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. These energy bites are also a perfect fit for a gluten free and vegan diet.
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 snacks. The omega-3’s in the walnuts provide just enough healthy fat to keep you satisfied. Dates are also a natural energy source that is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) meaning they help slow down your body’s absorption of sugar. No sugar crash for you; just a steady source of energy to keep you going.
How to Make Brownie Energy Bites
Step 1 – Grab just 5 simple ingredients: dates, walnuts, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. It’s pretty likely you already have these at home. If you have a nut allergy, it’s easy to sub the walnuts for sunflower seeds.
Step 2 – Mix ingredients in a food processor, scoop, and roll. Yes, that’s it!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What nut options can you use?
Don’t have walnuts on hand? Use a mix of almonds and cashews or hazelnuts. They will work just as well!
How can these be stored?
Energy balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
What other recipe variations are there?
Rolling them in PB2 powder can turn them into a Reese’s peanut butter ball.
Are dates healthy?
Yes. While dates are a dried fruit, which means calorie dense, they are high in several minerals and vitamins like potassium, magnesium, iron and B6, as well as fiber, antioxidants and protein.
What food processor do you use?
I’m pretty obsessed with my Cuisinart food processor. It has great capacity, easy to use, and cleans up really well.
No forks required.
5 Ingredient Chocolate Brownie Energy Bites
- 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.