I was in a cafe recently and spotted some pretty grim-looking, bite-size chunks of what looked like dirty putty on the counter. They were labelled energy balls, and I couldn’t take my eyes off them—not because they looked even vaguely appetising, but because they cost €3.10. Each.

That kind of extortion was enough to send me into the kitchen to experiment—purely in the interests of nutritional science, of course…

The following recipe is enough to make about ten decent-sized energy balls. It has just five ingredients, and it certainly won’t cost you €31 to make.

You’re welcome.

Hardman Energy Balls


  • 140g porridge oats
  • 4tbsp maple syrup
  • 5tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • Sprinkle of sea salt (optional)
  • 25g chocolate of your choice


  1. Get out your blender and blast the oats in it until they look like flour.
  2. Add the salt.
  3. Now mix in the maple syrup and peanut butter until you’ve got a texture you can roll into balls.
  4. You could stop now if you like, but you can make them extra tasty with a drizzle of melted chocolate over the top.
  5. When the chocolate is cool, put the balls into a lunchbox and keep in the fridge for up to five days. But they won’t last that long.

Note: You won’t find any nutritional information here. But think about it: They’ve got peanut butter and maple syrup in them, so they are neither low-fat nor low-sugar, nor are they suitable for anybody with a peanut allergy. However, they are vegan, contain no artificial additives, and give you a good, tasty boost if you don’t have time to eat before training or you need something to keep you going on a long session. Did we mention they are very tasty?