5 Ingredient Chocolate Brownie Energy Bites

These naturally sweetened energy bites taste like a chocolate walnut brownie but are 100% gluten free, vegan and protein-packed.
Chocolate Walnut Brownie Energy Bites - The Lemon BowlDates 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.

Almond Joy Granola by The Lemon BowlWhile 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.

Chocolate Walnut Brownie Energy Balls - The Lemon BowlPacked 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.

5.0 from 9 reviews
5 Ingredient Chocolate Brownie Energy Bites
Prep time
Total time
These naturally sweetened energy bites taste like a chocolate walnut brownie but are 100% gluten free, vegan and protein-packed.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 20
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak for 5 minutes to soften then drain.
  2. 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!)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bite Calories: 70 Fat: 4.1 g Saturated fat: .4 g Unsaturated fat: 3.7 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 8 g Sugar: 5.2 g Sodium: 16 mg Fiber: 1.4 g Protein: 1.2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg



  1. says

    This is perfect! I have all of these ingredients in my pantry (I love dates. Our family is a lot like your family in the dessert deal). Do believe I’ll make these for us to munch on. :)

  2. Yessica says

    This seems easy to make!!

    I’m not really fond of dates unfortunately. Do you have any substitutes for it?

  3. says

    I’ve loved dates since I was a kid! They were in a cereal my mom would by from our co-op and I would save them until the end and eat them last! I have a container of dates on the counter and I know what I’m making!! <3

  4. says

    I love having sweet but still good-for-me snacks around! These are totally getting made! I think they would be the perfect pre-workout treat!

  5. says

    I recently tried to replicate the larabar which I love but my pocket book does not! I came up with a similiar bite such as this…only mine did not have chocolate. I love the chocolate version!

  6. says

    These.Look.AMAZING!!!!! I love how they only have 5 Ingredients and taste like brownies, I am definitely going to have to try these to keep on hand for when I crave brownies, which is like every day, so I best head to the grocery store asap to make these! Also, walnuts are incredible for memory retention I’ve heard, so after making these little bad boys maybe I won’t forget have the items on my grocery list? haha

  7. says

    This is a FANTASTIC recipe! Absolutely LOVE it! You’re so right dates are EVERYWHERE! I think it is because of all those energy bars that use them! I just read your weight loss story and that is AWESOME! I love the before and after. I lost 73 pounds and that is why I started my food blog. Hoping to lose a few more at some point.

  8. Hawco says

    Hi Liz, thanks for posting what looks like such a convenient and satisfying recipe. I eat dates all the time to satisfy my sweet tooth, so this would definitely be an upgrade. I have one question though: is the 1 teaspoon of vanilla the liquid artificial vanilla you get in a small bottle or the much more expensive vanilla clove you can buy? Thanks for the clarification.

  9. Keely says

    I make these with cashews, some instant coffee and a little chocolate protein powder. They are my pre-run snack.

  10. Destinee says

    These were wonderful!! I made about fifteen. Came out to be about 90 calories a ball. Worth every bite thank you for the recipe! 😀

  11. Sandra says

    Hey! Can I switch out the dates and add something else instead? Looks delicious but I’m not a big fan of dates ..


  12. Jessica says

    Do you think it would be possible to substitute the dates with prunes? The dates are kind of expensive, and prunes are cheaper. I just made them with prunes, and I am truly surprised at how delicious they are! I am bringing some into work today to show people that being healthy can be affordable and tasty!

  13. says

    I just shared these delicious, healthy bites on my blog: fiteverydaymom.blogspot.com. Perfect for busy women who want to eat well at home or on-the-go. When I make a batch of these, they don’t last very long! I also found dates very reasonably priced at my local ALDi store so I know what I will be making soon;).

  14. Heather says

    NO! This is impossible!! Dates, walnuts, Cocoa…BAM! Brownies! My gluten free daughter is going to cry! These are so insanely delicious, and I am a junk food junkie! I have a hard time with “healthy treats” but these will be a staple from now on in this house! I’m giddy with excitement! I’ve also started to wonder if rolling them in powdered peanut butter (another new discovery that had changed my world!!) or adding instant coffee powder or even peanut butter (probably would have to add oats too eh?) would bring tears to my eyes. Everything you make is out of this world!

  15. Heather says

    OMG!! I did it! I rolled them in PB2 (powdered peanut butter) because they were kinda sticky and I cried. I did. Just like a Reese’s laced brownie. Sigh. These have officially changed my life.

  16. Franzi says

    Made them today and I love the sweet from the dates . I used almonds, cos I don´t like walnuts. The crunchy yet gooey is great!
    Thanks from Germany :)

  17. Heather says

    So. I made these again today. This time I accidentally ran the walnuts through the food processor first until they were mealy. Then I added the salt, vanilla and dates (forgot the cocoa) ran that through and THEN remembered the cocoa (its not my day I guess). Sigh. So. Let me tell ya! This does NOT work! It is so sticky and gooey there’s just no way you’re making a ball out of this! HOWEVER, it made a delicious dip/spread for gram crackers and apples! My 18mo tried to eat it with a spoon…I followed suit. Yum! But alas, that seemed like the opposite of a healthy snack (ala spoon in the PB jar). I made another batch, altogether this time around, except I ran out of vanilla so I thought I needed to add SOMETHING. I opted for cinnamon. It takes it to a whole new level. Then of course, rolling it in the powdered PB like last time! LOL! I just LOVE these little delightful things!

  18. Heather says

    Question: Approx how large do you think your balls are? I used 5/8 oz which is about 1 tablespoon. But I only got 14 balls. Also about how many dates do you think you are getting in a cup? Thanks.


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