Turmeric Balls: The Anti-Inflammatory Pick-Me-Up

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 a quick turmeric snack.

Try these today for the taste and wonderful health benefits!

*Note: This article includes affiliate links that are clearly marked. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

turmeric balls in a round dish

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.

Turmeric

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 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 adding more turmeric benefits (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 sample sizes. So more long-term research on larger populations is needed before we confirm the benefits and risks of turmeric use.

Walnuts and Pistachios

Nuts provide a slew of health benefits with consistent evidence to boot. Nuts are nutrient-dense and a good source 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 are native to the Middle East and 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

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 (breast cancer and colon cancer), diabetes, and stroke (6).

Most people do not consume an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids, so popping one or two of these turmeric 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

Medjool dates are used as a natural sweetener in this turmeric ball recipe. Dates contain many nutrients including potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber, and various anti-oxidant polyphenols (8).

Like any other dried fruit, dates are not low in calories. But they are a healthy and natural way to add 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 beautiful 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.

ingredients for how to make turmeric balls
Pictured: ingredients for turmeric balls recipe

Ingredients

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 in these anti-oxidant energy balls. They provide so much in terms of health benefits, taste, and texture. There is no need to crush them or buy them chopped. The food processor will do the work for you!

Pistachios– Purchase unsalted pistachios without the shells. This reduces time from deshelling and does not add to the sodium content. It also adds beautiful flecks of green to your turmeric balls.

Ground Flaxseed– I add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed for the health benefits of omega-3s because…why not? I love adding ground flaxseed to many recipes as an added brain and cardiovascular health boost.

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 purchase 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 for 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric.

Black Pepper– adding a small amount of ground black pepper is ESSENTIAL to getting the benefits of curcumin (the active component in turmeric). Research shows that combining black pepper with turmeric increases bioavailability by 2,000%.

Honey– A little sweetness goes a long way in these turmeric energy balls. I find that 1 tablespoon is the perfect amount however, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. Honey also helps bind the ingredients so it is easier to form into balls.

How To Make Turmeric Balls

These anti-inflammatory turmeric balls are incredibly easy to make if you have a food processor. Below, I share the easy 3-step process to make a total of ten (10) delicious and healthy turmeric balls.

Step 1: Measure the Ingredients

The first step is to gather all of the ingredients and place them into your food processor.

If you need a good recommendation for a food processor, the one I have and LOVE is the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor* (affiliate link). However, if you want a less costly option, Black + Decker’s 8-cup food processor* (affiliate link) is equally as reliable and is a fraction of the price!

Step 2: Process the Ingredients

After adding all of your turmeric ball ingredients, place the lid on securely. Pulse the mixture a few times until all of the ingredients are the consistency of bread crumbs.

Take the lid off and test the consistency. The mixture should stick together when pinched between your fingers. If it does not, try adding 1-2 more teaspoons of honey.

Step 3: Form the Turmeric Balls

Lastly, roll the turmeric “dough” mixture into 1-inch-sized balls using your hands. The turmeric may stain your fingers and hands so if you prefer to wear food-grade gloves to prevent this- go for it!

You should end up with a total of 10 turmeric energy balls when you are done. These can be enjoyed as-is or you can try adding a few finishing touches including the ones I mention in the “Variations and Add-Ins” section below.

prepared turmeric balls in pan

Variations and Add-Ins

To add more variety to this easy turmeric ball recipe, you can vary the ingredients or add some finishing touches once you’re done rolling your energy balls. Some options include:

  • Rolling turmeric balls in desiccated or finely shredded coconut, crushed pistachios, or other chopped nuts
  • Dipping turmeric balls into melted chocolate, preferably dark chocolate (for more antioxidants)
  • Dusting them lightly with more turmeric
  • Make a vegan version of these energy balls by swapping the honey for vegan sweeteners 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 flavor but also add to the aesthetically pleasing nature of these turmeric balls. They are gorgeous!

FAQ

Can I make turmeric balls vegan?

Yes. To make this turmeric balls recipe vegan you will need to substitute a vegan sweetener for the honey. You can try using agave nectar, maple syrup, or date syrup.

Can I eat turmeric balls for inflammation or pain?

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 still eat these turmeric energy balls as a delicious snack!

Are turmeric energy balls gluten-free?

Yes. These are gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, and grain-free.

Can turmeric upset your stomach?

Turmeric and its 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).

Want More Easy Snack Ideas?

prepared turmeric balls in pan

Turmeric Balls: The Anti-Inflammatory Pick-Me-Up

These turmeric balls are the perfect snack to make you feel good. They can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. Made mostly from nuts and seeds, and sweetened from natural sources, these turmeric snack balls are the perfect exotic snack choice that fights inflammation!
You have to try these healthy turmeric energy balls. Warning: these are addicting and may stain your fingers yellow!
Prep Time 8 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 10 turmeric balls
Calories 106 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped
  • 6 Medjool dates pitted
  • ¼ cup pistachios shelled
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Video

Notes

Additional Suggestions: 
  • To avoid hands, fingers, and your countertop from turning yellow from the turmeric, you may want to wear food-grade gloves and roll these turmeric balls 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. I suggest trying date syrup or agave nectar. 
  • You may eat these right after rolling them or fancy them up by rolling them in crushed nuts, desiccated coconut, or a light dusting of turmeric. You could even try drizzling them or dipping them in melted dark chocolate. YUM!
  • Try any of the “variations and add-ins” suggested in this post to add more variety. 
 
Nutritional Information Per Each 1-Inch Turmeric Ball (Makes 10):
106 calories, 7.5 gm fat, 0.5 gm saturated fat, 7.7 gm carbohydrate, 3.2 gm protein, 2.3 gm fiber, 0.7 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 101 mg potassium, 700 mg omega-3 (from ALA).  
 
Keyword dairy-free, easy, flaxseed, gluten-free, grain-free, mediterranean, no bake, turmeric, walnut

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2 thoughts on “Turmeric Balls: The Anti-Inflammatory Pick-Me-Up”

  1. Don’t we need pepper to help with curcurmin absorption? I know I can add it to the recipe, but why isn’t it in there already? Not criticizing- wanting to learn and understand. Thanks for this great recipe!

    1. Yes Tina! You are absolutely correct that adding black pepper (which contains piperine) will help increase the bioavailability of turmeric. I did not add any to this recipe for the sake of taste; however, if you want to make the most of the health benefits from turmeric, you can add a small amount of ground black pepper to this recipe.

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