balls/bites gluten-free paleo snacks vegan

Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls

July 1, 2014

Made from nuts, dates and protein powder these Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls will give you the boost you need to make it through the day. The perfect portable snack for life on the run!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m off to Park City Utah, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wyoming in a few days. I’m soooo looking forward to disconnecting and being outside in nature. Don’t confuse this with camping because that is something I don’t do. I’m all about spending the day outside but then I need to be able to come home, shower and sleep in a nice comfy bed. New-age camping is what I call it.

Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls //

Last week I talked a bit about my philosophy on eating while on vacation. Health and eating my veggies are important to me, but a girl’s gotta indulge if ya know what I mean. Live a little, people! I’m not one to pack healthy snacks with me or have my breakfast planned out for the week. I just go with the flow. BUT I also live in fear of being stuck at the top of a mountain with my stomach grumbling and questioning whether or not it would be safer for those around me for me to just jump off the edge.

Don’t worry, I don’t have a death wish but hangry Davs is not someone you want to be around. I’m irritable and snappy and just plain nasty. My poor family and C has put up with her for years and I suspect it really makes them question that whole unconditional love thing. So for their sake I am coming prepared. By this I mean I am reserving a special place in my suitcase for my balls. There’s a possibility I may have some explaining to do at airport security…

RELATED: Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls

Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls //

As much as I love a good chocolatey ball, I am far more likely to go for a fruity one. And even though you’re probably sick of me telling you this for the 1000th time, lemon is my favourite flavour. The dates and nuts which make up the majority of the ingredients are what gives you the energy and the protein powder gives them more staying power. I also threw in some maca powder which is a natural energy booster made from a peruvian root plant so that my brother doesn’t end up carrying me down a cliff.

I maybe should have considered NOT entirely neglecting working out over the past few months but I’m hoping these Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls will help to make up for my lack of stamina. Balls FTW! I kind of want that made into a t-shirt…


Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls



  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted dates*
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder**
  • 2 tsp maca powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • zest, 1 lemon
  • juice, 1/2 lemon


  1. Add almonds to a food processor and process until it reaches a crumbly consistency.
  2. Add in dates, protein powder and maca powder and process until combined.
  3. Add in sea salt, lemon zest and juice and continue processing until mixture comes together into one big sticky ball.
  4. Break up into 20 pieces and roll pieces into balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator for several weeks or longer in freezer.

*If dates are not sticky, soak in warm water for 30 minutes and then drain.
**I use Vega One French Vanilla but any protein powder will work.

Made from nuts, dates and protein powder these Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls will give you the boost you need to make it through the day.


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    July 1, 2014 at 5:45 am

    You totally copycatted me with ball recipes today. That’s the last time I tell you anything.

    The hangry stage is the worst. It’s so unexpected and I certainly need to carry something to avoid that. Or I just go quiet.

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    July 1, 2014 at 5:59 am

    One of my best friends always thinks to plan our plans around my appetite. She always says that I must be fed 20 minutes before I say I am hungry otherwise we will have a problem lol. I never leave the house unprepared if I know I will be out for more than an hour or two and always make sure to eat a meal early if plans cut into a meal time. One must never be hungry and away from finding food!

  • Reply
    Consuelo - Honey & Figs
    July 1, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Oh please yes, make that into a shirt! I’d totally buy it!
    Also, these bars must be what dreams are made of – lemon and vanilla? sign me in! I’m not one to plan snacks when I travel either (because discovering new supermarkets and buying your own is way more fun hehe I just love supermarkets!), but I think I’d absolutely have room in my suitcase for a handful of these babies 😉
    Havea nice trip and try not to fall off a mountain, please. We’d miss you.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Ah I added maca to my energy balls recently – they do give you a good boost of energy so you will be fine hiking around the mountains! They taste is really good too – like malteasers!
    Ha I can get so hangry. Johnny is really bad to and we can have insane arguments if we are both hangry – then we eat and we are in love again haha. SO ridiculous. I carry snacks to combat the issue 😉
    Have a fabulous break!!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Ah! I love lemon flavor too. I totally want to make these and this time REALLY. Just someone makes my move already been done and my kitchen sorted, so I can start making BALLS and don’t need to eat out of tupperwares on moving boxes.
    I am famous for my love for cursing, but when I get hungry it is not even funny anymore. My friends with children hate me for that.
    Enjoy your trip love! So jealous!!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    July 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I have tried to deny my hanger for years, but I have finally accepted it and just work to combat it now. And one of the ways to do that is with snacks! I need to make a whole list of the healthy snacks out there for when I’m working long days in grad school. Pretty sure I won’t make any friends in Chicago if their first impression of me is that I’m a raging you know what.

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    July 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I never leave home without food of some sort… both for my sake and the sake of other people. You know how you said that coffee makes you a better person? That’s what food does for me. Couple that with allergies, and yeah… half my suitcase is packed with edibles when I travel 😉

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    July 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Seriously – every recipe blogger has an adoration for balls. Balls of all varieties! 😉

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    July 1, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I make sure that I have snacks with me at all times because dealing with Hangry Sam is just bad for everyone around me. Super irritable, snappy…just generally unpleasant to be around. It’s better to just avoid it 😉

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    July 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Have so much fun at Yellowstone and YES to balls on vacation. Errr um…..what? Oh, and yes to new age camping too–now that’s something I can get on board with.

