Raw Brownie Bites (Vegan, Paleo)

Meet my new solution to your next chocolate craving.


These brownie bites are something special. They are a simple combination of dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder, but they taste far more rich and decadent than you’d expect. Walnuts are a nutritional powerhouse, which have been shown to help reduce cholesterol, as well as increase omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells. Studies have also shown that walnuts can particularly help with decreasing fat deposits in the mid-section. Paired with mineral-rich dates, these treats are a truly guilt-free indulgence.

Oddly enough, my favorite aspect of these brownie bites is that they remind me of the fudgy chocolate filling found in Keebler E.L. Fudge cookies. Crazy, I know, but they really do. I adored those cookies growing up, so this was a happy surprise on my part! I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.

Raw Brownie Bites (Vegan, Paleo)
Makes about one dozen


1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free, if you prefer)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup soft dates, pitted (about 10 Medjool dates)
1 tablespoon water

Additional cocoa powder, for coating (optional)


In a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, grind the walnuts into a fine meal. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and process again until a sticky, uniform dough is formed. Scoop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. Roll the balls between your hands, and roll them in cocoa powder, if desired.


Store the balls in the fridge or freezer, and serve them chilled for the most firm texture. (I prefer them frozen, myself.)


4.9 from 38 votes
Raw Brownie Bites (Vegan, Paleo)
Quick and easy brownie bites that are exclusively sweetened with fruit!
Servings: 12
Author: Detoxinista.com
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol free, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup soft dates , pitted (about 10 Medjool dates)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Additional cocoa powder , for coating (optional)
  1. In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, grind the walnuts into a fine meal. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and process again until a sticky, uniform dough is formed. Scoop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. Roll the balls between your hands, and roll them in cocoa powder, if desired.
  2. Store the balls in the fridge or freezer, and serve them chilled for the most firm texture. (I prefer them frozen, myself.)


  • I prefer the taste of walnuts in these brownies, but feel free to use any other nut you like, including pecans or almonds. (Seeds may work, too, for a nut-free version.)
  • If you don’t have access to dates, try making these with another dried fruit, like raisins, instead. The flavor will be different, but still tasty!


Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite chocolate dessert?

Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

119 thoughts on “Raw Brownie Bites (Vegan, Paleo)

  1. Alia Vo

    Yummo! I can’t wait to try these little bites. My favorite chocolate dessert is a really good quality, organic dark chocolate bar.

  2. Laura @ Raise Your Garden

    For a while I was in total denial and told myself “I am never going to eat chocolate again” after gaining 10 pounds on Easter chocolate.

    Reality? That I’m gonna crave chocolate again…..that’s what makes these so great =) They satisfy that craving without the soy, sugar and other processed junk. And they’re paleo/vegan, wonderful.

    Love the addition of walnuts, gives it that brownie-ish feel. Need now!

    Grew up on E.L. Fudge cookies, Nilla Wafers, Mac & Cheese and Capri Suns, all things my kids have never even gotten to try! But they can have these. And the walnuts help with belly fat? Yay!!!

    1. Sophia

      Some of you guys (particularly you), sound like you could use a good easy recipe or when you don’t have time for this. Here is my fave recipe (it’s good w/ nuts added):
      Skinny Chocolate:
      1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
      1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      truvia or stevia sweetener, to taste

      Combine ingredients in a bowl and firm in refrigerator or freezer in ice cube trays or on a wax paper-lined plate.

      Yes walnuts are good w/ belly fat, but when you combine such a healthy fat w/ high sugar/carb foods (like dates), then not so much. Dates are good for growing young children w/ super high metabolisms, but a grown adult would just have a big insulin spike and would store all that fat (only because its combined w/ carbs) as fat.

      1. Debra

        Good idea, Sophia! Walnuts make the inside of my cheeks swell up. I’ll use maple syrup instead of stevia.

  3. Red

    I’m really into freezer desserts right now, and I made a ball similar to these with more of a chocolate-chip cookie dough vibe. These seem like decadent truffles to me – will have to try soon!

  4. Kat

    What a handy little scooper you have there to form the balls. Where did you get that? I just roll them with my hands – then end up licking my fingers. A messy but yummy job. I think I want to make these with pecans. What do you think?

      1. Gigi

        Hi Megan. Love this recipe btw πŸ™‚ just wondering what the life expectancy for these yummy bites? πŸ™‚

        1. Megan Gilmore Post author

          They should last at least a week (or more) in the fridge, and I’ve stored them for up to 4 months in a sealed container in the freezer.

