These date balls are a quick snack of dates, pecans, and chocolate that will perk you up and satisfy your cravings. These are a great snack when you are sitting at home or on the move!
I am always looking for quick and easy snacks. Life is busy! That’s what makes this chocolate date balls recipe so great. Just like out peanut butter energy balls and healthy oatmeal cookies it takes very little time to make, they store easily so you can always have some ready when you need them, and they give you that little boost of energy to get you through your day!
The first time I made these date energy balls I was surprised at how good they are. They have a very mild flavor and when you add in the cocoa it really does taste like chocolate. The date has a natural sweetness that is perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth without the use of artificial flavors and additives. It’s a healthy, all-natural dessert.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dates – Try using Medjool dates. They are known as the ‘baker’s choice’ dates as they tend to be naturally sweeter than other types of dates.
- Pecans – You can substitute these with any type of nut you choose.
- Cocoa powder – This adds that chocolatey goodness to your date protein balls.
How to Make Date Balls
A quick note about dates: Dates have a really hard pit in the center. If you are using whole dates, make sure to remove the pits before using.
Step 1 – Soak dates- Place dates in a medium bowl. Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave until it is hot. Pour the water over the dates and let them soak for 10 minutes. We soak the dates before using them because it helps to give them a little extra moisture. We found that dates are sometimes a little too dried out and the resulting paste is also dry and hard to form into balls. Soaking them first fixed that issue and made it easier to roll them.
Step 2 – Dry and pit – Remove the dates from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. If your dates have pits in them, slice each one open with a knife and remove the pit.
Step 3 – Chop and mix ingredients – Place the dates, pecans, and cocoa in your food processor or high-powered blender and lock the lid in place. Pulse on hi until the dates and pecans are well chopped and form a “dough”.
Step 4 – Form dough into balls – Scoop the mixture out and roll into 1-ounce balls. Enjoy immediately or store until ready to eat.
This is a healthy snack that can have lots of flavor variations.
Try skipping the cocoa powder and adding in some freeze-dried fruit powder or finely chopped dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, or blueberries.
If you want to add a little more protein you can swap out the cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder.
For a little extra flavor and texture, you can roll your date balls in oats or finely chopped pistachios, almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts.
Many people like dates rolled in coconut. The best way to make these coconut date balls is to roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut.
You can also add ingredients such as chia seeds, peanut butter, mint chips, mini chocolate chips, or caramel chips. Play with the recipe and see what you prefer.
A food processor makes this date balls recipe really easy, but it can be done without a food processor if necessary.
You will want to finely chop all ingredients and mix together until they make a sticky “dough”. You’ll need to work the cocoa powder into the mixture. I suggest using a spoon to knead it into the date and nut mixture.
Energy balls can be as healthy as you like. You can alter the recipe to fit your diet as needed. You can control how much or little sugar, protein, and calories are in each bite.
Dates are extremely good for you. They are naturally sweet so there is no need to add any extra sugar. They are full of fiber and antioxidants and are low in fat.
Dates are also gluten free, as is unsweetened cocoa powder, so this snack is great for a gluten free or vegan diet.
Eating a few of these when your energy is feeling low is a healthy way to get you through your day!
There 94 calories per 1 ounce ball in our recipe. Keep in mind that the calorie number will increase or decrease depending on your variations.
I wouldn’t consider this a keto friendly snack but it depends on what you can fit into your macros. Each 1 ounce ball has 8 grams carbs and 2 grams fiber which is 6 grams NET carbs each. If you’re looking for a little sweet fix it’s certainly better than a cookie!
Yes! You can make a batch of these and pop them in your freezer to have on hand when you need them!
Once you roll them out into balls, just freeze them on a baking sheet then put them in an airtight container. They will keep for about 3 months. Just pop them in the fridge overnight to thaw and you’re ready to enjoy them again!
How to store Date Balls
You will want to store these in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will last about 2 weeks.
You can also freeze them for future use. Once you roll them out into balls, just freeze them on a cookie sheet then put them in an airtight container. They will keep for about 3 months. Just pop them in the fridge overnight to thaw and you’re ready to enjoy them again!
Looking for More Healthy Snacks?
- Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Bananas
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana RITZ Crackers
- Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast and Snack Wraps
- Mexican Chocolate Popcorn and Almonds
- Blueberry and Cheerios Breakfast Bars
- More Snack Recipes…
- 12 Dates
- 1 cup Pecans
- 2 tablespoons Cocoa powder
- Place dates in a medium bowl. Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave until it is hot. Pour the water over the dates and let them soak for 10 minutes.
- Remove the dates from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. If your dates have pits in them, slice each one open with a knife and remove the pit.
- Place the dates, pecans, and cocoa in your food processor and lock the lid in place. Pulse on hi until the dates and pecans are well chopped and form a “dough”.
- Scoop the mixture out and roll into 1 ounce balls.
- Optional: If you want to add a little extra flavor and texture you can roll your date balls in finely chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Enjoy immediately or store until ready to eat.