Premium

6 of the best energy balls, tried and tasted

The best energy and protein balls
We put these bite-sized snacks to the test

What exactly is an energy ball, you might ask? A nutritious trend that was once the preserve of healthy eating bloggers – and championed by plant-based food writer and entrepreneur Ella Mills (aka Deliciously Ella) – examples of the portable spherical snacks are now ubiquitous at supermarket checkouts across the country, replacing the cereal bars of yesteryear.

The power-packed components vary widely, but they tend to contain a mix of protein, carbs (such as oats or Medjool dates) and “superfoods” such as cashews, flaxseed or cacao. Such energy-boosting bites are easy to make at home (creative recipes abound online, some of which don’t even need to be baked).

Love them or hate them, should you find yourself short of time and in need of something to nibble, new pre-made ranges are launching all the time – including free-from and raw options, depending on your dietary requirements. Here are some of our favourites…

Bounce Salted Caramel protein energy ball

£1.79 per 40g ball, Ocado

Successfully combats a salted caramel craving, courtesy of a lot of sweet brown rice syrup – but is also a whey protein powerhouse (10g per serving). As the whey is derived from milk, it’s not a vegan option, but it is also packed with cashews, dates and almonds.

7/10

Spoons of Taste matcha tea “Feel Good Bites”

£2.69 per 60g pack of 5, spoonsoftaste.com

A new nut-free brand, Spoons of Taste, caters for those with allergies: the bites are also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly and contain no soya, GMOs or added sugars. We liked this metabolism-boosting matcha version with oats and chia seeds. Natural-tasting and virtuous.

7/10

Raw Health Fruity Coconut energy balls

£1.99 per 60g pack 
of 3, Ocado.com

Made up mainly of raisins, but also of dates and sunflower seeds, these are coated with large flecks of desiccated coconut and as a result have a more agreeable texture compared with the other energy balls we tested, but are otherwise nondescript.

7/10

Deliciously Ella cashew and ginger energy ball

£1.85 per 40g ball, Ocado

Contains just four ingredients: dates, cashews, oats and fiery ginger. Squidgy but firm in texture and far from bland, but it is an expensive choice – and because it’s made up of 57 per cent dates, it might be too sweet and sugary for some palates (albeit naturally occurring sugar).

7/10

Erbology Coconut and Cacao energy balls

£1.79 per 40g pack 
of 2, Ocado

Erbology specialises in whole foods and “weird-sounding” roots and berries; these organic energy balls are made of dates and sunflower seeds, and also Jerusalem artichokes. They’re chewy and delicious, with a pleasing dark chocolatey bitterness and a hint of cinnamon spice.

8/10

The Protein Ball Co lemon and pistachio vegan protein balls

£1.80 per 45g pack of 6, Tesco

Extra rice protein renders this mix of dates, cashews, pistachios and desiccated coconut, a burst of zesty lemon and a fruity dash of grape juice concentrate a good choice for a summery, nutty protein fix (7g in total) either post-workout or on the go.

9/10