

Sun-Pumpkin Energy Balls
Sun-Pumpkin Energy Balls are the perfect afternoon snack.
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 18
  • 1 cup sliced pitted dried dates
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • dash of Real Salt
  1. Place dates and cranberries in food processor. Blend on high. Allow to blend through the ball stage until it separates again.
  2. Add the seeds and salt. Blend until it hits the ball stage again.
  3. Roll into balls.
  4. Eat!

Ingredients we love:

Update on November 10:

I received a note about the recipe, that it was all crumbly.

I did re-try the recipe today and it still worked for me, so I thought I’d post some tips so everyone can make sure it’s turning out well for them.

  • Explanation of “ball stage” in directions:

    I wasn’t sure what to call this phenomenon but I realize those terms might be vague.  When you are blending, the fruit or seeds it will first be more like a meal for quite a while… KEEP BLENDING!  It will suddenly hit a point where it rolls up into a ball.  Remember to follow the stages above, doing the fruit first, continue blending even after it reaches the ball stage until it separates again.  Then add the seeds and blend again until it rolls up into a ball, then stop.

  • Make sure your fruit is not too dry.

    I know that seems silly… it’s dried fruit, but there is also too dry.  I keep my dried fruits in the refrigerator and they still feel slightly moist or sticky to the touch.  If your fruit is dry as rocas, it might not work.  My guess is it will eventually if you blend forever, but you’ll have much more success with soft fruit.

  • I have been adding about 1/2-1 tsp coconut oil into mine sometimes as well.

    It works without it, but I like the texture with the coconut oil… extra smooth, plus they don’t stick to your fingers quite so bad when you’re rolling.

  • If you’re still not having success, my only other thought is maybe the food processor you’re using isn’t powerful enough.

    Mine isn’t anything fancy, but I know I’ve tried other smaller ones in the past and they didn’t really do the trick for me.

New update: I doubled the recipe the other day and it turned out all crumbly!  Agh!  So… lesson learned: must use the right proportion for the size of your food processor.  I think mine is an 8 cup.  (I will figure it out and let you know sometime.)

Let me know your favorite way to eat them!


Thanks for taking a look at my recipe:  please take a moment to check out this very important video that I created on a vital medication… cannabis!

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  1. so i used everything in the recipe as directed.
    i ended up with meal that never stuck together.

    • Sorry it didn’t work out for you… I have started adding about a teaspoon of coconut oil to mine as well… I will modify the recipe to include that but it stuck together before I added that, I just liked the texture a bit better with it in. You have to blend a long time as well… it stays crumbly for quite a while and then all of a sudden it will form a ball… did it ever do that for you? I will give the recipe another try today and make sure I have all my measurements right as well.

    • Okay… I just made them up really quickly and they worked for me fine without the coconut oil. My guess is you didn’t keep the food processor going long enough. You have to keep it running quite a while. Blend the fruit first a long time until it forms into a ball and then keep going until it separates again. Then add the nuts/seeds and blend quite a while until it rolls into a ball again and then stop the processor. I will post some other tips up on the article as well. If you still have it, I’d stick it back in and mix longer.

  2. Pingback: 101 Easy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Snack Ideas for Kids (and Parents)

  3. This is a great snack recipe. I have made something similar. For me, the texture changes with the dates. Some dates are drier than others and need a little extra liquid/oil. The dates in the bulk section of the store tend to be less dry than the prebagged stuff. Pinning this for later.

    I’m also hosting a real food link party this weekend. You should bring this to the party and share with everyone.

    • I agree on the bulk bin dates… definitely much less dry. Thanks for stopping by Nicky. I will definitely check out the real food link party!

  4. Pingback: 101 Easy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Snack Ideas for Kids (and Parents) | Lylas Touch

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