Date Energy Balls (Vegan & Paleo)

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!

4.81 from 82 votes
date energy balls on pan
Date Energy Balls (Vegan, Paleo)
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

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
Servings: 24
Calories: 123 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
  • 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
  1. In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!)

Recipe Notes

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

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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I just made your date and walnut balls and followed the recipe as written but they are quite oily and not crumbly like yours. 😕
I don’t know what happened. Do you have any suggestions as what I can do to salvage them?

    Megan Gilmore

    Over-processing them in the food processor can cause the walnuts to release their oil, and then it’s not easily incorporated back into the mixture. Maybe try adding something dry to them, like a little cocoa powder or coconut flour?


Made these the other night, and added Enjoy Life’s semi sweet chocolate chips (technically not Paleo, but dairy/soy free), and it tasted like cookie dough! YUM! Just what my tastebuds want, without all the flour, dairy, sugar etc.

I made them again a day or two later for some very health conscious friends who just had a new baby, and the mom was really appreciative of having them as a quick and easy snack when she was hungry, but still resting from the birth.

Neither time did I have Medjool dates, but some another brand (whatever Walmart had), but it worked fine.

Thank you for the tasty recipie! I’ll be making them again in the near future, Lord willing!

Liz Bivins

I just made these and they are AMAZING! They taste better than cookie dough. Thanks for the recipe!

Paula Amador

I love your ideas and recipes! Thank you for sharing!


I had to soak mine in hot water 1/4-1/2 per cup of fruits (I send dates, prunes, and figs) because I had to use a blender instead of a processor. They’re good, but my roommate used ton make things make them and were a litttttle firmer. ANY suggestions?


Love this recipe. Made it a few Ike’s and it was perfect. However, the last couple of times I’ve made it, a sugary water separates from the dough and no matter how long I blend in the food processor, it doesn’t blend in. The result is that the balls are not as sweet as they should be. I havent changed anything that I can tell. Gs this happened to anyone else? I’m just wondering what I’m doing wrong.

    Megan Gilmore

    It could be that you’re overblending it in the food process. Oils are released if you blend them too long, and once that happens it can’t really be re-incorporated. So, next time just try processing for a shorter time!

Summer Rehers

These are AWESOME! I actually roll mine in unsweetened cocoa after they are made into a ball.


I love date balls, but they’re so darn expensive to buy pre-made in stores! I’ll be following this recipe from now on! I used half hazelnuts and half cashews. And I put a wee handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips right at the end – couldn’t resist! Lol
I used a package of premium Iranian dates because it was all that I had on hand. The recipe still worked well, but I had to add a couple tablespoons of water because it was so dry (maybe these dates aren’t as moist as the California ones?)
Thank you and all the best! 🙂


I just made these this past weekend and I LOVE them!! I just went on a ‘No Added Sugar’ diet for the next 30 days and these are going to save me! Instead of walnuts, I used cashews. And I did half rolled in cacao powder and half not and I DEFINITELY love the ones rolled in cacao powder more than the others. But they are all really delicious. Will be making more of these soon.


I made these and they tasted absolutely amazing! I’m always a bit sceptical when making ‘healthy’ Foods , but these knockedmy socks off

Bhairavi Kulkarni

Just tried your Cherry, Almond energy bar. And LOVED IT! Can’t wait to try this one. Can I use fresh shredded coconut or it has to be dried?

    Megan Gilmore

    I think fresh coconut would make the texture a little softer, and they’d possibly go bad faster thanks to the added moisture, so definitely store them in the fridge in that case!


These came out extremely oily. I am going to try making them again but omit the coconut oil, and also process the walnuts less. The flavor is wonderful though, I think these will be a winner once I get the right processing technique figured out.


This was great—thank you! I’m looking for a clean energy snack for a week-long hiking meditation retreat. Not sure if this will last a week, but it’s a contender. My partner found it salty, but to me it tasted like cookie dough ❤️.


This recipe is delicious – thank you for sharing it! I substituted the coconut oil with peanut butter, as suggested in one of the other comments, and omitted the salt – it was perfect!

Penella Zollner

Any suggestions on how to make this without a food processor? I tried using my immersion blender and it kinda worked but the mix did not become a dough and wasn’t sticky enough to roll into balls. Still tasted good!

    Megan Gilmore

    You might be able to finely chop the dates and walnuts with a knife on a cutting board, then mix together?

Lorraine CAREY

Been missing the RX Bars. Going to attempt to go off your recipe as a starting point. At 69 yrs young, lost 160 lbs eating clean, now going vegan, Feel like I’m 22 again.


I made these with pecans, because that’s what I had on hand, but they came out rather tasteless. I love all three ingredients but put together, there’s no taste!


Made these exactly as stated. Oh my. I could eat them all in one sitting.


These date energy balls are perfection! I make them every week so I have a healthy snack on hand, and sometimes my husband and kids finish them off before I do. I love how they taste like cookie dough! Sometimes I actually add a few mini chocolate chips to the batter so they are like healthy cookie dough bites.

Stan phillips

I made the Date Energy Balls…..really liked the taste, but the balls were very crumbly. So I made them again, and added the TBL of coconut oil, thinking that would help hold them together. I had the same problem, very crumbly hard to form into balls (more like blobs). What could I be doing wrong? Processing too long, or not long enough? Should I melt the coconut oil, or leave it as a solid (like shortning). Maybe something to do with my hands? I want mine to look like your picture!! Great taste!

    Megan Gilmore

    I would try processing them longer, until the batter is sticky. It should stick together easily when pressed between your fingers.


Love, love, love this recipe. Just the right amount of sweetness. Full of unique flavors. The texture is wonderful as well. I add chia seeds to mine for a boost of nutrition and crunch. Thanks for sharing.


do i need to include coconut? i dont like the flavor of coconut.

    Megan Gilmore

    You could probably just use any other nut or seed that you like in its place.


Walnuts are protein dates are carbs food combining really?

    Megan Gilmore

    Dried fruits and nuts are in the same category for food combining because they have roughly the same digestion time. I don’t think of it in terms of protein and carbs, typically.

Jessie heller

I have been a big fan for about 3 years now, and have gotten a lot of my friends to try your recipes. Your recipes are delicious and healthy, and I hope you keep up the good work!

kyra meeke

I have just Made these with ground almonds and walnut oil (replacing the walnuts and normal oil – because that’s what was in my cupboard) absolutely delicious. half rolled in cadburys options (Belgian chocolate powder) and the other in desiccated coconut. family loved them thanks.


Delicious. I halved the recipe and used a combo of almonds and walnuts. Fantastic and so easy to make.


Damn! They’re delicious.Great recipe and glad I found a healthy snack that tastes good too!


Hi! Just made these and can’t wait to taste… does this current recipe really yield 24 balls? I was able to make about 10 🙁

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