  5. Jasmine

    so how would I make a chocolate coating of some kind to dip them in? Would cocoa and some coconut oil and some pure maple syrup work?

  6. Nicole

    Your pictures make me want to go home and make these asap, even though I don’t like dates (I have tried several times to like them, but I just don’t)….maybe I can give them another shot :).

    1. Katherine

      I just used prunes because our store was out of the dates (they had a HUGE bag full, but I didn’t want to buy so many). They turned out REALLY good. I don’t know if it was the prunes…pretty sure it was….that made them more oily feeling and absorbed the cocoa when I rolled them to coat them with it…so you can’t see the powder look of the cocoa, but you can taste it. πŸ™‚ And, I don’t know this because I haven’t made them with dates yet, but I bet they would be more sweet with the dates. These still taste really good though with prunes πŸ™‚

  7. Deborah

    Recently got Navitas raw cocoa powder: now I know why! Thanks for this health booster, Megan. Btw: your blog rocks thanks to accurate health info.

  8. Tiff

    These sound lovely, but a cup of dates is full of sugar. Not a good thing no matter how much you love chocolate. You are better off eating a couple 90% dark chocolate squares.

  9. Kate

    I made these last night, but with roasted pecans- SO GOOD! When I asked my husband if he wanted one, he said he wanted to cut down on sweets at night, to which I said: It’s your lucky day! Perfect nighttime treat with not much sugar! He really liked them too, and he is the ultimate test! He doesn’t usually like this dark of chocolate either. Thanks for the recipe! Success!

  10. Sandy

    Great sweet treat without sugar. Chopped the whole dates before adding to food processor. The scoop works very well. Caution, not all dates are created equal, many sugar coated.

  11. Debbie

    I don’t like dates, so I substitued organic wild blueberries. Unfortunately, the only type available were sweetened with cane sugar. I substituted a tablespoon of Penzey’s Raspberry Enlightenment for the water. The balls absorbed the first coating of cocoa powder, so I put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes and then dropped them in a small bag of cocoa ~ success! Next time I will chill them before the cocoa dusting. I’ll also be on the lookout for some organic dried unsweetened blueberries for my next batch. I calculated each ball at approximately 75 calories for 24 balls. I plan to eat one or two with a bowl of fresh organic raspberries and blueberries! YUM! What a great chocolate fix!

  12. Kirsty

    Megan, do you use cocoa powder or raw cacao? I have both in the cupboard (Green and Blacks cocoa powder and Choc Chick Organic raw cacao) and not sure which one to use! Thanks! x

    1. Megan Post author

      You can use them both interchangeably– the taste difference is negligible to me, so it’s just a matter of personal preference!

  13. Heather

    What is the serving size of these?

    I think I need to put more than 10 dates to make it a little sweeter. The cocoa powder was a bit bitter for me.


  14. Sara

    Oh my goodness! These are super easy and delicious! I did add 2 more dates though…..I have a major sweet tooth! πŸ™‚

  15. Anne Marie Cheney

    I made these tonight and they are wonderful. I rolled mine in coconut for something different and they are delicious! Thanks

  16. April

    Made these yesterday and brought them to dinner with a couple of my girlfriends – they were a huge hit! I scooped smaller brownie balls and this recipe made a whole bunch! 20 or so. I’ve made raw brownie bites in the past, but I really enjoyed your recipe… they came out nice and moist and perfectly chocolatey. I used cacao powder for a nutritional boost. TASTY! Will definitely be making these again.

  17. Mamanof2

    I’ve been making many of your recipes and this was a huge HUGE hit! so easy to make and I even made it in my vitamix bc I don’t own a food processor and it didn’t get stuck at the bottom as much as I would have thought. Thanks for your ideas! love them…

  18. Shanna

    I have made several of your recipe’s and am always passing your website to friends/family trying to eat better. Thanks for the great recipe, they’ve were a life savor when we went through a cleansing diet. I just made this one today and it’s really good. I think I will have to watch out so I don’t eat too many.

  19. Tiff

    These look awesome, but dates are loaded with sugar!!! One cup of dates has 93 grams of sugar and are over 100 grams of carbohydrates. I realize we are not eating the entire cup of dates in one sitting, but that is not the point. This is not the only thing you are likely to consume that has sugar in it, and it adds up throughout the day. If you are on a low carb. diet, this treat will not be a good one to have. People, you need to do your own research on the deleterious effects of sugar in the diet, especially fructose. It is best all around to break the sugar habit. If you must eat chocolate (and I do) I go for 90% dark chocolate with a very limited amount of sugar. It is bad enough that we get it in the fruits we consume. There is no healthy reason to add extra sugar to the diet via sweets like this.

