These tart cherry energy balls are loaded with dried tart cherries, oats, chopped nuts, and mini chocolate chips for a delicious sweet and salty flavor that is packed full of energy, and perfect for an afternoon snack.
*This post is sponsored by Utah Red Tart Cherry Marketing Board. All opinions are my own.
Are you looking for a tasty and nutritious snack? These tart cherry energy balls are not only delicious, but they are packed with wholesome ingredients, and provide a quick burst of energy to keep you going on a busy day.
Whether you need a pre-workout boost, post-workout snack, or an afternoon pick-me-up, these delicious tart cherry energy balls have you covered. They’re a great way to fuel your day with a burst of natural energy.
These balls are the perfect snack. They combine so many delicious flavors, in just a few simple ingredients, and are made in just a few minutes – so it’s the perfect quick snack! They’ve also got a little bit of sweetness, so it’s a great sweet treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Recently, I was invited by the Utah Tart Cherry Industry to visit a couple of local tart cherry orchards just south of Salt Lake City to learn all bout U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries. I learned about the benefits of these cherries, how they are grown, and got to try some of them fresh off the tree. I love their delicious, lightly tart flavor.
Benefits of Tart Cherries:
Tart cherries are not the same as sweet cherries. This recipe uses U.S.- grown Montmorency tart cherries, which are not typically eaten fresh, but add a delicious flavor profile in many other forms, such as the dried cherries in this recipe.
These tart cherries also have a different nutritional profile, and the tart flavor and deep red color of Montmorency tart cherries is due to their concentration of anthocyanins, which possess anti-inflammatory properties, plus, many other great health benefits, and are a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Studies have also shown they are helpful for heart health, arthritis symptoms, exercise recovery, and even sleeping benefits – making them a natural American-grown superfruit.
These tart cherries have a delicious flavor profile when they are dried, with a slight natural sweet-tartness, and they are the perfect companion to these tart cherry energy balls.
Tip: Tart cherries are always farm fresh because they are picked at the peak of ripeness, and quickly dried, frozen, canned, or bottled. You won’t find Montmorency tart cherries in the fresh produce aisle – instead you’ll find them frozen tart cherries, tart cherry juice, or tart cherry juice concentrate, canned such as pie filling, or dried, like this recipe uses. These superfruits are perfect for adding a flavor and nutrient punch to so many favorites:
- overnight oats
- trail mixes
- pies or pie bars
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Tart Cherry Energy Balls Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- old fashioned oats
- nut butter – pick your favorite, almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, sunflower butter, etc.
- dried tart cherries – use dried U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries for the best results
- mini chocolate chips
- chopped nuts – I used a mix of chopped cashews and peanuts
How to make Tart Cherry Energy Balls?
- Add all the ingredients to a medium sized bowl.
- Stir them all together until everything is combined and you have a nice sticky mixture.
- Take small portions about 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons in size and roll them into little balls between your hands. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Enjoy immediately or place them in the fridge to chill for about 1 hour. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Tips and Tricks:
- If the mixture feels to dry, add a little more nut butter or honey to help bind it together.
- To keep your energy balls even in size, use a cookie scoop to measure out the mixture, then roll them into balls.
- To make the rolling process easier, and less sticky, wet your hands slightly in cold water before shaping and rolling the energy balls.
- Double the recipe if you want to have these last more than a couple days.
- Make sure to look for US grown tart cherries by looking for a label on the products.
Try a variety of ingredients to customize these balls to your favorite flavors and what you have on hand. Just don’t forget the dried cherries!
- Try your favorite nut butter, I used cashew butter most recently, but sunflower butter, peanut butter, etc will also give great results.
- You can also try adding different chopped nuts, or leave those out and add different mix ins if you’re allergic, like more cherries, dried coconut flakes, chopped pretzels, etc.
- Try adding pure maple syrup, or agave syrup, instead of honey.
- Add up to 2 TBS of additional mix ins like flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to store?
Store the energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They’re a great snack to keep on hand and grab one or two when you need a boost.
Can I use fresh cherries instead of dried cherries?
I recommend using dried cherries as they provide a concentrated flavor, and chewy texture that works well for these balls. Fresh cherries will release too much moisture and affect the consistency of these balls, and they also won’t last as long as a result.
Are these energy balls suitable for kids?
Definitely! These tart cherry energy bites are a great option for kids snacks, and will become a favorite after school or afternoon snack.
These chocolate tart cherry energy balls are a great way to elevate your snack game. They’re easy to make with only a few ingredients, super customizable, and also a fantastic way to fuel your day with a burst of natural energy. They’re great packed up and taken as an on-the-go snack for walks, or hikes too. And they will quickly become one of your new favorite healthy snacks, just like they are here.
More tart cherry recipes:
- Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookies
- Tart Cherry Pie // Ambitious Kitchen
- Tart Cherry Scones // Chelsea’s Messy Apron
- Tart Cherry Crisp // Dance around the Kitchen
- Tart Cherry Pie Smoothie // Choose Cherries
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Tart Cherry Energy Balls
- 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup creamy nut butter (I used cashew butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup chopped dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted nuts (I used a mix of cashews and peanuts)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir well for a few minutes until everything is combined well.
- Take 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons of the mixture and roll it between your hands to make a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. (Wash your hands in cold water a few times throughout to keep the mixture from sticking to them too much).
- Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
- Enjoy, or store in a zip-top bag or other airtight container for up to 2 wees.