Breakfast/ Gluten-Free/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Workouts

Seedy, Nutty Tahini Energy Balls

I wake up at 5:30 AM to work out most days and really struggle to put any food into my body. NOTHING sounds appetizing. But, I’ve started noticing (even more so as I’ve gotten older) that I really need some fuel before workouts or else I feel sluggish and weak.

I’ve tried a few different things and realized that I can handle Larabars pretty well, so I decided to experiment with homemade energy balls. I had some tahini (which is ground up sesame seeds) in the fridge that I thought would make a great base, and I just started tossing things into it. These turned out great.

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Note: You could sub peanut butter or almond butter for the tahini but since tahini is pretty runny compared to PB and AB, you may need to play with your ratios. Perhaps reduce the maple syrup or add no protein. You could probably leave the maple syrup out all together – I just find tahini a bit strong and the brand I use doesn’t have added sugar. (Trader Joe’s tahini does have added sugar.)

Seedy, Nutty Tahini Energy Balls

Makes 18-20 1” balls
Approximate nutrition per ball: 105 calories, 8 grams fat, 7 grams carbs, 4 grams protein.

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used SunWarrior Chocolate)
  • pinch of salt (this is the best part! Don’t leave it out!)

Combine all ingredients into a bowl until well combined. Use your hands to form them into 1” balls and pop them in the fridge until serving. I usually have 1-2 before a workout and have been taking these as an afternoon snack at work too. They’re especially great with coffee. SAMSUNG CSC

Look at all that seedy, nutty goodness! Don’t look at those nails that need a manicure!SAMSUNG CSC

And picture for your Pinterest needs! SAMSUNG CSC

Let me know if you try these out! And let me know if you have suggestions for pre-workout snacks that are easy to stomach early in the morning!

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  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
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    I JUST make my first raw energy bites last weekend! I may never go back to store-bought bars!

  • Jennifer
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    Strange question, but if you get up at 5:30 am, what time do you go to bed?

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
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      haha not nearly early enough! I aim for 10 PM, but it’s usually 10:30-11:15 before I turn off the lights!

  • Christine Whittington
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    These look great! Whole Foods has some tiny, dark chocolate chips sweetened with Stevia that would be a good addition, too. They are from Lily’s Sweets.
    http://lilyssweets.com/baking-chips/

    I don’t like coconut. It makes me gag! Would have to find a substitute.

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
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      oooh that would be awesome!

      I bet you could just double the flax or add chia in place of coconut!

  • Christine Whittington
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    Or even better than chocolate chips–cacao nibs!

  • Cara's Healthy Cravings
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    Yum! I love having snacks like these on hand and I love that you used tahini.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed
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    I don’t eat anything before I work out. I think I’d be heaving it into the trash can mid WOD haha.

  • Chicago Jogger
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    Yum, these look so good! I love energy balls. Such a smart idea to use tahini.

  • Sara @ Oats & Rows
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    I struggle with hunger on early mornings, too. Usually I’ll just grab a banana, but these look waaay better 🙂 I’ll have to try these soon!

  • Julie
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    I’ll usually just have half a bagel w/ peanut butter on it before my morning workout. Then I’ll have the other half afterwards. 🙂

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
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      that’s a smart approach! I should try prepping something the night before (like oatmeal!) and eat 1/2 of it beforehand!

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors
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    Ummmm yes please this sounds like heaven! I love tahini and never think to add it to anything sweet! I am so going to try this!

  • Christine Whittington
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    I did make these with the cacao nibs and they were awesome! I used almond butter instead of tahini and the cacao nibs instead of the coconut. There is a home-based company called Daring Chocolate in Leadville that has the best chocolate, including cacao nibs. I pulsed it a few times in the Cuisinart because it was drier due to using almond butter instead of tahini, and that worked great. Coarse sea salt really is essential!.

  • Kristi
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    Yummy. I want to make those. I picked up the new organic TJ’s tahini and you’ll be happy to know that this version does not have added sugar. And it’s in such a pretty jar. ??