Date Energy Balls (Vegan & Paleo)

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These Date Energy Balls are a healthy snack that you can whip up in minutes. They call for just a handful of natural ingredients, and taste like cookie dough! Even my kids love them (which is saying something).

date energy balls on pan

Note: I’ve recently updated these photos and have removed the coconut oil that this recipe originally called for. I don’t think it’s necessary, and at times made these Date Energy Balls too greasy, but if you miss the old version, simply add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil as desired, then roll into balls.

How to Make Date Energy Balls

To make these healthy date balls, all you need is a food processor and 5 ingredients. You’ll process the walnuts and shredded coconut in a food processor until crumbly, then add the dates, salt, and vanilla and process again.

walnuts in food processor

The only thing to keep in mind when making this easy snack is that you don’t want to over-process this mixture. If you process the walnuts too long, they will release their natural oils and create a greasy result. As soon as the dough looks crumbly but sticks together when pressed between your fingers, stop processing the mixture and roll it into balls.

date balls in food processor

Healthy Snack for Breastfeeding Moms

These little gems are also a lifesaver for moms who are breastfeeding! When I was up in the wee hours of the night nursing my babies, I always had a huge appetite. These bite-sized treats are easy to grab and eat one-handed. (One-handed snacks are necessary for nursing moms, if you ask me.)

date balls

These bite-sized treats were just what I need to power through all-night sessions, giving me a burst of energy with a healthy dose of fat, fiber and carbohydrates.

Health Benefits of Walnuts & Dates

You can use any nut or seed combination you like in this type of snack, but I chose walnuts because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content, as well as their antioxidant and phytosterol content, which have been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. (source)

coconut walnuts and dates

Paired with fiber-rich dates, which may help to prevent constipation, this is a healthy snack I feel good about reaching for any time. Research shows that the antioxidants in dates may help to lower cholesterol and help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, like Atherosclerosis. (source)

I hope they prove to be helpful when you need a quick snack, too!

date energy balls on pan
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4.85 from 118 votes

Date Energy Balls (Vegan, Paleo)

These DATE ENERGY BALLS are a quick & easy healthy snack. Made with walnuts, coconut, and dates, they remind me of cookie dough!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword dates, snack
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 123kcal


  • 2 cups walnuts , or other nut/seed of choice
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups soft Medjool dates , pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly.
  • Add in the dates, vanilla and sea salt and process again until a sticky, uniform batter is formed. (You can add a tablespoon of coconut oil, only if needed to help the mixture come together.) You don't want to over process, or the batter will become oily, so process until crumbly, but sticky when pressed between your fingers.
  • Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, then roll between your hands to form balls. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place in the fridge or freezer to set for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for an even longer shelf life. (I prefer them frozen, myself!)


For a gourmet-looking truffle, you could also roll them in shredded coconut or cocoa powder before chilling.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Per ball: Calories: 123, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 1g

Substitution Notes:

  • This recipe is easily adaptable, so feel free to use any other combination of nuts and dried fruits that you like. The combinations are endless!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite go-to snack for energy?

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Ohhh – these sound and look awesome. I love the coconut, walnut and date combo. I’ll have to make these one day soon!

    Hillary Southwick

    Instead of coconut oil, I used all natural peanut butter. To get a texture where I could roll it into a ball, I added 1/2 cup of water to the mix. Just an idea – I love it with PB!


    I just came here to read the reviews and you have the same name as me!


Hi, Megan!
It sounds like you are embracing and loving being a new mommy, and I’m so happy for you! My toddlers are 3 and 1 now, but I vividly remember those early days! When my son was new, I ate chocolate chip granola bars during those late night/early morning nursing sessions, but these would have been so much healthier. With my daughter, I discovered co sleeping and dozing while nursing and I’m pretty sure that it saved my life LOL
Sniff that baby head a ton for me, please! I still can’t believe how fast it flew by. Now I have to sniff friends’ babies. I hope that you are having a wonderful baby moon!
I’m looking forward to making these one day when I have a food processor 🙂

    Celeste Ciulla

    I love this recipe. And I don’t have a food processor! It might be old school, and they might come out a little chunkier but I just chop the dates (wearing latex gloves) and the walnuts (I use pecans…I find them less bitter). They are yummy!!!! Thanks so much!

Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl

Love date nut balls! They are the perfect grab-n-go snack!


    Love these. I make them all the time.

    Crystal Ramadhan

    Looks great, what’s the serving size?


