Whenever possible, I’m always looking for ways to sneak in “superfoods” into our kids’ hiking snacks! These hemp and coconut energy balls are not only a crowd pleaser, but they’re also packed with nutrients and all the good stuff your kiddos need to stay energized on the trail.

Secret ingredient #1: hemp hearts. I started incorporating hemp hearts into many of the dishes we eat at home — on salads, on top of soups, in smoothies — so why not in an energy ball? Hemp hearts are the most concentrated and balanced source of proteins, essential fats, and vitamins. At 10 grams of protein per 30-gram serving, they contain twice the amount of protein compared to flax or chia, and they’re lower in carbohydrates. Plus, we love their nutty taste!

We love these organic hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest… but you can find almost any variety at your local health foods store or on Amazon.

Secret ingredient #2: cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are bits of fermented, dried, roasted, and crushed cacao bean. That’s it! They’re essentially just chocolate that hasn’t been ground or mixed with sugar yet. They’re also extremely good for you and have an intense chocolatey taste, but aren’t sweet at all.

Personally, I think cocoa nibs are delicious. The texture is unique — crunchy yet tender, like a macadamia nut, with the mouth-cooling properties bestowed by the magical substance that is cocoa butter; and complex, with a bitter cocoa flavor.

We buy ours from Trader Joe’s, but you can also find ‘em on Amazon.

Secret ingredient #3: almond butter. Most people probably wouldn’t think of this nut butter as a superfood… but they’re wrong! From its sweet and nutty flavor to its superb nutritional profile, it’s official: almond butter is our family favorite. It’s like peanut butter’s trendy and tasty best friend.

Did I mention how versatile it is? The sweetness of raw almond butter is the perfect partner for whole-grain toast in the a.m. or whipped into a stir-fry at night. And get this — recent studies show that dieters who chomped on almonds daily shed 62% more weight and more than half of the fat than those who didn’t. I bet that’ll get you on the almond butter train!

We just can’t pass up Trader Joe’s amazing deal on raw almond butter. You can find ‘em in stores or sold online here.

Hemp & Coconut Energy Balls

Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ c. shredded coconut
  • ⅓ c. flax seeds, whole
  • 4 tbsp. cashew meal
  • 2 tbsp. maca powder
  • 2 tbsp. hemp hearts
  • 4 tsp. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. roasted cocoa nibs
  • ½ c. nut butter of choice (I used raw almond butter)
  • ⅓ c. sweetener of choice (I used coconut nectar, but you could also use honey or maple syrup)

Instructions:

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Then, mix in the nut butter and sweetener. Fold together using a spoon until completely mixed.
  3. Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and store in a glass container. Put into the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
  4. Store any leftover energy balls in the fridge for 2-3 days.