Chocolate Date Balls (Energy Bites)

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Healthy and filling, these chocolate date balls are a quick and easy snack perfect for lunch boxes, an afterschool treat, or a nutritious after-dinner dessert. These easy-to-make energy bites come together in 15 minutes with just 5 simple ingredients, making them perfect for an easy meal prep recipe!

A small cup filled with date energy balls with dates in a small bowl in the back and cashews in the back left.
Date Energy Balls Recipe

As we get back into the routine of going back to school I have been trying to get back into the flow of meal planning for lunch boxes, prepping lunch boxes for the week, and making sure I am stocking my kid’s lunches with healthy and nutritious snacks.

One of the snacks my family loves to eat are Larabars. They are made with simple ingredients and come in a variety of flavors. Unfortunately, they are rather expensive and with two kids, they go rather quickly. In an effort to make my own version of Larabars, these easy chocolate date balls were created!

Why we love this recipe

Beyond being a cheaper alternative to Larabars, these healthy date balls are a great homemade snack for a number of reasons.

  • Easy to make – With just 5 ingredients and less than 15 minutes you can quickly whip up a batch of these healthy date bars.
  • Healthy – Packed with fiber, no added sugars, and naturally sweetened, these energy bites are a healthy snack you can feel good about indulging in.
  • Great for snacking – They are bite-sized, easy to pack, portable, and perfect for enjoying on the go.
  • High in fiber. Dates are LOADED with fiber. Each of these delicious date balls contains 2 grams of fiber keeping you full and satisfied.

Health Benefits of Dates

Dates are one of nature’s superfoods. The fruit of a date palm tree, dates are most often sold dried and used as a snack, a natural sweetener in desserts, or even as a sugar replacement.

Aside from being a versatile ingredient, dates are also extremely nutritious. Some of the health benefits associated with dates include:

  • High in fiber, roughly 7 grams per serving.
  • Great source of minerals like selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and copper.
  • Rich in antioxidents.

Something to keep in mind about dates is the calorie content. Because they are rich in natural sugars they are also high in calories as well as carbs. For this reason, they should be consumed in moderation.

The BEST Dates for Date Balls

While there are a number of different types of dates to choose from, one date truly stands above the rest. Medjool Dates are the best dates when it comes to making date balls.

These sweet dates taste sweet like caramel and blend beautifully into a paste. Readily available at most stores and supermarkets, Medjool dates are also easy to find making them the perfect fit for these healthy energy balls.

Softening dates

Depending on where you get your dates or how they have been stored they may need a little assistance to soften before making into date balls. If the dates are hard, follow the process below –

  • Place the dates in a large bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over the date and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the dates completely.
  • If the dates are not pitted, remove and discard the pits before putting the dates into the food processor.

How to make date balls

Ingredients at a glance

  • Dates– As mentioned above, the best dates for these date balls are Medjool dates. They sweeten the energy balls and gives them a chewy texture.
  • Cashews– Raw cashews work great for making these nutritious and filling date balls.
  • Peanut Butter– Creamy peanut butter gives these balls a little extra protein and helps bind them together.
  • Cacao Powder– Adds a little chocolaty flavor to the date balls.
  • Salt– Just a pinch of salt helps balance the sweetness of the dates and brings out the chocolaty flavor of the cacao powder.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. In the base of a high-performance food processor add the dates, cashews, peanut butter, cacao powder, and salt.
  2. Pulse the ingredients together until they form a sticky dough.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat until you have about 20 date balls.
  4. Note– If the dough is too sticky to roll, place the bowl in the freezer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a month and the freezer for 2-3 months.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Substitutions

One of the best things about these healthy chocolate date balls is their ability to be adapted in a number of different ways. With the basic measurements staying the same you can swap in some different ingredients.

  • Nuts – Substitute the cashews for peanuts, walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
  • Peanut Butter – Try replacing the peanut butter with hazelnut butter, almond butter, or even sunflower butter (for a nut free option).
  • Cacao Powder– If you do not have cacao powder you can use cocoa powder as a substitute but you will lose a few nutritional benefits from the cacao powder. Cacao is higher in fiber and has a slightly more bitter taste than cocoa powder so take this into consideration when you are swapping it out.

