These Chocolate Energy Bites are naturally sweetened with dates for a healthy snack. They've got lots of protein and healthy fats thanks to almonds, use only 4 ingredients (plus spices), and are incredibly easy to make! This energy bites recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and Whole 30 compliant.
Feeling snackish? Me too. Me three. Me four!
Let me introduce you to my favourite quick and easy healthy snack when I'm feeling in the mood for a little something sweet: Chocolate Energy Bites!
I always forget how easy these are to make, and how delicious they are. Perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, for snacking on the go, for for an after school treat.
What goes into Chocolate Energy Bites?
Only good stuff, my friends. These Chocolate Energy Bites are made with only 4 ingredients, plus a pinch of salt and a bit of cinnamon if you want to get fancy. We're fancy people, are we not? The featured ingredients are:
- Dates --> Medjool are my favourite.
- Raw almonds --> These bring protein and healthy fats.
- Cocoa powder --> For that chocolatey goodness.
- Coconut --> Just a little something extra.
That's it! And that means that these beauties are:
- Whole 30 compliant
What??? That's something for practically everyone! Unless you're allergic to almonds, in which case, I'm sorry, these are not for you.
How do you make Chocolate Energy Bites?
Ok, get a pen and write this down:
- Put stuff in food processor.
- Blitz said stuff together.
- Roll stuff into balls.
Ok, it's perhaps a little more nuanced than that, but that truly is the basic formula. If my kid can do it, you can do it!
Though it should be noted that his ball-rolling skills are not up to food blogger standard, hygiene standards, or really anyone's standards. His work is therefore not featured in this post. Sorry!
Tips and hints:
- Do I need a food processor to make this energy bites recipe? Yes, I'm afraid that you do. You gotta grind those almonds up pretty fine and the blades make quick work of the dates. I don't think making them without a food processor is possible, but I'm very happy for anyone to prove me wrong.
- Can I use almond flour in place of whole almonds? Yes! If we know that half a cup of whole almonds weighs roughly 75 grams, we can substitute 75 grams of ground almonds in this recipe. Yes, you'll need to weigh it out.
- I'm allergic to almonds, could I use something else? If there's another kind of nut that does work for you, you could substitute an equal amount.
- Help! My energy balls are way too sticky! No problemo. That probably means your dates are extra fresh. Just add a bit more coconut to help things firm up.
- Help! My energy balls won't stick together! Don't sweat it - this probably means your dates weren't super moist, and the recipe needs a bit of liquid added to it. Try 1-2 tablespoons of water, and see how that works.
- Is this energy balls recipe:
- Vegan? Yes!
- Raw? Yes - if you use raw cacao powder.
- Gluten-free? Yes!
- Paleo? Yes!
- Whole 30 compliant? Yes, with limits. They are meant to be an “emergency” snack and not something consumed as a dessert or treat.
Hey Nutrition Lady, talk to me about dates
Happy to, my friends.
Dates are wonderful things. They truly are nature’s candy. They’re sweet and caramelly, and yes, they are jam packed with sugar. 100g of Medjool dates (about 4 pitted) contains roughly 265 calories, 75g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and only traces of fat.
Of that 75g carbohydrates, about 90% is sugar, which is mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. This means that of those 265 calories, about 240 come from sugar.
So when we’re baking with dates and saying ‘this recipe has no sugar!’ what we’re really saying is ‘this recipe has no REFINED sugar!’
Dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber (about 7g in that 100g serving), and especially rich in soluble fiber, which is the kind that helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Plus dates are rich in a host of different vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, K, copper, magnesium, and manganese. So eat ‘em up!
Other healthy treats you might enjoy:
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Black Bean Fudge Pops
Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Dark Chocolate Bark
Wholegrain Cast Iron Skillet Cookie
Chocolate Energy Balls
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 20 Medjool dates pitted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus ½ cup more for rolling
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse several times to break them up, then let it run for a few minutes to grind them into a fine powder.
- Add the dates and vanilla, and again pulse to break the dates up, then let the processor run for 30 seconds or so.
- Add coconut, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse until well combined. The mixture should be slightly crumbly but should keep together easily when you press it together with your hands.
- If the mixture is too crumbly, add a small amount of water and pulse to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more coconut.
- Spread ½ cup coconut onto a plate. Scoop tablespoons of the date mixture into your hand and roll them into smooth balls. Roll the balls in the coconut, then place on a plate or sheet of parchment.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
This recipe was originally published September 27, 2012. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on August 14, 2018. Last updated August 21, 2020.
Can I substitute deglet noor dates for medjool dates?
I've never tried this recipe with another kind of date, but I'm sure it would be fine with a similar quantity. If you do try, please let us know in the comments!
I made this recipe with the left over almond meal after making almond milk with 1 cup of almonds. It worked perfectly and was delicious!
Made these tonight and they are delicious. I don’t like overly sweet snacks but these are just perfect. Thanks!
Super easy and great.
Didn't have cacao powder so I added a bit of melted veg choc and some ground up chia seeds.
No coconut the first time I made them but put some coco oil in ( helped with chia
Second time made them as recipe says.
Can play around less dates etc if too sweet.
Thanks Nutrition Lady 😘
Hi Katie! I guess I've made a lot of your delicious recipes already. This one is super delicious. I made them and they are in my freezer for anytime I really want a snack or dessert.
I am in need of inspiration for healthier after school snacks. I already made a batch of your peanut butter bars (super delicious), I will now try this one too. However, can I freeze them? Thanks Katie.
Hey Christelle! I've actually never tried freezing this recipe. They last quite a long time in the fridge (like, a few weeks) so I've never tried. However, I can't think of any reason why you couldn't freeze them. If you do, please let us know how it goes!
I just made these and froze them for a tropical fruit club. I'm eating a frozen one right now to test it for you. YUMMY
I added half of a ripe banana to make them hold together.
Did you try the Adzuki Bean Brownies from this blog? I've taken them to several tropical fruit societies and they were the favorite. I will make more and freeze them to feed my grandkids.
These are going to be perfect little snacks while I’m at home with my new little bub. So delicious!
Is there any way I can omit the coconut?
You could use oats instead of the coconut if that works for you.
These are delicious! Thanks for leaving them for me. Yum yum yum.
yummy. can't wait to try these.
These look great and simple. I'm gonna eat the whole batch!
I definitely thought of you as I was making them. I think you're going to love them! Let me know how they turn out!
Super excited about trying these with peanuts insteadi I'm allergic to almonds.
Does the 101 calories apply to one ball or what is the "serving size"
That calculation is for one ball, based on making 20 balls. So if you make them bigger or smaller, the values will change. I should also note (as I do in every recipe) that the program that does these calculations can be wildly inaccurate at times, so the nutrition values are an estimate only.
I hate to admit but ... I'm sort of afraid of dates. I don't know why! I can't think if I've even had one before. Chocolate date truffles seems like the perfect way to break that old habit : )
Leanne! Get on the date train! They're amazing, with a sort of caramel taste. For these truffes you want really soft dates, like fresh Medjool dates with the pits still in the middle. For my date-sweetened muffins I use dried dates. Definitely try these truffles, I think you'll like them!
These look amazing - and doesn't sound like they're too sweet either! I'm definitely going to have a go of making them sometime.
They are actually pretty sweet, but not too sweet.
I am having a dinner party and one of the guests is gluten free and all love chocolate - what could be better than this - thanks Katie????