Simple, sweet and salty! These maple tahini oatmeal balls satisfy all of your cravings and provide a delicious, portable vegan snack on the go.
This simple sweet and salty snack recipe is DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself. Sometimes I get an idea for a new recipe in my head and will not stop thinking about it until I bring it to life. These maple tahini oatmeal balls are exactly that.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I constantly rave about tahini, my true love. I had mentioned some different uses for it and then asked if anyone had tried it in a traditionally sweet recipe. Most people responded “no” so I immediately started thinking of a way I could incorporate into a snack. I decided to try it in an oatmeal ball and use the tahini in place of more traditional nut butters.
How to Make Maple Tahini Oatmeal Balls
Here’s what you need to make these:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats
- Milled flaxseed. I love Manitoba Milling Co (affiliate) because it’s smooth, almost like a protein powder instead of gritty like the traditional versions. This makes it nearly undetectable in this recipe while providing a nutrition boost and helping bind the ingredients.
- Salt to bring out the flavor
- Maple Syrup for something sweet and sticky
- Vanilla extract for flavor
- Sesame seeds which are optional, but a fun added textural component
Feel free to sub in your favorite nut butter if you don’t like tahini (or don’t have it on hand). While I haven’t tried other sweeteners in this particular recipe, I think you could also use honey without a problem. Sneak in cacao nibs, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or anything else that sounds good too.
How to Prevent Sticky Hands
These oatmeal bites come together seamlessly in the food processor, which is the only way to go in my opinion. It helps chop up the oats and evenly distribute the sticky ingredients at the same time.
Another tip is to portion into balls using a spring-loaded cookie scoop. This is definitely the most efficient way, and also results in a more uniform shape. You can partially chill them before rolling so they’re nice and firm.
What is Tahini?
In case you are way confused, tahini is essentially ground sesame seeds (a sesame seed “butter” if you will). I am thoroughly obsessed with tahini sauce on noodles, grain bowls, and in homemade salad dressings. And while I’m not really a dessert person, my interest is piqued when someone swirls tahini in brownies (I’ve tried those and they’re fantastic).
Nutrition & Flavor of Tahini
- Tahini is a plant-based source of calcium along with magnesium and iron, all of which are hard to come by nutrients (especially for plant-based eaters)
- It adds 6 grams of protein per 2 Tbsp serving
- And perhaps most notably, tahini contains satiating heart-healthy fat
Unlike some of the other more popular nut butters on the market, tahini is not typically eaten straight from the spoon because it’s on the bitter side. It transforms into pure gold when mixed with something sweet and spicy – or in the case of these, sweet and salty.
An optional but fun step: roll each ball in sesame seeds or drizzle with melted chocolate before chilling. I love the extra texture and it also looks pretty!
These have a wonderful nutty and complex flavor. The recipe scales well, so feel free to double it (or triple it!) on the weekend so you have a healthy and delicious snack ready to grab when you need it.
I think we all have plenty of peanut butter chocolate oatmeal ball recipes in our rotation. Give these a try for something new and different!
You might also like:
- Salted Tahini Brownies
- Blueberry Farro Salad with Creamy Fresh Herb Dressing
- Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins with Tahini Glaze
Maple Tahini Oatmeal Balls
Simple, sweet and salty! These maple tahini snack balls satisfy all of your cravings while providing a portable source of energy.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 10 balls 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Method: No-Cook
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- optional: 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Add all ingredients except sesame seeds to a food processor and run until fully incorporated.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion into 1.5 Tablespoon balls and roll between your palms to smooth.
- If using sesame seeds, add to a small dish and gently roll each oatmeal ball around until coated. Chill the oatmeal balls for at least 20 minutes (until firm) before enjoying.
- Store in the refrigerator, or they can lose their shape. They also freeze well.
- Other options: drizzle melted chocolate over the top before chilling, or add cacao nibs before rolling for extra crunch.
- Serving Size: 1 oatmeal ball
- Calories: 105 calories
- Fat: 5.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
Keywords: tahini, oatmeal balls, pre workout snacks, kid friendly snacks
This post was originally published in May 2018 and updated in June 2021.
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