These unique anti-inflammatory turmeric energy balls are nutritious and healthy. The enticing and lightly sweetened treats are perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or quick snacking option.
Try these today for the taste and wonderful health benefits!
Turmeric Balls Benefits
These turmeric balls have minimal ingredients. The energy balls are made with nuts and seeds, and sweetened with dates and a small amount of honey. These ingredients pack a powerful punch. Some of the health benefits include:
- decreasing inflammation
- cardiovascular health benefits
- improvement in metabolic diseases
- brain health benefits
Let’s talk a little more about the health benefits of each of these ingredients.
As the recipe title suggests, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
The active component in the turmeric root is curcumin. Not to be confused with another spice called cumin.
Curcumin boasts some impressive health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties (1). It is also known to help lower blood lipid levels in patients at risk for heart disease (2). Metabolic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and metabolic syndrome may also benefit from and increase in turmeric use (1).
While Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine have been around since ancient times, current research has no recommended therapeutic dosage for turmeric. Available studies on the benefits of turmeric also involve small samples sizes. So more research is needed on larger populations and for longer periods of time before we can confirm the benefits as well as any risk.
Walnuts and Pistachios
Nuts provide a slew of health benefits with consistent evident to boot. They are nutrient-dense and a good sources of vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, fiber, and unsaturated fats.
Walnuts in particular provide heart healthy fats in the form of plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This under-consumed nutrient supports brain, heart, and vascular health.
And pistachios, which are native to the Middle East contain two main antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. These may benefit both eye health and skin by protecting against age-related macular degeneration and light-induced skin damage (3, 4).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even suggests that consuming 1.5 ounces of nuts, including walnuts, daily as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol “may reduce the risk of heart disease” (5).
Flaxseeds are another source of omega-3 ALA fatty acids. They also contain beneficial lignans and soluble dietary fiber. Consuming flaxseeds regularly may help protect against heart disease, specific types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer), diabetes and stroke (6).
Most people do not consume adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis, so popping one or two of these energy balls into your snacking routine can help add some to your diet.
The recommended amount of alpha linolenic acid per day is 1.1 grams for females and 1.6 grams for males (7).
Medjool dates are used a natural sweetener in this turmeric ball recipe. However, dates are also full of nutrients such as potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber, and various anti-oxidant polyphenols (8).
Like any other dried fruit, dates are not low in calorie. But they are a healthy and natural way to add some sweetness to these turmeric balls. Additionally, each 3.5 ounce serving of dates provides about 7 grams of fiber which can help prevent constipation and other GI issues (9).
What Do Turmeric Balls Taste Like?
Turmeric balls have a soft texture with a nutty taste from the almond flour, walnuts and pistachios. The turmeric gives a unique aroma and spice, as well as that pleasant golden color. And yes, your fingers may turn a hint of yellow if you roll them without wearing food-grade gloves.
The overall mouthfeel of these golden turmeric balls is soft, slightly grainy but not gritty, and almost creamy in texture as you chew them.
Almond flour– I use almond flour as a base for these turmeric balls. It’s light and smooth and adds to the nutty taste.
Walnuts– Walnuts are another main ingredient to these anti-oxidant energy balls. They provide so much in terms of health benefits, taste and texture. No need to crush them or buy them chopped. The food processor with do this for you!
Pistachios– I bought shelled and unsalted pistachios. This makes them so easy to use in this recipe and does not add to the sodium content. It also adds beautiful flecks of green to your turmeric balls.
Ground Flaxseed– I added a tablespoon of ground flaxseed for the added health benefits of omega-3’s because…why not? I love adding ground flaxseed to any recipe I can as an added brain and cardiovascular health benefit.
Medjool dates– You can find Medjool dates near the other dried fruits in your supermarket or sometimes on a special endcap section of the produce section. Make sure to get pitted whole dates without any other added ingredients.
Turmeric– I used ground turmeric from a local Middle Eastern market however you can certainly use ground turmeric from your local grocery store for this energy ball recipe. You may even try fresh ground turmeric! If using fresh, substitute 2-3 tablespoons turmeric in place of 1 tablespoon ground turmeric.
Honey– A little sweetness goes a long way in these turmeric energy balls. I find that 1 tablespoon is the perfect amount however you may add 2 tablespoons if you like more sweetness. Honey also helps bind the ingredients so it is easier to form into balls.
How To Make Turmeric Balls
Making this easy anti-inflammatory turmeric balls recipe couldn’t be easier.
- Measure all ingredients.
First measure out all your ingredients so they’re ready to place into the food processor.
- Process ingredients.
Place all ingredients into your food processor and place the lid on securely. Pulse a few times until all turmeric ball ingredients look like crumbs and stick together when pinched.
- Form turmeric balls.
Roll the “dough” into 1-inch sized balls. You should end up with 10 turmeric energy balls. Enjoy as is or try some of the finishing touches in the “Variations and Add-Ins” section below.
Variations and Add-Ins
To add more variety to this easy turmeric ball recipe, you can either vary the ingredients used, or add some finishing touches once you’re done rolling your energy balls. Some options include:
- rolling turmeric balls in either desiccated or finely shredded coconut, crushed pistachios or other nuts
- dipping them into some melted chocolate, preferably dark chocolate (for more antioxidants)
- dusting them lightly with more turmeric
- making a vegan version of these energy balls by swapping the honey for a gooey vegan sweetener such as date syrup or agave nectar
- adding 1 tablespoon of nut butter of choice
- Using half dates and half apricots for the dried fruit
- Adding a small amount of cinnamon or ginger for more flavor and spice
Doing two or more of these options will not only add variety and a different flavor, but also add to the aesthetically pleasing nature of these turmeric balls. They are gorgeous!
Yes. To make this turmeric balls recipe vegan you will need to substitute a vegan sweetener in place of the honey. You can try using agave nectar, maple syrup, or date syrup.
While the active component in turmeric, called curcumin, has been linked to a reduction in inflammation more research needs to be done before a causative association can be made. However, you can definitely still eat these turmeric energy balls as a delicious snack!
Yes. These are gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, and grain-free.
Turmeric, and it’s active component curcumin, are considered safe to consume in foods however they can cause stomach upset, bloating, or other gastrointestinal issues. They have also been linked to kidney stone formation and may increase the effects of blood thinning or blood pressure lowering medications (10).
Turmeric Balls: The Anti-Inflammatory Pick-Me-Up
- 1 Food Processor
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- 6 Medjool dates pitted
- ¼ cup pistachios shelled
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed ground
- 1 Tbsp turmeric ground
- Add all ingredients to food processor.
- Pulse until mixture turns into a course "dough".
- Roll mixture into (10) ~1-inch sized balls.
- (Optional) You may roll the formed balls into shredded coconut or crushed pistachios. Enjoy!
- To avoid hands, fingers, and countertop from turning yellow from the turmeric, you may wish to wear food-grade gloves and roll these energy balls either by hand or on a plate instead of rolling on a countertop.
- To make these turmeric balls vegan, try a vegan sweetener in place of honey such at date syrup or agave nectar.
- You may eat these as is, or try rolling in crushed nuts, desiccated coconut, or a light dusting of turmeric. You could even try dipping them halfway in melted dark chocolate. YUM!
- Try any of the “variations and add-ins” suggested in this post to add more variety.
Want More Easy Snack Ideas?
- Oatmeal Protein Bites (2 Ways)
- Chewy Granola Bar Recipe
- Incredible Edible Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
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Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 14 years of experience. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and is a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.