  20. Alia Vo

    So delicious – I’ve made these about four times already for myself and my Sweetie. They are so yummy and a healthy indulgent sweet! xx

  21. Bethanie

    When I sent this recipe to my Mum she was very sceptical. I made it up today with a mix of pecans and walnuts, and I rolled them in coconut. Mum is totally converted. She could not just eat one! Great recipe, you would never guess there is no sugar except for the dates.

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  26. Hope

    MEGAN.I have made these a couple of times now, but both times I added a tablespoon or 2 of goat cheese (might have been honey chevre) and they have been absolutely indulgent! I’m sure they are still so good without the goat cheese, but if you want to mix it up, I highly recommend you give this twist a try πŸ˜‰

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  28. Mat

    Greatest things ever! A few tweaks:
    -organic almond meal instead of walnuts
    -Cacao powder instead of cocoa
    -Shot of espresso instead of water

    the coffee sets it off!

  29. jamie

    my kids and i made these today. we subbed oat flour for the walnuts (i have a tree nut allergy). they were DELICIOUS!! thanks for sharing such a valuable recipe!! πŸ™‚

  30. Jocelyn

    I liked these so much more than I thought I would and my toddler gobbled them up and kept saying “mmmm!” Love giving her treats that are actually good for her!

  31. Ariel

    What food processor do you have/use/reccommend? I have a little mini one that is too small, a Magic bullet that isn’t powerful enough, and even my VitaMix wasn’t up for this job!

    1. Megan Post author

      I use an old KitchenAid food processor that I got in college– so mine’s 10 years old, but it still works great! I don’t think they make my exact model anymore, but I’ve seen great reviews about this Cuisinart food processor lately:

      Cuisinart 14-cup processor

  32. Jelli

    I tried these but felt like the walnut flavor was really overpowering. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try it again but this time maybe swapping out a percentage of the walnuts for another nut.

  33. CocoN

    I made these tonight and they are amazing!! Everyone who tasted them loved them! Thank you so much for the recipe. I made them with cashews

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  39. Rhonda

    These are awesome! As for the people freaking over the natural sugar in the dates…..relax, it’s meant to be an occasional treat, not a daily meal. Some people, like myself, love sweetened chocolate. Yes, dark is healthier, and I do eat it but I’d be lying to me and you both if I said I actually liked it. I only recently started eating clean and to be honest if I couldn’t occasionally dabble in a little sweetened chocolate luxury I don’t know that I could stick with it. Do I indulge daily? No. But once a week or every other week I like to sink my teeth into something as decadent as this and feel much less guilty than if I were scarfing a Hershey bar. Dates also have significant fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium & Vit B6 in addition to that sugar….so it’s not like consuming empty sugar grams with no nutrients. There are plenty of other chocolate recipes on here that stay in the low/no sugar realm….feel free to try one of those if you don’t like this one.

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  44. Luciana

    Hi. This recipe is delicious! But is there a substitute for the dates since I’m trying to eat low sugary stuff? Also, what are the nutrition facts? Thanks.

  45. Sam

    Made these the other night and followed a recipe similar to this one.. The mix was very crumby and not formable so when it was put it the freezer, I just pulled out a tray of cold crumbs! Any way I can save it? Thanks!!

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  48. Charlene Carr

    Hi, Megan,

    These are delicious. Thank you!

    One quick question. They were super oily, as in my hands and the food processor were dripping with oil. Does that mean I processed it far too long or are they meant to be like that?


    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      Yes, if they release that much oil it means they were processed too long! I just had that happen to me last week when I over-processed a batch of date energy balls (I forgot the food processor was running) and it’s such an oily mess! Definitely shouldn’t happen if you process until it just becomes sticky.

        1. Megan Gilmore Post author

          I would definitely keep them chilled, but I’ve never had a problem with that. We do usually eat them quickly, though– within a week on average.

    2. Mac Dav

      My own initial stab at these was a little too “loose” and oily, so I slung in a handful of oatmeal and gave it all another couple of pulses and that worked a treat!

  49. Emily

    YUM! wow these are perfect. It’s so hard to find sweets to make for a gluten free and diary free household. And these are great grab on the go snacks too. Can’t wait to try them out.

  50. Jill

    I know that walnuts are enjoyable to many, but since they are deadly to me this recipe is sad. I’d love to try this without the nuts, or possibly with pistachios?

