Deliciously sweet, these apricot and pumpkin energy balls are easy to make and are a tasty and healthy snack with a portion of veg added. Suitable for vegans
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We are huge fans of energy balls in the Sneaky Veg household and I make quite a few different types including ones made with dates, figs or apricots as well as with different kinds of fruit or vegetables added.
This autumn I decided it was high time I tried out a pumpkin energy ball. And I am so glad I did because it is not only delicious but the kids loved them.
I chose to make my pumpkin energy balls with dried apricots to keep a bright orange colour. If you prefer you can use dates instead. They’ll taste fantastic but will be slightly darker in colour.
Can I make my own pumpkin purée?
Absolutely. I often make my own pumpkin purée (although I also use the tinned variety when I can get hold of it).
Simply boil, steam or roast chunks of pumpkin until soft, cool and then blend.
Homemade pumpkin purée can be a little more watery than the tinned variety. If yours is looking watery strain it over a fine sieve before using.
Can I use butternut squash instead?
Yes. I often switch butternut squash for pumpkin in my recipes with great results. Feel free to make this recipe with butternut squash (or even sweet potato) purée if that’s what you have.
Can these pumpkin energy balls be made nut free?
These pumpkin energy balls are delicious when they’re made without nuts. Simply substitute seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the nuts in the recipe below. Even better use a mixture of different seeds. Seeds contain many different nutrients and this is a great way to get as many as possible into your diet.
Are these lunchbox friendly?
Yes. These energy balls are free from added refined sugar so they’re perfect for lunchboxes. If your school or nursery has a nut free policy then make them with seeds instead (see above).
Can these pumpkin energy balls be frozen?
I often freeze our energy balls with great results. Freeze on a tray for an hour before transferring to a freezer box or bag (this is to stop them sticking together). Alternatively place a piece of baking paper between each energy ball before freezing.
Are they suitable for babies?
These energy balls are quite chewy and sweet so I would recommend you wait until your baby is older. You may also want to make them into bars or flat cookies rather than balls to make them easier to grasp.
What ingredients do you need?
For full ingredients list, quantities and recipe see the recipe card at the end of this post
- Pumpkin or butternut squash purée
Either homemade or tinned* - see above.
- Dried apricots
I love dried apricots for their gorgeous colour but feel free to use dates, prunes, raisins or other dried fruits instead.
A great, healthy energy booster.
- Chopped nuts or seeds
I like almonds best but you can use any nuts eg walnuts, pecans, cashews. Alternatively, to make them nut free use seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead.
- Salt, optional
Leave out the salt for young babies and children but if you're making these for grown ups a little pinch will improve the flavour even more.
Do you need any special equipment to make these?
You will need a food processor* to make this recipe.
More energy ball recipes
- Chocolate peanut butter energy balls
- Carrot cake energy balls
- Blackberry energy balls
- Coconut energy balls
- Apple and fig energy balls
Pin pumpkin energy balls for later
How to make pumpkin energy balls
Pumpkin energy balls
- 200 g pumpkin or butternut squash puree
- 200 g dried apricots roughly chopped
- 100 g oats
- 100 g chopped nuts or seeds - I like almonds
- pinch salt optional
- Place all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until combined. You may need to scrape the sides down once or twice.
- If you want your oats to be really broken down pulse them first.
- Lightly oil your hands (not essential but stops the mixture sticking) and roll into balls.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
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