Serving Suggestions

If you are looking for some fun and delicious ways to dress up these easy date balls you can try rolling them in:

  • Unsweetened coconut shreds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Powdered sugar

Equipment You’ll Need

These simple, no-bake energy balls with dates whip up with one important kitchen appliance, a food processor. You want to be sure you are using a high-power food processor as the smaller ones might not be able to blend the ingredients together well.

Meal Prep Tip

This whole recipe is the perfect meal prep snack. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish to make these healthy energy balls.

If you are planning to make this recipe as a meal prep for the week, or even for the month, I would suggest doubling the recipe then freezing half of the balls so you can have a stash ready whenever the hunger hits!

Storage instructions

I LOVE these healthy date balls because they make meal prepping easy and they can also be stored for a long time (not that they ever last too long in our home).

  • Refrigerating – Keep your date balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  • Freezing – For longer storage, keep the date balls in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions About Date Balls

Are date balls/energy balls good for you?

Yes! These date balls are packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals making them a delicious and healthy snack option. That said, dates are high in natural sugars and tend to contain high calories and carbs so they should be consumed in moderation.

Can you eat these date balls every day?

Absolutely! Dates are a great source of fiber and will keep you full and regular.

A white plate with a pile of date energy balls on top and a bowl of dates in the back right with a bag of cashews in the back left.
Date Energy Balls

Healthy Snacks to Try Next

  1. Air Fryer Roasted Chickpeas– This crunchy and spicy chickpea recipe comes together with 6 ingredients and can be ready in under 30 minutes
  2. Homemade Trail Mix– Learn how to easily make your own trail mix at home with this simple and filling snack mix recipe!
  3. Air Fryer Roasted Nuts– Making roasted nuts at home is easier than you think and barely takes a few minutes!
  4. Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs– These hard boiled eggs not only cook in 5 minutes, but they are also super easy to peel and you get perfect eggs every time!
  5. Roasted Phool Makhana– A healthy alternative to chips, this crispy and light snack made from puffed lily seeds is ready in 10 minutes.
  6. Chocolate coconut balls – These decadent chocolate coconut balls (ladoo)are perfect for the holidays. Make this easy dessert with your kids – all you need is 3 ingredients!


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
A small cup with chocolate date energy balls and a glass bowl of dates in the back right with a small pile of cashews in the back left.

Date Balls

5 from 1 vote
These healthy, vegan, no-bake chocolate energy balls come together with 5 ingredients in just 15 minutes for a delicious snack everyone will enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20 balls
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Snack
Method: Blender
Cuisine : Fusion

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups (200gms) pitted soft mejdool dates, ~24 dates
  • ½ cup (50 gms) cashews
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder, unsweetened
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredients (dates, cashews, peanut butter, cocoa powder) to a high performance food processor and grind them till it comes together as a sticky dough.
  • Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. You’ll end up with about 20 balls. If it too sticky to roll, place the bowl in the freezer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a month and the freezer for 2-3 months.

Notes

  1. Use a powerful food processor, the smaller ones may not work as well and might break down.  
  2. I would also caution against over blending as it will result in an overly sticky base.
  3. Don’t use refrigerated dates – let them come to room temperature before blending. 

Softening hard dates

Depending on where you get your dates or how they have been stored they may need a little assistance to soften before making into date balls. If the dates are hard, follow the process below –
  • Place the dates in a large bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over the date and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the dates completely.
  • If the dates are not pitted, remove and discard the pits before putting the dates into the food processor.

Storage instructions

I LOVE these healthy date balls because they make meal prepping easy and they can also be stored for a long time (not that they ever last too long in our home).
  • Refrigerating – Keep your date balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  • Freezing – For longer storage, keep the date balls in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months.

Pantry EssentialsGetting the right tools for your kitchen makes cooking more enjoyable and less frustrating. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials I own and recommend.

Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ballCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : Energy balls

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