If you are looking for a healthy fall snack idea, these pecan pie energy balls are the perfect easy snack. They are made with 4 ingredients and taste just like pecan pie.
There is nothing better than having a big bag of energy balls in your freezer for a protein packed snack. After you make these pecan pie energy balls try our popular peanut butter protein balls.
Why Pecan Pie Balls?
If there is any snack that we stand behind here on Fit Foodie Finds it is the energy balls. They are a great snack for a grab and go bite and the flavor combinations are endless. These pecan pie balls are a tasty combination of a classic pecan pie meets an easy hand held snack.
We love these balls because they only have 4 ingredients with a delicious option to roll them in graham cracker crumbs (so yummy). All you need is a food processor and you are all set to go. They are the perfect fall snack.
pecan pie balls quick tips
- Don’t over process the nuts. When you make energy balls you process the nuts until they reach the perfect cookie dough consistency. If you process the nuts too much they will turn into a nut butter. Note that walnuts and pecans tend to be a bit more oily than other nuts so be careful not to over process them.
- Use raw pecans. We recommend using raw pecans versus already roasted pecans.
- What if my pecan balls are too oily? If you end up with an oily dough you can add 1/2 sheet of graham crackers to the dough and process, that will soak up oil. If you prefer not to use graham crackers flour add 1 or 2 additional tablespoon of oats to the dough . That should do the trick.
- Be sure to get all the pits. One common mistakes that people make with dates and nut energy balls is forgetting to remove the bits from the dates. Be sure to check all dates and remove the pits or your food processor may suffer.
- Get creative. These pecan pie balls taste like the perfect combination of ingredients to make the energy balls taste like pecan pie. However, feel free to mix in other ingredients to make them your own.
Ingredients You Need
- Medjool dates- use fresh medjool dates if you can over the packaged dates in the baking isle. They are more flavorful and fresh. You can find medjool dates in the produce section of your grocery store.
- Raw pecans- use raw pecans from the bulk section of your grocery store or baking island. Just make sure they are raw pecans.
- Old fashioned rolled oats– the oats add a binder to the energy balls. They also soak up the oil. If you don’t have old fashioned rolled oats you can use quick cooking oats.
- Vanilla extract– a little vanilla extract gives these balls a more pecan pie flavor.
- Graham crackers- the graham crackers are an optional add but we highly suggest rolling the pecan pie balls in graham cracker crumbs. It gives the pecan pie balls a very pecan pie vibe.
- Kosher salt– we love adding a kick of salt to every ball. Sprinkle flaked salt over the pecan pie balls.
Energy Ball Swaps
Rolled Oats —> Quick Cooking Oats
Pecans —> Walnuts
How to Make Pecan Pie Balls
- Start with the graham crackers. Start by preparing the graham cracker crumbs. Place the graham crackers into the food processor and blend until they turn into crumbs. Remove them from the food processor and set them aside in a bowl for later.
- Process the dates. Add the pitted dates to the food processor and process them until they turn into a paste.
- Combine ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and pulse the ingredients together.
- Form balls. When the ingredients begin to form a ball in the food processor they are ready to be formed. Use a tablespoon scoop to scoop out the dough and roll them into balls and set aside. Repeat until all the dough is formed into balls.
- Roll in crumbs. Roll each pecan pie ball into the graham cracker crust so it is completely covered in graham crackers. Set aside.
- Eat. Eat the balls or put them in the fridge or freezer for later.
We recommend placing the pecan pie balls on a plate and placing them in the freezer to set. When the pecan pie balls are set we recommend putting them in a freezer safe bag and storing them in the freezer.
Remove them from the freezer and let them soften for a few minutes before you eat them.
- 8 medjool dates, pitted*
- 2 cups raw pecans
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (+more incase of excess oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Graham Cracker Topping
- 2 sheets of graham crackers
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Prepare the graham cracker crumble (optional) first by placing 2 sheets of graham crackers into a food processor and process until they are graham cracker crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl, add the kosher salt and mix until combined. Set aside.
- Place the medjool dates into the food processor and process on high until the dates turn into a paste.
- Add raw pecans, oats, and vanilla to the food processor and then process on low until dough crumbles have formed in your food processor.
- Test the energy ball batter to see if the batter will hold its shape. If things seem too dry, you can add a little water by the teaspoon.
- Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, scoop out dough and then roll between your palms to form your balls (the balls will feel a bit oily but should hold together, if they don’t add a tablespoon more of oats to the dough).
- Once the balls are formed, roll each ball in the graham cracker crumbs so that the whole ball is covered. Repeat until each ball has been rolled in crumbs.
- Place the balls in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
- Enjoy immediately after or place them into a freezer safe bag and store them in the freezer for later.
Tips & Notes
Dates: make sure that your dates are soft. Sometimes dates can get dried out, but you want soft dates for this. If you have super dry dates you can try soaking them in water first to make them softer.