These nut-free energy balls are made with just 4 simple ingredients for a delicious sweet snack or dessert, no baking required!

Stack of no-bake energy balls drizzled in chocolate sitting on a folded piece of parchment paper beside a spoon with melted chocolate on it.

Features

  • dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, can be sugar-free
  • quick and easy: you’ll need 4 ingredients and about 15 minutes
  • delicious sweet and tart flavour
  • pack them in a lunch box or take them hiking, on road trips or camping for a sweet treat on-the-go

Ingredient Notes

Visual of ingredients needed for making sunflower seed energy balls, each ingredient is labelled with text overlay.
  • sunflower seeds – use plain, raw sunflower seed kernels with no added oil or salt
  • dried cranberries – look for fruit-juice sweetened, dried cherries or blueberries also work…or chopped dried apricots would be yummy too!
  • chocolate chips – for vegan energy balls, use dairy-free Enjoy Life or Camino chocolate chips, you can also use finely chopped dark chocolate
  • dates – any variety works as long as they’re soft and moist, if not, you’ll need to soak them in hot water first

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Add the sunflower seeds to your food processor and pulse 4-5 times to break them down into a grainy consistency.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend it up into a thick, sticky dough you can press between your fingers.
  • Use your hands to roll the dough into about 20 balls. I like to use a small cookie scoop to help me stick to an even size.

Quick Tip: After rolling the balls, it’s optional but you can lightly wet your hands and roll each ball again to smooth them out.

Drizzling them with melted chocolate is totally optional…but always recommended!

Overhead view of a number of no-bake energy balls drizzled in chocolate on a piece of parchment paper.

Variations

These nut-free energy bites are easily customizable! Here are some fun ways to make them your own:.

  • Swap 1/2 cup of the sunflower seeds for shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds or rolled oats.
  • Use cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips.
  • Try dried cherries or blueberries instead of cranberries or any mixture of the 3.
  • Chopped dried apricots would be a yummy swap for the cranberries too (like in these no-bake apricot granola bars!).

FAQs


Are these gluten-free?

Yep! These energy balls are naturally gluten-free and contain no grains of any kind. If needed, I recommend using Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips as they’re certified gluten-free.

Can I use something other than sunflower seeds?

Yes. You can use almonds, cashews or walnuts but they won’t be nut-free, of course.

Can I make these sugar-free?

Yes, you can make them with no added sugar by using fruit-juice sweetened cranberries and sugar-free chocolate chips such as stevia-sweetened Lily’s.

For a lower-sugar option, use a high-cacao content dark chocolate or cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips.

No-bake energy ball with a bite taken out of it to show the inside texture.

Storing Instructions

  • Fridge: Up to 1 week in a sealed container.
  • Freezer: Up to 3 months in a sealed container or freezer-safe bag. They don’t freeze solid so can be enjoyed straight from the freezer.
  • Room Temperature: Ok at room temperature for a day or two but they will start to get soft if it’s warm. Store in freezer beforehand and try to keep cool if possible!
Hand picking up an energy ball from a stack of balls sitting on a piece of folded parchment.
Print
Stack of no-bake energy balls drizzled in chocolate sitting on a folded piece of parchment paper beside a spoon with melted chocolate on it.

Cranberry Sunflower Seed Balls

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

These delicious sweet and tart energy bites are made with sunflower seeds and dairy-free chocolate chips for an allergy-friendly treat the whole family can enjoy. Stash them in a lunchbox or take them on your next outdoor adventure or road trip, yum!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed, pitted soft dates (220 g)
  • 1 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (187 g)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries (75 g)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free regular or mini chocolate chips (85 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, optional

Instructions

  1. If your dates are on the dry side, place them (pitted) in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes then drain well, squeezing off any excess water. If they’re very soft and moist, such as medjool dates, you can skip the soaking.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds to your food processor and pulse a few times to break down.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the drained dates, and blend into a thick, sticky dough.
  4. Use your hands to roll the dough into about 20 balls.
  5. If the balls are a little rough around the edges, lightly wet your hands and roll each each ball to smooth.

Notes

Chocolate chips can be replaced with finely chopped dark chocolate or cacao nibs for a lower-sugar alternative.

Sunflower seeds can be swapped for almonds, pecans, walnuts or cashews.

Storing: Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months. If taking to-go, they’re ok for a day or two but will start to get soft so freeze beforehand and keep cool if possible!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Fat: 6.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: nut-free energy balls, sunflower seed balls