No bake (no dates) lemon energy balls with just the right amount of fresh lemon. Perfect for a snack.
This recipe for lemon energy balls is easy to make as there is no baking involved.
I’ve also made this recipe without dates and paired up the zesty flavour of lemons with almond butter and coconut. Made in a few minutes and a perfect snack for when you need your energy boost.
MORE ENERGY SNACK RECIPE IDEAS
Why make these lemon energy balls
- They are light and zesty and not overly sweet
- There are no dates in these!
- Perfect energy snack for when you need a little pick me up
- They are quicker to make than a cake
General instructions on how to make energy balls at home
It’s very simple, you just mix all the ingredients together! That’s exactly what I thought when I made the first batch and then ended up with adding more ingredients because the mixture was too wet!
So, the best way to make these lemon energy balls is to start with measuring out all the dry ingredients first and adding them to a large mixing bowl.
Next add the almond butter and the coconut oil and after that the lemon juice. Add only what you need to make your mixture sticky but not overly wet.
Dissolve a tiny pinch of salt in the lemon juice first before adding to the mixture. This will help the salt to dissolve properly and mix well into the rest of the ingredients.
Chill the lemon energy balls for at least 15 minutes in the fridge before you eat them (to firm them up)
Keep in the fridge and try them the next day (the flavour improves with time)
Ingredients & possible substitutions
I usually use basic rolled type of oats for this recipe and sometimes I opt for gluten-free oats. You are welcome to use any kind of oats (or buckwheat type of oats), but not instant hot oat sachets as they are too fine to work with.
Almond butter is great for this recipe, but you can also use other suitable almond butter substitute such as pistachio butter or walnut butter.
I don’t use stronger flavoured butters for this recipe, such as peanut, as the peanut flavour completely overpowers the lemon.
Coconut oil helps to bind the oats together, but if you don’t have coconut oil you can also use regular butter or dairy free butter or spreads.
If you want to use vegetable or sunflower oil (or any other type of liquid oils), I would use only half of the quantity (as these oils won’t set) and increase the amount of almond butter (which is firmer and will help to hold the energy balls together).
Liquid sugar syrup
You will need both zest and fresh lemon juice for this recipe, which means using an organic unwaxed lemon. If you don’t have a fresh lemon, you can also use concentrated lemon juice, lemon essence or citric acid and omit the lemon zest.
You can also swap the lemon for orange or any orange substitute that you have in your kitchen cupboard.
I add a tiny pinch of salt to the recipe to balance out all the sweet flavours, but it’s optional.
I’ve used shredded coconut (unsweetened) for this recipe, but you can also use ground almonds or other ground nuts.
Spices or flavourings you can also use
Step by step instructions for lemon snack balls recipe
Measure out all the dry ingredients first and then all the wet ingredients and add them to a mixing bowl.
Dissolve a tiny pinch of salt into the lemon juice.
Leave the lemon juice last and add as much (or as little) as you need to.
Mix all ingredients together until well-combined and tacky enough for you to roll out into balls. If the mixture is not sticky enough, add more lemon juice.
Roll the mixture into small to medium size balls.
Scatter the shredded coconut into a shallow tray and roll the energy balls in. Leave in the tray and place in the fridge to set for about 15 minutes.
How to keep your lemon energy balls
Once made, your lemon energy balls should be kept in airtight container and placed in the fridge. They should be fine for a minium of 3-5 days, but I sometimes keep mine for longer than that.
I often make these, when I’m travelling, which means that I don’t have a fridge or space to keep them.
Once I roll them, I leave them to dry out a little and then wrap them individually in greaseproof paper (or just a regular baking parchment) and then place them in a plastic bag or smaller plastic container.
This way, the energy balls last a minimum 2 days even when kept in a room temperature. If I know that I can’t eat them within that time, I make just 1/2 of the recipe.
Can you freeze Lemon energy balls ?
Although I don’t usually freeze energy balls, because they keep reasonably well, they can be frozen.
Freeze them on the same day as you’ve made them and make sure that they are first frozen separately (on a flat baking tray) before putting them in a suitable freezer container.
I always use a greaseproof paper to place between the layers, so that they don’t stick together.
My top tip for freezing the lemon energy balls is to leave the coconut coating out and only do it when they are again defrosted and just before you want to serve them.
To defrost your energy balls, take them out the night before or 2-4 hrs before you want to eat them and leave to defrost in the fridge or even in a room temperature (make sure that they are covered – othewise they can dry out too quickly).
Roll them in extra shredded coconut and leave them to firm up a little before serving.
Lemon Energy Balls (No Bake)
- 1 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or more depending on your taste
- tiny pinch of salt dissolved in the lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for coating
- Measure out all the dry ingredients first and then all the wet ingredients and add them to a mixing bowl.
- Dissolve a tiny pinch of salt into the lemon juice.
- Leave the lemon juice last and add as much (or as little) as you need to.
- Mix all ingredients together until well-combined and tacky enough for you to roll out into balls. If the mixture is not sticky enough, add more lemon juice.
- Roll the mixture into small to medium size balls.
- Scatter the shredded coconut into a shallow tray and roll the energy balls in. Leave in the tray and place in the fridge to set for about 15 minutes.
This blog post was originally written on 19 September 2020 and last updated 15 September 2022