Would you mind sharing what food processor you use?
The recipe looks yummy!

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

I absolutely love making date balls–so good and a quick and easy snack!


Yum yum these look delicious, thanks for sharing. Congrats on your new baby, definetley need to keep your energy up feeding all day and night! I’m still feeding my 5 month old so these will be great little snacks to nibble on as well. I love your blog I’ve been making the vanillacado and chococado shakes all the time and my favourite meal is vegetable masala. Keep up the great work!

Jess @ Nappiesinc

These look AMAZING!
Hope you dont mind but I shared them on my Friday Five….right above a sugar filled birthday cake!


I just found your blog last week and adore your recipes! Congratulations on the birth of your first child…I nursed both of my boys for a year each and it is an incredible bonding experience…with that being said, you are so smart to start planning ahead for those times when hunger strikes. I ate like a linebacker when I was nursing and was tinier than ever after my burn so many calories while breastfeeding it is truly incredible. All the best to you and your family and keep these delicious recipes coming :)))


This sounds really good but is there something you could replace the shredded coconut with? Maybe carrots?


Hi! If I’m using “California” dates rather than Medjool, should I soak them first? Looking around quickly online I couldn’t find any good comparisons of the two types of dates. Of course I’m just going to use what I have on hand…and maybe dunk them for a while first. Thanks and I love your website! 🙂

    Freyja Asgeirsson

    how about dried figs?

Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations

Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to make these. I’m always looking for simple, nourishing snacks 🙂

All the best to you and your new baby!


Alexandra @ Made to glow

Oh I can’t wait to try these! Love that they have no added sugar. I am a big fan of using dates. I will definitely try them with walnuts. Thank you for sharing. I know this must be a busy time for you! Enjoy every second!


I love all of these ingredients! Thank you for sharing this; it’s very impressive how you are keeping your blog so active while being so busy!


A mama friend of mine made me something very similar during my second enlistment of nursing boot camp and they were a life saver for those first few weeks of all night feedings!


So impressed you’re keeping up with the blog with the new baby. Hope all is well!

Jan Gonzales

Please send your recipe bolgs to my inbox!! Thanks, Jan

Heather Williams

I make these using figs, and truly, they’re so amazing to have around, right? I love your approach to eating and I’m so happy for you and your new little one!:) Great recipe and thanks for the update on how you’re doing!


I didn’t like the sound of these at first but just made half a batch and they are delicious!!! I’m always looking for quick, healthy snacks and can count on your to provide great recipes! Thank you1


    I usually find energy balls really unappetizing, often oily… But these are delicious!!! My daughter whipped these up for a little break during school. They are simple and wonderful! Thanks for sharing! These will be a regular snack around here now 🙂


AH, I’m calling these AMAZE BALLS! So good I can’t believe they are bad for me!


    edit: I can’t believe they aren’t bad for me:)


    Why are they bad for you?

Angie T

These are amazing!!! Another winner!

Designed For Detox

Thanks for sharing I think these will be great to take on the go,
Best to you and the baby!



Hi Megan,
I saw on one of your other posts that you have a favorite Vitamix blender…But when I clicked on the link it wouldn’t work…can you repost it? It is definitely on my with list but there are so many options I don’t know what to choose…thanks for you input and your receipts are awesome (especially since I can’t have gluten, dairy, refined sugars, and limited corn and potatoes) your website has given me so many more options! Thank you and congrats on your little boy 🙂


Hi Megan,

Congrats to you and your family on the birth of your lil one! I have a 2 1/2 yo and they sure do grow fast! I BF for 18months and I’m so glad I stuck with it! I love your blog and can’t believe you are blogging still! Enjoy every moment! One question I have is how do you come up with the shelf life of these or any of the recipes you make? I never understood that. I am going to make these for sure! I am planning on making your eggplant lasg. later for the second time. I love it, but the first time I made it I left the skin on and think I will make it w/o this time. Thanks again for your recipes and time you put into this site!

Gina : )


I just made these! They were so good. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


Love these date balls! My kids & hubby love them too!


These were fabulous. The recipe actually makes quite a bit so I will freeze half. Yum!


I made these without the coconut oil and they are super oily with oil dripping everywhere. Am I doing something wrong? Should I add more walnuts? They are very delicious though.

    Michele Schnelker

    i did not experience this tina. wish i had a tip for you.


    I had the same problem but I used the coconut oil. Wondering if using calfornia dates instead of Medjool dates is why.


