These naturally sweetened energy bites taste like a chocolate walnut brownie but are 100% gluten free, vegan and protein-packed.
Dates are all the rage right now. Have you noticed? Trendy or not, my family has been eating dates my entire life. Growing up, we were never a big dessert family (another reason my weight loss journey isn’t quite the norm), but my mom always had dried fruit in the house. A common tradition in Middle Eastern families, she would often serve dried fruit like apricots, dates and figs with hot tea in lieu of a fudge brownie or slice of cake.
Speaking of brownie, these energy balls taste exactly like a chocolate walnut brownie minus the heavy, greasy, buttery guilt that typically comes with it. This recipe is inspired by my dear friend Ali who recently created these mouth-watering Almond Joy Energy Bites. Her gorgeous recipe was just the kick in the bum I needed to finally use up the dates sitting in my pantry.
While I love all things almond joy, I decided to attempt replicating a chocolate walnut brownie which is probably my favorite dessert of all time. In fact, whenever I purchase protein bars, I almost always gravitate towards the brownie flavor.
Packed with heart-healthy walnuts and antioxidant rich cocoa powder, these energy bites are great for stashing in your gym bag, storing in the diaper bag or keeping on hand for after school snacking. Dates are a natural energy source and the omega-3’s in the walnuts provide just enough healthy fat to keep you satisfied.
No forks required.
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak for 5 minutes to soften then drain.
Add drained dates and all remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixture turns into the consistency of sand. (Depending on your food processor, this could take several minutes so don't worry if it doesn't happen right away!)
Remove blade from the unit. To form balls, press mixture into a small stainless steel scoop then roll in between your palms to form evenly sized bites. Continue until mixture is gone.
You can enjoy room temperature or let chill for 30 minutes before enjoying.
Recipe inspired and adapted from Gimme Some Oven.
Energy balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.