Imagine enjoying these brownie-like Chocolate No Bake Energy Balls made with fewer than 10 ingredients! These healthy cookie-like energy bites are made with heart-healthy oats, coconut, Omega-3 rich walnuts and ground flax seeds, and, of course, cocoa powder.
I started making energy bites about four years ago, after my first Chopped Conference here in KC. We brought in local chefs to prepare delicious food for our attendees, and one of them brought energy bites. I had never heard of them before, but because I was SO busy getting the conference ready I hadn’t really eaten much that day.
Every time I walked by his table I grabbed an energy bite or two. Sure enough, they gave me lots of energy!
Are Energy Bites Healthy?
Energy bites are a lot of wholesome ingredients combined in a food processor and pulsed until a dough forms. In the case of these chocolate no bake energy balls, I’m using walnuts, ground flax seeds, cocoa powder, dates, and more to create some super healthy energy balls!
Energy Balls Ingredients
These no bake energy balls use a minimal number of ingredients. But they’re carefully selected to deliver the best healthy benefit per bite! Here’s the entire list of ingredients:
- oatmeal (I used old fashioned, or rolled oats)
- dates (be sure to take the pits out)
- cocoa powder
- ground flax seeds
- coconut (although this is optional)
- vanilla extract
- dairy-free chocolate chips (another optional ingredient, but highly recommended!).
You’re eight ingredients away from these delicious little morsels!
How to Make Energy Balls
First, you’ll put the oatmeal and walnuts in a food processor. I like to pulse these two together to create a course meal. Sort of like the texture of course sand.
Then, you’ll add the dates and remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is broken down and the mixture forms a ball in the food processor. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the ingredients from the side of the bowl. And you may need to add a few more dates. That’s because dates vary in size.
My rule of thumb is, if you can grab a spoonful and squeeze it in your hand it stays together, you’re good to go. But if it’s still crumbly, you’ll want to add another date or two or a tablespoon of agar nectar if you’re out of dates. Then pulse that for a few more seconds to combine.
It helps to use a cookie dough scooper to create equally sized chocolate no bake energy balls.
Energy Bites as Gifts
I packaged some of these energy balls up and gave them as a gift to a new neighbor I met recently. I think they make a perfect edible gift because they’re so healthy, but also really delicious.
It’s easy to feel flummoxed about what to give people. Don’t you think? What if they have gluten issues? What if they’re trying to avoid refined sugars or carbs?
These chocolate no bake energy balls are teaming with healthy ingredients and loved by all! They taste like brownie bites, to be completely honest!
However, I was sure to leave a note with a link to the recipe, because you know, I want them to know they are legit good! I also like adding a few more chocolate chips when I roll up the energy bites. You can see in the photo below I didn’t do that. They still look and taste delicious, but the added chocolate chips really helps them stand out!
What I love About Chocolate No Bake Energy Balls
If you’re trying to break the refined sugar habit (and who isn’t these days!), these no bake energy balls are the bomb!
Why do I love them? Let me count the ways:
- They’re made with dates which add nutritious sweetness
- I used lots of walnuts, adding omega-3s to the list of reasons why these are so healthy
- Energy balls are just rich enough that you won’t overindulge
- They’re oh-so-easy to make
- Perfect for a pre or post workout snack
- I love to have one after lunch every day to make sure I’m getting my Omega-3s and to quench my sweet tooth’s thirst for something chocolate!
I’ll make a batch or two of these energy balls and keep them either in the fridge or in a sealed container on the counter. We nibble on them throughout the week, some days eating more than others!
Energy Bites with Dates
You have options for how you sweeten your energy bites. I love using dates because they’re so nutritious and sweet! Also, dates add the stickiness you need to keep the energy bites sticking together
Of course you have options to sweeten your energy balls. Here are some alternative sweeteners you can use:
- agave nectar
- maple syrup
- honey (some vegans don’t eat honey, but we do as long as the honey is organic)
- rice syrup
When it comes to these sweeteners, start with 3 tablespoons, then taste, and add additional if needed depending on your taste for sweetness and the stickiness of the dough. That’s because the syrup adds both sweetness and stickiness so you’ll need enough to hold the energy bites together.
I have tried using bananas to make energy bites sweet, but they haven’t worked as well for me.
There’s no guilt in eating these delicious no bake energy balls as a sweet treat!
We hope you love these Chocolate No Bake Energy Balls as much as we do! If you decide to make them, grab your camera and snap a photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram.
These Chocolate No Bake Energy Balls may taste like brownies, but they deliver the punch of some healthy, delicious ingredients, like dates, walnuts, and ground flax seeds.
- ½ cup oatmeal uncooked
- 1 cup walnuts , whole
- 1 cup medjool dates , seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup coconut flakes , unsweetened
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Place everything except the chocolate chips in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds and push down the ingredients and pulse again until the ingredients are combined.
Add the chocolate chips and give it one more very quick pulse to combine. I like to reserve a few chocolate chips to roll the finished energy bites to make them look irresistible.
Roll the dough into bite-size balls, roll in extra chocolate chips if you'd like (and who doesn't?), and then store in the fridge. Allow the energy bites some time to chill in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes before serving to allow them to firm up or eat them in their ooey gooey room temperature state.
I use about 8 - 10 medjool dates in this recipe.
I minimized the use of ground flax seed in this recipe because the walnuts are providing some of the Omega-3s too.
If you’re loving these energy bites and want to try some different varieties, be sure and check out these Coconut Lemon Energy Bites from Jessica in the Kitchen. They’re almost too pretty to eat!
I think I could find a way, though!
I’m so in love with these sugar cookie energy bites! They really taste like sugar cookies, but without the sugar high. I know, I know. That might sound a little sad, but the energy bite high is better!