No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites

These snacks were a life-saver this weekend.

pumpkin-energy-bites

I originally made them as an experimental pumpkin spiced Larabar recipe, hoping they’d be a good nut-free school option, but the dough was a little too sticky to form into bars using my hands. So, I ended up using my trusty cookie scoop to drop the dough onto a lined cookie sheet and placed the pan in the freezer for them to firm-up. They turned out deliciously, and my son keeps requesting more of these “puh-keen snacks,” so I threw them in a baggie for our flight this weekend, along with a jar of almond butter and a box of dates. (Dates and spoonfuls of almond butter are currently his favorite things ever.)

Little did I know, almond butter counts as a “liquid” at airport security, so we got held up by the TSA agents. This isn’t unusual for me, as I usually travel with smoothies for my son, too, and we’re used to having those smoothies tested before we’re allowed to proceed to our gate. However, this time the agent informed me that the almond butter couldn’t be tested the same way the smoothies were, and that they’d have to throw the almond butter away. I was crushed! (We had a LONG layover ahead of us, so I was counting on using that almond butter as a distraction for my toddler… the longer it takes him to eat, the better it is for everyone in the airport.) I asked her if there was any I could have the almond butter tested, and she told me I could wait for someone to do an extra pat-down type of security exam done on myself, and then I could take the almond butter with me. Hmm….

We didn’t have that kind of time on our hands, and I have no idea how a pat-down would make the almond butter any safer, so I dropped it and lost the almond butter. Luckily, these pumpkin snacks were a hit while we were waiting for our flight to board, and even though they got a little soft after being in my bag for several hours, they were still delicious! I hope you and your family will enjoy them this Fall, too.

No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites
Makes 24 one-inch balls

Ingredients:

1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup dates, pitted (about 7 ounces)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Directions:

Place the sunflower seeds in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade and process them into a fine flour. Add in the dates, coconut, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and process until a sticky dough is formed. At this point, you can taste the batter and see if you’d like to make any adjustments– add in more nuts for a drier texture, more dates for sweetness, or more spice to taste.

pumpkin-balls

Use a one-inch cookie scooper to drop the dough onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, making roughly 24 balls. Place them in the freezer to set until firm, about 2 hours. Serve chilled for best texture. (They will soften at room temperature but they’re still tasty!) When stored in an airtight container in the freezer, these bites should keep well for at least 6 months.

paleo-pumpkin-bites

4 from 1 vote
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No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites
Servings: 24
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dates , pitted (about 7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place the sunflower seeds in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade and process them into a fine flour. Add in the dates, coconut, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt and process until a sticky dough is formed. At this point, you can taste the batter and see if you'd like to make any adjustments-- add in more nuts for a drier texture, more dates for sweetness, or more spice to taste.
  2. Use a one-inch cookie scooper to drop the dough onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, making roughly 24 balls. Place them in the freezer to set until firm, about 2 hours. Serve chilled for best texture. (They will soften at room temperature but they're still tasty!) When stored in an airtight container in the freezer, these bites should keep well for at least 6 months.
Recipe Notes
I used sunflower seeds in this recipe to keep it nut-free, but I imagine using pecans or walnuts would make it taste even better! Feel free to use any nut or seed of your choice.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite travel snack? We usually like to bring smoothies with us to stay hydrated, but I think next time I might bring some homemade pumpkin seed granola, too!

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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 organs— 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!

32 thoughts on “No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites

  1. Maegen

    Thank you Megan!!! I was looking to make a no sugar added and flour free pumpkin dessert, so this looks perfect! I’ll use pecans or walnuts though- yum!

    Reply
  2. Jeanean

    I usually take the small packets of Justin’s almond butter in my carryon. Stick them in a small baggie and put them in the bins like you would small lotions, toothpaste, etc. I learned my lesson on that issue before too!

    Reply
  3. Selena

    Thank you for all delicious recipes! Your Lemon Melt Aways are always a hit with family and friends. The Pumpkin Energy Bites are on my list for tomorrow, 9 years high plant based. Off to check out more of your great recipes. 🙂 ox Enjoy your new day!

    Reply
  4. Brynda

    This is nothing to do with pumpkin, but I wanted to ask about a vegan lime cilantro dressing. I am looking for a good one to use on a Mexican theme salad. Any ideas???

    Reply
    1. Milissa

      I make all my own salad dressings and often use a lime dressing. Basically, I do a balsamic vinaigrette and add fresh lime juice. I like to use 3 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 3 tbs unsweetened applesauce, a little Dijon mustard, fresh garlic, maple syrup to taste,salt and pepper. Throw into a blender and then stream in 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil. For the Mexican-style lime dressing, I simply add the juice of one lime and adjust the sweetener if it seems tart or bitter. Also, a tbs or two of hemp seeds blended in will give a more creamy consistency. Fresh cilantro is a great addition, too!

      Reply
  5. Kathryn

    I’m allergic to sunflower seeds. Originally I was going to ask if I could use something else, but I see that someone already substituted walnuts for that and it worked. I think I’ll try pecans. Love them! Thanks for being so creative and sharing your endeavors.

    Reply
  6. Emma

    Can/t wait to try these!! I bring those little squeezy pouches on airplanes. They usually have added oil but you can find them without added sweetener and they’re worth it for a easy kid or mama snack! They’re under 2 oz each which is why they don’t make any radar go off 🙂

    Reply
  7. Michelle

    Can I use dried jujube’s in place of dates? I live in Asia and can only find dried/fresh jujubes or caramelized/sweetened dates.

    Reply
  8. Ornella

    Amazing! I made them for an airport/flight snack …I used sprouted sunflower seeds… Perfect flavor…can’t take u enough for this recipe…I simply adore your website:)

    Reply
  9. Cheryl

    I noticed many of your recipes call for a S-blade processor. Can I use my Vitamix instead? Also, can I sub Agave for Maple syrup in your recipes? (I’m planning to make several of your desserts for the holidays.

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      The Vitamix’s narrow container makes it difficult to make these types of snacks, just because the bottom gets pureed and the top doesn’t make it down to the blades. Since this is a sticker, drier mixture it doesn’t let itself to a blender as well, but you’re welcome to try it! I’d just be sure to use the tamper a lot. Also, agave is a lot sweeter than maple syrup (and a lot higher in fructose) so you’ll need to adjust for that in recipes if you use it.

      Reply
      1. cheryl

        Got it, completely makes sense re: vitamix. Do you think maple syrup is “healthier” than agave? I would use less of it to account for the sweetness.. but wondering which has a higher glycemic index? I generally avoid carbs/sugars and rarely use sweeteners, but now you have me wondering if I should use maple syrup vs agave this holiday season!

        Reply
  10. Frances

    Hi there! I haven’t made your No Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites yet, but was wondering what you rolled them in at the end.

    Thank you for the recipe and look for to trying this.

    Reply

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