Energy Date Balls — Vegan, GF, Paleo

These energy date balls are naturally sweetened thanks to dates, and made flavorful with nuts and coconut. You’ll love the nutritional benefits (like fiber, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals), but these old fashioned date nut balls don’t skimp on the flavor.

A bowl holds several date balls, with more date balls behind it and several dates too.

These date balls taste so good you’ll want to make a double batch. It’s a perfect snack for when you need lots of energy! This treat is naturally vegan, gluten free and paleo.

Old Fashioned Date Balls

As you can tell from my recipes, I love sweets. I love preparing them, the aroma of a baking cake in the oven, and the happy faces of those who eat them.

You don’t have to look very hard to understand the dangers of too much processed sugars in our diet. It’s definitely something Shawn and I have been working on lately: reducing refined sugars. That means lately I’ve been cooking more with coconut sugar.

And there’s also dates!

So, I put my desire for reduced refined sugars into action and created a quick and easy snack recipe for a “raw cookie.” Technically they’re more like coconut date balls, but raw cookies work too.

These protein date balls are still sweet, but they’re free of processed sugar and they scratch that itch for sweet snacks during the day. Just like any cookie, though, it’s hard to eat only one so be sure to make plenty!

Looking down on several date balls on a white table.

What are the benefits of eating dates?

Dates are a great way of reducing refined sugars in your diet. Besides, dates are rich in plant-based nutrients like fiber, iron, potassium, and even some protein.

Paleo Energy Bites with Dates

So, basically these healthy no bake date balls are energy bites made with medjool dates instead of a syrup sweetener like my other energy bite recipes. Take, for example, my Red Velvet Energy Bites where I used agave as the sweetener.

The good news is that medjool dates are fine on a Raw diet, a Whole30 diet, and a Paleo diet.

Once processed in the food processor, dates become sticky just like syrup. That means dates create a great binder to hold these paleo power balls together too. In addition, they add a nice caramel flavor to the energy bites.

How to Make Date Balls

Simply add the ingredients — dates, raw almonds, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and unsweetened coconut flakes — in a food processor and pulse to combine. Then roll with sesame seeds for adding color and nutrition! As an alternative, the date balls can be rolled in coconut flakes.

Oatmeal, dates, and walnuts in a food processor bowl.
Oatmeal, dates, and walnuts in a food processor.

Note: If your dates are cold or firm, it helps to heat them up in the microwave to soften them up. Remove the pits first and then chop them into little pieces and put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Then heat in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds and put a plate over the bowl. This will make the dates tender.

Then pour that bowl of dates into your food processor, along with the other ingredients and pulse a few times. The hardest part of this date ball recipe is rolling the balls and not eating them all!

Transform these into peanut butter date balls by substituting 1/4 cup peanut butter for the walnuts!

You might want to check out my Peanut Butter Energy Balls too. Lots of great flavors!

A hand holds a date ball, rolling it in sesame seeds.

Each date ball has around 112 calories, making them a nutrient dense treat. We love date energy bites made with almonds and walnuts! In fact, I recently made a Sugar Cookie Energy Bites recipe that made its way into the Costco Magazine. How fun!

A hand holds a date ball above a bowl full of more of the treats.

Of course, we are so into these healthy chocolate vegan balls with dates and we hope you are too! If you decide to make them, be sure to snap a photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

A hand holds a date ball, rolling it in sesame seeds.

Date Balls

Make these vegan date balls and enjoy the naturally sweetened treats. They're made with medjool dates, nuts and coconut flakes. They taste so good you'll want to make a double batch.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Date Balls
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups medjool dates chopped
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup coconut flakes , unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for rolling optional

Instructions

  • Add dates, almonds, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and coconut flakes in a food processor. Pulse for several seconds, then remove lid and use a spatula to push ingredients down the side of the bowl. Continue this process until a fairly consistent texture is achieved.
  • Roll the batter into balls and roll balls with sesame seeds.
  • Keep date balls stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

If your dates are firm, be sure to soften them up first. Remove the pits and chop into pieces and then place in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 10-second increments until tender. Be careful, dates can get very hot very quickly!
Nutrition Facts
Date Balls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 161mg5%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 22IU0%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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15 Responses to Energy Date Balls — Vegan, GF, Paleo

  1. Hey Marly! I remember you mentioning these at some point. I’m so glad you posted them, as I’ve seen recipes like this before. But never with cocoa and coconut-that sounds awesome! I’m going to try them…
    p.s. Thanks for mentioning me here-it makes me feel good that you appreciated my post. It makes me feel even better though that you called me your ‘friend’. Score (smile)!

  2. I love dates! Never really use them in anything other than date squares, this will be a great alternative. Beautiful pics Marly! I have a feeling these are very addictive.

  3. These remind me of larabars (which I love). I need to start making these at home though. So much more affordable. Thank you for sharing love. I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

  4. YUM! I will have to make these! I’ve been making homemade Larabar-type snacks as of late, and they’re so much better and cheaper. Nice work! 🙂

  5. These do certainly look delicious! Good for you for deciding to cut down on sugar. I’ve recently been forced to do the same because of pre-diabetes. I am not what you’d think of as a typical diabetic…slender, fit, always ate healthfully. Like you, I love to bake, and there ain’t no way I am giving that up! But I’ve found a number of ways to modify my recipes for myself and my family, to make more healthful things that still feel like treats. And I still bake some serious goodies, because everyone needs to indulge once in a while!

  6. yumyum, I still have dates,…mh…. but I think next thing on the shopping list would be a food processor 🙂
    ChopChop – thanks for the idea!

    • I guess you could do a lot of chopping, but a food processor does make things a little easier. They do make the little mini ones that are not too expensive.

  7. Marly, thanks so much for the recipe and for posting on foodgawker! I tried these yesterday and they were absolutely outstanding. I made a few minor adjustments: no coconut (none on hand at the time, but will add when I make them again) and used raw almonds for nuts, added a teaspoon of cinnamon. I pulsed everything in the processor together, and it was great. After shaping, I rolled them in about 1 cup of pistachio nuts that I pulsed finely with two tablespoons of cocoa powder. Wonderful treat! Posting your link to share with everyone. Great, versatile recipe. Thanks!

    • Wow! Your changes to the recipe sound delicious! I can’t wait to check out your version on your site. Hope you have pics!!!

  8. I made these almost exactly to the recipe’s instructions. The only thing I did differently was to add a touch of orange blossom water and I used coconut for rolling. They are delicious. Easy too…!

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