Chocolate Energy Balls taste like little brownie bites, and they are 100% fruit-sweetened! All you need is 5 simple ingredients to make them.
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:
- Dates are high in fiber, so they may help to prevent constipation.
- They contain flavonoids, which may help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Dates also contain phenolic acid, which may help to lower the risk of cancer.
- Eating 6 dates a day may help pregnant women naturally go into labor. (And have a shorter labor!) I did this with both my first and second pregnancy, and it seemed to work for me!
- Dates also contain minerals that may promote bone health, like phosphorous, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
Chocolate Energy Balls (5-ingredients!)
- 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.
- 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 an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 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?
Questions and Reviews
these as delicious
So delicious, a bit bitter but also sweet! My kids poured maple syrup on top when serving, and sprinkled coconut flakes.
These chocolate bites are delicious!!! I LOVE brownies, and these really hit the spot when I want to make a healthier choice!
Hi, I was wondering why is salt included in this recipe, or for that matter in other dessert recipes?
Salt helps to balance out the sweetness in a dessert recipe and makes the flavor pop. It is essential for a delicious dessert in my opinion, but feel free to experiment with how much you like to add.
Megan, thanks for the clarification. I really appreciate the fact that you include the weight in grams in your recipes. That makes a huge difference in being able to get the same results that you are getting. Also any recipe that doesn’t include artery clogging coconut oil is a winner for me – would be terrific if there was a substitute for coconut oil in your otherwise delicious recipes!
I am curious as to if there are any vanilla substitutes, not almond extract. I am not able to use it any longer since I can no longer eat any refined sugars. My dietary issues make eating in America VERY difficult. Thank you!
Made these last night and me and my fiance went back for seconds! We both have a major sweet tooth and are always craving sweets at night after dinner, so having these on hand in the freezer at night is going to help curb our sweet cravings without ruining our hard work of eating healthy throughout the day! I subbed the cocoa powder for orgain vegan chocolate protein powder to add a little extra nutrition to these and they tasted amazing! I got 18 balls instead of 12, and they are the perfect size for snacking 🙂
These are great! I used 1/2c each almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. I also substituted some dried apricots in place of some dates and they turned out fantastic!
I was skeptical when you said these taste like brownies but they truly do! Thank you!! Love them and will be making them a lot more.
This recipe is perfect! Everybody loved them, they were gone in minutes. I made them exactly as per instructions. Having the exact amount in grams made it really easy. The only change I made was to roll them in coconut flakes. I’m going to make a double batch next time, possibly tomorrow. Thank you so much.
I always go for the simple recipes. My dates were a little dry because they were pitted so I added a splash of hot water and surprisingly the cocoa powder really jumped out into a fudgy/ brownie flavor. It was a lot of cocoa so I added maple syrup. Definitely will be making this again maybe just less cocoa next time. For me a pair of these are the perfect afternoon snack to curb hunger and satisfy a sweet tooth without having to grab some cookies.
Loved this! Made half the amount and made half of these and half of the carrot cake ones. Both turned out delicious! Thank you for the great recipe! 🙂
Yum! These chocolate energy balls were delicious and easy to make! Definitely a keeper!