Chocolate Energy Balls (5-ingredients)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

Chocolate Energy Balls taste like little brownie bites, and they are 100% fruit-sweetened! All you need is 5 simple ingredients to make them.

chocolate date balls in white bowl

Why Are They Good For You?

These chocolate energy balls are naturally sweetened with dates. They have NO added flour or sugar, and yet they really do taste like a brownie!

Benefits of Dates:

Paired with walnuts, these date balls taste like… you guessed it, a walnut-studded brownie. Studies have shown that walnuts may particularly help with decreasing fat deposits in the mid-section.

How to Make Them

To make these chocolate date balls, you’ll start by pulsing the walnuts in a food processor, until they are finely ground. This should take about 30 to 60 seconds.

Walnuts ground in food processor

Once the walnuts are ground, add in the dates, cacao powder, vanilla, and salt. Process again, until the mixture sticks together when you press it between your fingers.

Dates and cacao powder processed in food processor

It’s okay if the mixture looks crumbly, as long as it does stick together. If it doesn’t stick together, keep processing the mixture until it does stick together.

Important: Keep in mind that you CAN over-process a date ball. If the mixture starts to look super-oily, that means you processed it too long, and it’s hard to fix that other than trying to sop-up the oil with a towel.

Date mixture scooped and rolled into balls

Scoop the mixture using a tablespoon, then roll them between your hands to form balls. I like to arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place them in the fridge or freezer so they will firm up.

Once the balls are firm to the touch, you can roll them in cacao powder for a fancy presentation, but I actually think these taste best without rolling them in the extra cacao. (The added coating will make them more bitter, FYI.)

Transfer the chocolate energy balls to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for an easy treat that’s ready to grab!

date energy balls rolled in cacao powder

Which Dates Work Best?

When shopping for dates, look for ones that are either refrigerated, or in the produce section. They should be nice and squishy, and I think the ones that contain pits stay the freshest, longest. (Pitted dates tend to dry out.)

walnuts and squishy Medjool dates measured out for the recipe

If you don’t have soft & squishy dates on hand, you can soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes to help them soften up. Drain the water, then use the dates as directed.

date energy balls rolled in cacao powder
Print Pin
4.93 from 51 votes

Chocolate Energy Balls (5-ingredients!)

These Chocolate Energy Balls are date-sweetened, and made with just 5 simple ingredients. They taste like a little brownie bite! Vegan & Paleo friendly.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate energy balls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 135kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves (162 g)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (188 g; soft & squishy; pits removed)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (24 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (6 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (2 g)
  • Additional cocoa powder , for coating (optional)


  • In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, grind the walnuts into a fine meal.
    walnuts ground in food processor
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, and process again until a sticky, uniform dough is formed.
    dates and cacao powder added to the food processor
  • 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.
    scooped and rolled into balls on pan
  • Store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Nutrition information is for 1 of 12 balls. This will vary if you get more balls out of the recipe.
If you don’t have walnuts on hand, pecans would be the most similar substitute because of their texture. Almonds and cashews will be harder, so make sure to grind them well before adding in the rest of the ingredients.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.8mg


  • 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?

Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



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.


    “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

    -too funny!


Wow! This looks so yummy. How long can they be kept in freezer?


Just made these and they were absolutely perfect. Filled my chocolate fix.


These are fantastic and the perfect little treat after a day full of veggies and meat.


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.


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!!

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?


    Megan Gilmore

    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.

      Charlene Carr

      Still fully safe to eat though? (Provided I store then in the freezer?) Unprocessed oils can go rancid pretty quick, right?

        Megan Gilmore

        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.

    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!


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.


I made these last year, and my husband loved them!! I am getting ready to leave them for Santa. 🙂


Have you tried other nuts as a substitution for walnuts?

Lisa | Mummy Made.It

These look great. I usually have a tub of protein/energy balls in the fridge to help with the Hangrys!


Made these with a mix of raw almonds and cashews…tasty!


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?


Would roasted hazelnuts be a nice substitute for walnuts anyone?


    I used hazelnuts and cashews instead. They were so good!!


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.

    Megan Gilmore

    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!


      That makes sense — 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!


Just made these tonight. So good! Thank you.

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.


Hi! Do you think it would work to dehydrate this recipe? I want to travel with them!


I just made them. These are delicious and satisfying. Thank you for the recipe.

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!


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!


    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!


i have pre-ground almond meal; do you know if i would still use 1.5 c?
thank you!


    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!

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!


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? 😀


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

Maxie Durel-Crain

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

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.


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!!:)


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. 🙂


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!


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!


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


these are amazing!!!


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!


exactly what I was hoping to find. I just had 3 of them. they are so lovely! many thanks!


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!


Anyone know the nutritional information? How many is a serving? The carb and sugar count?


    I used the MyFitness Pal app to figure out nutritional info. Based on 6 servings (2 bites per serving), each serving is 301 calories and has 35g of carbs (27 g sugar), and 5 g protein.


      If you consider each bite a serving, there are 150 calories per serving, with 18 g carbs (14 g sugar) and 2 g protein.


These were amazing and absolutely delicious. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a sweet but health snack.


Sooo tasty and very SATISFYING! When I want to indulge I Don’t feel the slightest bit guilty. Yum!


FAB! Just made these and I was skeptical of the overall time described in the recipe, but much to my disbelief making these brownies was quite fast (~10 minutes or less)! I’m also happy to say that these ingredients were easy to find in the grocery store too, not like some paleo, vegan, etc. recipes.


Are these Whole30 appropriate? I believe yes…..?????

    Megan Gilmore

    Ingredient-wise, yes. I think they are “anti-dessert” in general, even if it’s made with compliant foods, but I would go for it personally. 🙂


      Thanks Megan! Yes, anti-dessert but I AM going to go for it because it falls within the specified guidelines sooo……I like to tread the line if you know what I mean. Not starting for a week…will let you know how they are. Prepping for it now! Thank you!


Easy and great recepy

Theresa N

I have been making these for several years now, 2 batches at a time. Absolutely love them. Every other time instead of water added, I use fresh squeezed orange juice & add orange zest to the paste/dough. I added some dried cranberries once, delicious. My husband turns his nose up with my grain free lifestyle, but loves the bites.

Get Started Today!

Get a free 7-Day Kick Start when you sign up for my email newsletter