Recipe: Plantain Power Balls

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

What can’t a plantain do? That’s the question to ask yourself after trying these power balls. Paired with coconut — that’s coconut oil, coconut butter, and toasted coconut — these bites are a one-stop snack for a serious dose of flavor, fat, and carbs. If you’re gearing up for a long run or a heavy lifting session at the gym, or need a snack to sustain you for a solid few hours, one of these will do the trick. They are, in every sense of the phrase, a snack with a purpose — and in this instance, the purpose is to help you power through.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

Fat for Fuel and Flavor

Vegan, high-fat, Paleo, coconut-lover — if any of these things are on your list of priorities when looking for a snack, then this recipe is one to try. Rather than making an energy bite that derives its oomph from a big hit of protein, we’re looking to fat.

Coconut oil, coconut butter, and toasted unsweetened coconut bring both fat and flavor to these powerful bites, making them a great choice if long-term satisfaction is what you’re seeking. Because of the high fat content, the power balls are extra-firm after chilling. Let them come to room temperature before you start munching for the best results.

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Plantain Power Balls



  • 12 ounces

    ripe plantains, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon

    coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup

    coconut butter

  • 1 ounce

    unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (optional mix-ins)

Coating options:

  • Cocoa powder

  • Melted dark chocolate for drizzling and flaky sea salt

  • Toasted slivered almonds

  • Toasted coconut



  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the plantains on the baking sheet, drizzle with the coconut oil, and toss to combine. Spread into an even layer and roast for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Transfer the plantains to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until a coarse meal forms, about 10 pulses. Add the coconut butter, toasted coconut, honey, and salt, and pulse until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and place on a baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll the balls in coating if desired. Chill until serving.

Recipe Notes

Banana substitution: Firm bananas work best in this recipe and won't need to be roasted. Mash the bananas and add more honey, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture firmly holds together. Shape and chill as directed.

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