  51. Annette

    These look amazing, will be trying this weekend. I am curious why the recipe specifies walnut halves when they are going straight into the food processor? Any nut in pieces versus whole or halves is going to be cheaper.

    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I just specify because of the way the volume of walnut halves fills up the cup. Walnut pieces will be more dense, so if you use pieces there will probably be more walnuts in your measurement– which isn’t a huge deal, I just try to be precise!

      1. Annette

        That makes sense β€”Β accuracy is of utmost importance in a recipe, of course. I will experiment with using walnut pieces and see what happens. Thanks for the reply!

  52. Tania Saliba

    I can’t stop making these, all of us love them and my bunch don’t usually like anything that’s healthy! Thanks so much for sharing, so glad I found this site.

  53. Annette Price

    I finally made these last night. What a great treat to have around when the urge for chocolate strikes. I like that they are not too overly sweet, but very chocolatey. Yum!

  54. KHG

    Have made these twice in the past month to serve as a treat with a cup of tea in the evening – hits the spot every time. Pro tip: DO NOT forget the 1T water..! Second time I used 1T and a little more, made the bites a bit sticker and they stayed together better while I was rolling them together. May not be necessary for all, but worked for me. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. KHG

      Pro tip #2: make sure your dates are fresh..! Just returned to this recipe (for the 50th time) for a quick treat but the dates were too sticky and jammed up my food processor (although I have a mini-processor so that could’ve been part of it). But, still love this recipe and will be going to the store to get fresh ingredients today!

    1. Julia

      Put it all in the food processor, and if it doesn’t hold together, just add more dates until you get the consistency you want!

  55. Cinn Jenn

    Yum! I finally got around to making these. Wish I hadn’t waited! I forgot to add the water but mine are still quite soft and stick together well. After reading the other comments, maybe I let it run too long in the food processor. I also added just 4 drops of stevia extract, because I like my chocolate really sweet. Will be making them again!

  56. Kimberly

    Just made these and I LOVE them! They’re easy AND healthy! I had less than a cup of walnuts in the house so I made up the difference with almonds (putting a tiny bit less because I noticed they filled the cup more tightly than the walnuts) and it worked out beautifully. Thank you for a healthy way to satisfy our sweet tooths… er, teeth? πŸ˜€

  57. Patti

    OMG, I know from reading the ingredients that I am going to love these. Thanks for making the recipe available!

  58. Maxie Durel-Crain

    Made these today. Soooooo good! My only regret is that I didn’t buy enough ingredients to make 2 batches!

  59. Julie T

    These are perfect for when I need a chocolate fix. My kids LOVE them so much too. I can’t tell you how many batches I’ve made of these this year. I love so many of your recipes but this is def one of my favs.

  60. Kaeli

    So good! Have made these twice.
    I add in 2 tblsp of dark chocolate and 1 tblsp of cacao nibs
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!!:)

  61. Misty

    I’ve been struggling to meet the 6-dates-a-day quota for pregnancy since dates are too sweet for me, and THIS SOLVES MY PROBLEM. I could eat a million of these at a time, they’re soooo good and not too sweet. Plus I think my baby likes them. πŸ™‚

  62. Bec

    Oh my gosh these are amazing!!!
    I didn’t have fresh dates, only packet pitted dates so I soaked then drained them before putting them in the processor! I didn’t add the tablespoon of water as th soaked dates were quite soft!
    They were perfect and it’s very hard to not eat too many! Thanks!

  63. Lily

    I was out of dates last week for our umpteenth batch of these so made rhem with raisins instead. We all actually love them more made with raisins!

  64. Suellyn

    Just made these and they are wonderful. Didn’t add the extra salt. Perfect for that afternoon chocolate crave. Thank you.

  65. Gina

    I followed a recipe from a different site last week and they didn’t work out but these were perfect and so easy to make! I substituted vanilla extract with orange extract and they were amazing, thank you for the recipe!

  66. Linda

    OMG! These were soooooo yummy!!! I added some figs, chia and flax seeds and these are absolutely PERFECT for chocolate/sweet craving! I even ‘tricked’ my guy into trying one and he said they were ‘Okay brownie-ish’ (he hates all things vegetable and fruit or good for you). Love love love these! Thank you so much! I am new to this eating clean lifestyle and I was struggling to find yummy things. I am struggling with a low body pH so I am now gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free, paleo/vegan/organic/alkaline. Phew! Thanks again!


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