    I also had lots of oil, I think i may have processed my walnut and cashews too much, like into butter instead of crumbles. I did use Ca dates too…are Ca dates oily?


    It could be you’re blending the nuts for too long as that will cause them to liquidise, that’s all I can think of – hope it helps!

Michele Schnelker

wow! these look and sound fantastic! thx for sharing 🙂

Michele Schnelker

holy crap these are tasty! to sweet! totally quality controlled 2 of them before putting them in the freezer…hope i can keep away to see what they’re like in an hour! 😉

so fast to roll up (used my melon baller/mini ice cream scoop to assist in this process). might make up fancy like you suggested if i take them to a carry in sometime.


These are so delicious Megan! I’ve passed the recipe along to a number of people and everyone really loves them! Thanks!


Soo yummy! thank you!


I absolutely love these date nut balls! So easy to make, delicious, and good for you. An unbeatable combination in my book!

Donna Allen

So yummy!


Great recipe! I added zest from one orange just because I love orange zest and think it fits into every sweet recipe! 🙂 I would cut down on the oil a bit next time though. My hands were dripping coconut oil as I created the balls. They are delicious nonetheless! Thanks!

linda O

I just made these for my son who is body building..WOW ARE THEY GOOD!
I used half pecans and 1/2 raw almonds and course sea salt. every once in a bite or so you get a little sweet salty thing going on.I may never eat candy or dessert ever again. Thanks for sharing

linda O

and I’m going to try the same combo but maybe substitute organic peanut butter for coconut oil or do you think i can still add a Tb of coconut oil in addition?


Just made these, exceeded all my expectations! Thank you!

Holly Pattison

LOVE this recipe. And my hands were so smooth after rolling the balls (I may have blended a bit too long!)


Just wanted to say these are great for girls and guys alike. Love these! Thank you for the idea and recipe!


Hi! These are delicious! Would you be able to tell me the nutritional values?


This is such an excellent recipe that can be easily adapted I reduced the amount of dates to one cup – too much natural sugar and substituted with chestnuts (I get them in jars), which are an excellent source of vitamin c and other vitamins. With the cup of seeds, pumpkin, sunflower and chia are great. They still have a sweetness but not too sweet.


Hi, I tried making your recipe but the mixture is not binding it’s very loose so I can’t form the balls. Any suggestions?


    I’d just try adding another date or two, or maybe just a couple tablespoons of water to make the mixture more moist.


    I had the same problem so I used a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter to help with the binding.

      JanetDi Rienzo

      Did you melt the coconut oil first? Sorry, but I am not that familiar with coconut oil.


    I have found the Woodstock dates with pits are the most moist. The Dole ones they sell at regular grocery stores are too dried out. I use almonds and I don’t add the coconut oil I try to keep them around 100 calories a ball.


Hi, Just came to your site browsing for energy balls recipe. Wanted to let you know that looks like the pic you have posted here is from some other recipe.


    Thanks for letting me know! I just recently used a batch program to compress all of the images on my site, and it looks like the program mixed up a few of my photos along the way… but the page has been updated now!


These are simply amaze-balls! A friend of mine introduced me to these and I found your recipe online yesterday, and made them last night. I was never a coconut fan when i was younger, but now, being an aspiring health nut, I love it. Your recipe is super easy to use. My wife absolutely loves these as well.

Thank you!


how would one adjust the recipe if they wanted to add bananas? and also, how to adjust if adding almond or cashew butter?



    Hmm, I’m not sure about the bananas. Let us know if you give it a shot! In regards to nut butters, I find that a good general rule is that 1 cup of nuts = 1/2 cup nut butter.

Karen Riegler

Hey! I love your recipes and I made this one we love and now can’t find it on your site! It was salted caramel dip made from dates. Do you recall this? How can I find it! You dip apples with it! Thanks!


This was delish!!! : ) thanks for the recipe!


Thank you for sharing this absolutely amazing recipe. I loved it – it was easy to make and so incredibly tasty. I like them frozen too. I shared them with a few friends and they were complementing me non-stop.


These look so good. I was recently introduced to Larabars and this seems somewhat similar. As I had never really had dates before, I did a little research. I read that they are high in calories and carbs. Would you recommend using them in cooking when specifically making foods specifically for energy/working out?

Stephanie Veljanovska

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I currently have a newborn and toddler and with so much breastfeeding I am feeling hungry a lot more. These are my saviour rather than reaching for something naughty. So yummy!!

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