Mocha Maca Energy Balls
These sweet little no-bake maca energy balls with cocoa, coffee, and protein are perfect for a naturally energizing treat.
- vegan and gluten-free – perfect if you have dietary restrictions, they can also be made nut-free
- easy way to incorporate maca – each ball containers over 1/2 tsp of maca powder
- natural energy – if you use regular coffee, between the caffeine, dates and maca, these balls make a great pre-workout snack
What You’ll Need
- dates – medjool, sayer or deglect noor all work, as long as they’re soft and moist
- almond butter – plain, natural almond butter is perfect but you can also use any other nut or seed butter
- coffee – used strongly brewed coffee or espresso for the best flavor, I used decaf but feel free to go caffeinated if you want!
- protein powder – use any vanilla or chocolate plant-based protein powder, mocha or coffee-flavoured protein would be good too and you could also use it in this mocha protein oats recipe
- cocoa powder – regular cocoa powder is great but if you have raw cacao on hand use that for extra nutrition
- maca – look for gelatinized maca powder, it is readily available online or in health food stores (regular grocery stores with a health food section often carry as well)
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1. Add everything to a food processor and blend into a thick, sticky dough. It should roll into one big ball after about 20-30 seconds.
Step 2. Roll the dough into 18 balls and firm in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Tips and FAQs
- If you’re not into maca, it can be replaced with additional protein powder.
- To make these nut-free, use sunflower seed butter, tahini or Wowbutter instead of almond butter.
- It’s important to use soft, moist dates. If your dates are dry, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using.
What kind of protein powder should I use?
Any plant-based protein powder works but I do recommend using chocolate or vanilla flavored. I like Vega, NuZest, Bob’s Red Mill, Iron Vegan and North Coast Naturals. I used North Coast Naturals Vege Pro-7 in this recipe.
How should I store these?
Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months.
Why use maca?
Maca is known for mood-enhancing, hormone balancing, and stamina and energy-boosting benefits.
- Maca Hemp Seed Balls
- Maca Cookie Dough Balls
- No-Bake Cashew Coconut Balls
- Cacao Hazelnut Energy Balls
- Tahini Cacao Fudge Balls
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
No-Bake Maca Energy Balls
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 16 balls
- Category: Snack
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Easy to make and ready in minutes these pre-workout maca mocha energy bites taste like mocha brownies and contain awesome energy and performance-boosting ingredients like maca and coffee!
- 2 cups lightly packed (400 g), soft and moist pitted dates
- 3 tbsp (21 g) cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp (21) chocolate or vanilla vegan protein powder
- 1 tbsp (8 g) cinnamon
- 3 tbsp (33 g) maca powder
- 2 tbsp (30 g) almond butter
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) regular or decaf strong brewed coffee or espresso
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until it forms a large, sticky ball of dough.
- Use your hands to roll the dough into 18 balls. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm.
- Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 2 months.
It’s important to use soft, moist dates. If your dates are dry, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using.
Almond butter may be substituted with any other nut or seed butter. Use tahini, sunflower seed butter or Wowbutter to make them nut-free.
Maca may be substituted with additional protein powder.
Swap regular cocoa powder for raw cacao powder to add even more nutritients.
- Serving Size: 1 ball
- Calories: 89
- Sugar: 15 g
- Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 19 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 2.3 g
Keywords: maca energy bites, mocha energy bites, maca energy balls
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on May 31, 2014. It was updated with new photos and text on May 13, 2020.
Easy, sweet and delicious!
Absolutely delicious. I loved the texture and flavour. Much better than any protein balls I’ve purchased. Will definitely be making these again.
So very glad you enjoyed them!
I need to have this one for my pre-workout bites! They look delicious and the ingredients are perfect for my weight loss goal as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
oooh, these look scrumptious Deryn! I only like coffee when combined with chocolate 😉 Haha.
And I can’t stomach anything at all before I work out in the morning but figure I eat quite late in the evening so I’m probably ok for energy. Would love these for an afternoon pick-me-up instead.
Great idea to make these!! I actually wanted to make some pre- and post-workout energy balls myself (I’m so immature because I still find saying ‘balls’ extremely funny!). Vegan + cross fitting totally work together for sure! I used to do it a lot before my girl was born and (gasp!) I didn’t suffer from it for being vegan!! Good thing protein comes in a lot of plant foods, eh? 🙂
OMG!! I just made these in preparation for a run tomorrow morning. They taste so good! I’ve just found your blog, Deryn and am so happy. I made the lentil Dahl last night which was amazing too. Thanks so much xx
Awww, that is just the best to hear!! You’re so welcome 🙂 hope you had a good run!
These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them for my pre-workout! How long will they keep in the fridge? I like to make double batches to save time.
It does make a pretty large batch to begin with, so maybe try that first? I’m not sure how long they would keep, but at least 5 days in the fridge (mine didn’t last longer than taht). Let me know how they turn out for you!
I make double batches and freeze them.
They look so yummy. I create something similar with Shakeology. My kids really like making them and, of course, eating them!
These are awesome. I made them earlier and they ROCK! Thanks for posting. K
I workout early in the morning too and I am never hungry. These would be the perfect pre-workout for me!
This looks really good! I have been vegetarian for nearly my entire life and decided to eat vegan last December. I love finding recipes that will work for my early morning snack before I go running with the dogs.
Do you think water would work as a substitute for the coffee? Or orange juice? I don’t do caffeine much since I weaned myself off it last year. It can be a migraine trigger for me.
Yum! This year, even eating a grapefruit was too onerous for me in the morning. Something like this seems perfect. I’d love to hear more about your workouts!
These look amazing! Any ideas on what I could use in place of the coffee? I’m fine with caffeine, but can no longer tolerate coffee.
As for your blog, I’d love to hear more about your workouts, diet, etc.
Can’t wait to give these a try! I’ve been on the hunt for a good, all natural and high energy pre-workout option. Thanks for sharing.
I’d love to see more posts about your training regime and different workout routines, your recipes are always delish!!!, and anything about your diet is always awesome! I love learning about other plant-based vegan’s and how they eat. Keep up the great posts! 🙂
These look delicious! And full of awesome ingredients before your workout. Yes… keep ignoring the haters 🙂