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Recipe: Jennifer Irvine’s California Prune Energy Balls

Recipe by Jennifer Irvine

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

It can be really hard trying to get – and stay – in shape. Your body is adjusting to your new regime, and it can feel like hunger can strike at any time! Usually this coincides with an energy slump mid morning or mid-afternoon, when it’s all too tempting to reach for something sweet and crunchy lurking in the cookie jar!

These are the perfect alternative – healthy, tasty, and packed with energy. The nuts give you a protein and energy fix, which will sort out the low-blood sugar levels which are causing your energy slump. Most people think that you need a sugary snack for this, but this is a common misconception – in fact all that happens is that you’ll get an immediate sugar “high” and half an hour later you’ll be back in the slump. Slow-releasing energy and some protein is what you need, and a portion of fibre and natural sugar – which you get in spades with the delicious prunes.

This recipe makes about 20 balls, so you’ll have no excuse to listen to the biscuit box calling you!

Prep time:  5 mins prep + 45 mins setting

 (Note on measurements:  the easiest way to make these is to measure the ingredients out in a cup or other container, and then simply keep the proportions as stated below. We used a standard American “cup” – which holds about 250ml of liquid)

You will need a blender / food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients:  (for 20 energy balls)

  • 1 cup ready-to-eat California Prunes
  • ¾ cup almonds / walnuts / mix
  • ¼ cup Chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup smooth nut butter
  • Coconut oil, to blend
  • Desiccated coconut, for rolling (optional)


Place the nuts in the food processor and blitz for a moment. Add the other ingredients, save for the coconut oil and desiccated coconut, and blend well, until smooth. Add a small amount of coconut oil, a few drops at a time, until the mixture is sticky, and holds its shape when you roll a small amount between your fingers.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, and continue until all the mixture is used.  Place a handful of desiccated coconut onto a plate and roll the balls in it, to coat, if using.

If you’re in a cold climate, they set right away but a tip is to place in the freezer for about 45 minutes to set, and then store in an air-tight container in the fridge.  They will keep for up to a week.



Jennifer Irvine, who has written two books, ‘The Diet for Food Lovers’ and ‘Pure Package The Balance Diet’ is also owner of both Balance Box and The Pure Package, nutritious food delivery services which include a raft of celebrities amongst their clientele – from Hugh Jackman to Denise Van Outen. Jennifer is also the mother of four beautiful daughters.

A leading voice in the healthy eating domain and a self-confessed lover of prunes, Jennifer has helped the California Prune Board develop a series of inspirational light recipes featuring prunes and prune juice, both of which offer significant nutritional and proven health benefits.



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