October 1, 2019

No-Bake Pumpkin Balls

We love these no bake pumpkin balls in my house. A winner with both of my kids.
12 Balls

No Bake Pumpkin Balls! Want a healthier pumpkin-pie snack? Try these pumpkin-date balls, vegan, gluten-free and perfectly spiced! 

These no-bake pumpkin balls feel like the perfect dessert to be snacking on right now. It’s currently 90 degrees outside, so why my body says summer, my head definitely says Fall.

Since it’s the first day of October, it seemed fitting to share these pumpkin balls with you today. So put on your favorite chunky sweater (but maybe with a tank top underneath for when you head outside) and let’s get to making these balls!

no bake pumpkin balls

Dried Fruit vs. Regular Sugar

These balls are no-sugar added since we are using dates to sweeten instead of maple syrup or other sugars. Instagram constantly reminds me that there is a lot of confusion around added sweeteners; dates are not in the same category as maple syrup, honey or regular cane sugar.

For the most part, sugar is sugar, whether it came from a tree or a cane. However, dates are a fruit that retains all of it’s fiber, vitamins and minerals so think of these more like prunes and raisins then other types of sweeteners.

Just because a fruit is dried doesn’t mean it contains more sugar. It is a more concentrated source of sugar, as the water as been reduced, but they don’t contain more. Unless that dried fruit is sweetened after drying (like in dried cranberries and some dried papaya, mango), dried fruit doesn’t contain any more sugar than regular fruit.

no bake pumpkin balls

Ingredients for these Pumpkin Energy Balls

To make these no bake pumpkin energy balls, you’ll need:

  • Dried, pitted dates, if they are too hard then you can soak them in hot water for 10 minutes until softened. 
  • Pecans, since you are pulsing them it’s OK to use broken pecans or pecan pieces 
  • Canned pumpkin puree, make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling! 
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut flakes. If all you can find is regular coconut flakes, that works too! 
  • Vanilla extract, if you are serving these to kids then I recommend using alcohol free vanilla extract. Trader Joe’s sells this, as does the brand Simply Organic. 
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, dried cloves and salt. If you don’t have these dried spices, it’s ok to substitute pumpkin pie spice instead. I recommend 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice over the dried cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 

How to make No-Bake Pumpkin Balls

These balls couldn’t be easier to whip up! Throw everything into a food processor, blend until sticky and thick, then roll into balls.

I am always amazed by how simple no-bake balls are to make, and get mad at myself when I end up spending $6 on a small bag of them at the store. For that price, I could make this recipe over and over again- and they would taste fresher than anything store-bought.

Van loves these little balls, and I think they are the perfect kids snack for Halloween. Maybe dipped in a little dark chocolate if you wanted to make these even more decadent? I might do that for our little neighborhood Halloween party in a few weeks.

no bake pumpkin energy balls

Do you need a food processor to make these energy bites? 

You do need a food processor for this, though you may be able to get away with making them in a blender if your blender has a wide enough base. 

If you don’t have a food processor, then I’d recommend processing the dates, nuts and coconut first in a blender to form a crumbly batter, then add in the rest of the ingredients. That way they don’t ball and get stuck in the blender.

From there, place the batter in a bowl, then scoop out the no-bake pumpkin balls and place them on a baking sheet. For ease, I highly recommend using a tablespoon cookie scoop, like this one. Then, stick in the fridge or freezer to firm up. For easy removal, I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper before freezing.

no bake pumpkin balls

Can I make these nut-free?

To make these pumpkin energy balls nut-free, then you can swap in pumpkin seeds for the pecans.  

Nutritionally speaking, these balls are packed with plant-based nutrition like fiber, protein and iron. Pumpkin puree is a great source of vitamin A. One cup of pumpkin contains 245% of the RDI for vitamin A. 

If you love these no-bake pumpkin bites, then you will love these other pumpkin recipes:

no bake pumpkin energy bites

If you like these no-bake pumpkin balls, then make sure to come back to leave a comment and a rating. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

Print

No-Bake Pumpkin Balls

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ~12 balls
  • Category: snack
  • Method: no-bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free

Description

No Bake Pumpkin Balls! Want a healthier pumpkin-pie snack? Try these pumpkin-date balls, vegan, gluten-free and perfectly spiced!


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ~12 balls
  • Category: snack
  • Method: no-bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ~12 balls
  • Category: snack
  • Method: no-bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 9 dates)
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Place the pitted dates and pecans in the base of a food processor and pulse 10-12 times until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until just combined. The balls should easily stick together when pinched, but not be too wet. If the balls are too sticky, add in more pecans/coconut.
  3. Pinch 1 tablespoon balls off (I use this scoop) and roll into a ball. Place into a container lined with parchment paper and continue with the rest of the batter. Place the balls in the fridge for 30 minutes to set (sometimes I do this, sometimes I don’t depending on how hungry I am!)
  4. These will keep in the fridge for ~10 days, in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Abby Shaw
      October 6, 2019 AT 12:04 pm

      I LOVE this blog, you recipes are so amazing! My kids loved these balls; we will be making this one over and over again!