  • Reply
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    July 1, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Gurrrrrl… you know I love me some balls. These look so light and delicious. Like they could bounce. 😉

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    July 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I hope TSA doesn’t hate you too much with your ball stash. Have a safe trip! Oh and Happy Canada Day! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve never heard of maca before! That is new to me. I’m going to make energy balls…I’m going to do it for real! Have a fabulous time on your trip! It sounds like it is going to be amazing!!!

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    July 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    The trip sounds so fun – enjoy! I definitely pack healthy snacks because I like to be sure to avoid hangriness at all times! But I (try to) go with the flow for meals on vacation!

  • Reply
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout
    July 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I love that these are lemon flavored… so summery! I rarely see non-nut butter/chocolate energy balls, so this is really unique! Yum 🙂

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    July 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Lemon is my fave also. Make all the lemon recipes and blog them so I can make them. Please and thank you. Also, maca is a godsend for hormone balance. Have fun on your glamping trip! 😉

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    i LOVE energy balls for snacking. i haven’t heard of this combo before though, sounds delish

  • Reply
    Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake
    July 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    These looks so good! Yes, definintely always pack snacks with me while I go on vacations.
    Again, these look super good. Need to make!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    July 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    When on vacation I tend to use Starbucks as my way of getting through the day between meals. Especially in big cities the food options are more and I can’t get enough coffee drinks typically. Enjoy your vaca! I would definitely eat those energy balls!

  • Reply
    Alessandra // the foodie teen
    July 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    New age camping is absolutely right up my street! Have a great time – these look delicious!

  • Reply
    Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite
    July 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I have the same fear! And Hanger issue! So this certainly made me laugh out loud!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Have a great time on vacation – I hope you share lots of pictures because I’ve never been to Wyoming!!!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    July 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I love making energy balls as snacks, but 99% of the time the prominent flavour is chocolate, dates, coconut, or almond butter. I don’t think I’ve ever made lemon balls before but you’ve got me intrigued!

    As for travelling, I tend to go with the flow. And it usually always works out. Like this weekend when I went camping with JZ and his friends, they grilled up the most delicious Bosnian beef/lamb meatballs for a late night snack!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I would’ve never thought to combine those two flavors but now that I’m thinking about it, it sounds amazing! P.S. You said “balls.”

  • Reply
    July 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Mmmm I’m going hiking later this week and these would be perfect! I always bring little snacky balls with me as I too am afraid of my grumpy hunger coming out haha ;p
    Enjoy your trip!

  • Reply
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
    July 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    enjoy your vacation girl!! I love Park City! I always pack snacks like this because I get hangry if I don’t!

  • Reply
    Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
    July 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Yum! I loved your lime pistachio energy balls from a while back so I am definitely giving these a try. Being trapped on a mountain with nothing to eat is probably my biggest fear in life.

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    July 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I am ALL about “new-age camping.” Can I come with you?!
    I also love lemon and I love balls. Wait, what?

  • Reply
    Archana @ The Perfect Zest
    July 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    call them amaze-balls! I need to make such snacks more coz I’m terrible when hangry.. absolutely the worst person to be around.

    I like the addition of protien and maca – can you find maca at whole foods or TJs?

  • Reply
    Sarah Pie
    July 2, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I’d wear that t-shirt 😉

    Balls are my favorite quick bite (mostly because my granola bars always seem to fall apart) but I never thought to try a fruit flavor before! Heres hoping these bites of lemony goodness see you through the hiking.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    July 3, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Ohhh yea, I pack mega snacks when I travel because I too get hangry very easily! Have a fab time on vacation Davida!!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 7:44 am

    They look great! Do you have the nutritional content on them?

  • Reply
    July 3, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I ALWAYS have snacks on hand…because hangry Joanne is possibly equally as inconsolable as hangry Davida!!

    And I would totally buy your balls t-shirt. That would make my life.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I never think of lemon balls… I don’t know why, so summery and refreshing! Davida does it again!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

    ummm these balls are amazing. i really love them! alexis (of course) told me they were good and im so happy i made them! i didnt have maca powder and my lemon was small so i used alllllll the juice. total yum. your bars and balls rock, girl! gimme s’more of that deliciousness. adding to the list (in my head) along with your cinn roll and choc mint protein bars. guess i should try more b/c you are 3 for 3! #winning

  • Reply
    January 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    These look delicious and I look forward to making them when I get some decent vanilla powder. Bought some that turned out to be inedible. Hard to know before you buy. It was the same brand as the chocolate powder that I really like (Natural Factors). So I bought their vanilla and strawberry and they’re both horrible. Grr. Big waste of money. In the meantime I will make these with chocolate and orange!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      nothing worse than wasting your money on protein powder! I’m a fan of North Coast Naturals and Designer Whey if you’re looking for some good vanilla brands 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna Kriegel
    April 15, 2015 at 7:46 am

    i made these recently!!! they are AMAZING. i need to double the batch next time though, they went so fast! LOVE YOU

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 15, 2015 at 9:30 am

      YAY! So happy you liked them 🙂 One of my fav ball recipes. Totally showing up at your bach with like 10 different varieties lol CAN’T WAIT!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I just made these (with strawberry instead of vanilla), my first balls ever and I love them 🙂

    Is it ok if I share your recipe? (and of course link back to you)

    Have a good one

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 27, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Fab! So happy you liked them 🙂 You’re more than welcome to share a link to the recipe! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Love these. I threw in about 2 teaspoons of Chia seeds too. ❤

  • Reply
    March 9, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Hi! Is there another option for dates here cause I really do not like how they taste. Can you substitute sugar with anything else in this particular recipe? Thank you!

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