Peanut Butter Energy Balls with Dates

These delicious Peanut Butter Energy Balls with Dates are so good for you, but they’re also scrumptious treats made with fewer than 10 ingredients and ready in 10 minutes. Filled with shredded coconut, peanut butter, Omega-3 rich ground flax seeds, and, of course, chocolate chips, these no-bake energy bites will keep you going strong!

A mound of peanut butter energy balls sits on a white plate. The top ball has a bite taken out. There are two bowls in the background, one with dates and the other with oats.

When I set out to make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls, the idea was to make my favorite peanut butter balls more nutritious. What I created instead was a delicious treat that we love just as much as cookies. The good news? These energy balls are much healthier than cookies so we enjoy having them around nearly every day!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using dates means these energy bites are all naturally-sweetened with no added refined sugars
  • Ground flaxseed creates a perfect texture for these bites and contributes healthy omega-3s.
  • Dark chocolate chips add pops of color and delicious chocolate flavor to every bite!
Ingredients are laid out on a table. The labels next to each ingredient reads, Chocolate chips, vanilla, peanut butter, oats, coconut flakes, flaxseed, and dates.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Peanut butter — You can use creamy or natural peanut butter for this recipe or substitute almond butter or seed butter.
  • Medjool Dates — Prefer your energy balls without dates? You can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of agave nectar or maple syrup.
  • Vanilla — You’ll need a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but you can substitute a scrape of fresh vanilla beans. I have also experimented with different extracts, such as coconut extract when I want even more coconut flavor or even banana extract. When I try extracts besides vanilla, I reduce it to 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at most as some extracts have stronger flavors than vanilla.
  • Oats — Rolled oats give the best texture, but you can also use instant oats (just be prepared you may need to add more instant oats).
  • Coconut flakes — I prefer unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • Ground flaxseed — The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds. Some people find the texture is too much, so you can experiment with reducing it to 1/4 cup (or somewhere in between). If you reduce the flaxseed, you should also reduce the peanut butter or add a bit more oats to compensate.
  • Chocolate chips — Use this guide to find the best dairy-free chocolate chip brands, including some that are sugar-free.

Ingredient Spotlight

A mound of Medjool dates sit in a glass bowl on a white counter.

What Are Medjool Dates?

Medjool dates are soft and chewy with a rich, caramel-like flavor. Compared to regular dates that are firmer, Medjool dates are perfect for using raw in these energy date balls. Native to Morocco, Medjool dates may appear to be a dried fruit like raisins, but they are actually a fruit. Removing the pit is crucial as it is hard and can cause damage to your food processor blades. You can find Medjool dates at a number of stores like Sprouts, health food stores, and even Costco.

How to Make Energy Balls

  1. Place the oats and pitted dates in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
    Pitted dates and oats are in the bottom of a food processor bowl waiting to be processed.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pulse for a few seconds.
    Ingredients such as peanut butter, flaxseed, coconut flakes, and ground up oatmeal with dates.
  3. Use a spatula to push down the ingredients and pulse again until the ingredients are combined.
  4. Test the batter. It should stick together between your fingers. If not, add another date or two and pulse to combine.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and pulse in short bursts until combined.
    The energy balls meal is in a bottom of a food processor with chocolate chips.
  6. Reserve a few chocolate chips to roll the finished energy balls to make them look irresistible.
  7. Roll the dough into bite-size balls, roll in reserved chocolate chips, and then store in the fridge.
  8. Allow the energy balls some time to chill in the fridge for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow them to firm up or eat them in their ooey-gooey-room-temperature state.

Storage Tips

Store energy bites in an airtight container where they will keep at room temperature for up to 7 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze them in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.

Frequently-Asked Questions

How many calories are in peanut butter energy balls?

Depending on the size of the energy ball, there are anywhere from 90–110 calories each. However, because they’re loaded with fiber and healthy fats, each energy ball is filling and delicious!

Are energy balls good for you?

Energy balls with dates are made with nutritious and filling ingredients, like oats, flax meal, spices, and more. Each energy ball is typically full of fiber, protein, Omega-3s, and even healthful fats. They’re a perfect nutritious snack!

Also, if you love chocolate and peanut butter, these homemade Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are low sugar and delicious!

Marly’s Tips

Use these tips to make these peanut butter energy balls perfect every time:

  • To make this no-bake protein balls recipe, I use oatmeal (I prefer rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. If you use instant oats be prepared to add more to get the best consistency
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to make chocolate energy balls.
  • After you mix it up in the food processor, pinch a little bit of the dough off and see if it packs together nicely. If not, add more peanut butter or some maple syrup to add “stickiness.”
  • Roll them into balls right away as the dough has less binding power as it sits.
A bowl is full of energy balls and there are more on the table top around the bowl.

What I Love About Homemade Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These homemade peanut butter protein balls are:

  • Easy to make — make them with less than 10 ingredients and 10 minutes!
  • Good For You — they’re packed with Omega 3s thanks to the ground flax seeds
  • Lightly sweetened — so if you’re trying to reduce sugar, these are a perfect lightly sweet treat
  • Satisfying — with the addition of dark chocolate chips, they’re so satisfying
  • Energetic — they’re a perfect, pick-me-up snack or even for breakfast with a cup of hot tea!

Need I say more?

Energy Bites with Coconut

I love making energy-infused protein bites with coconut because they add flavor and even a little bit of crunch. Of course, there’s some nutrition involved as well.

Interestingly enough, coconuts are actually a fruit (not a nut). Coconuts are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

A hand holds an energy ball with a bite taken out, hovering over a bowl with more of the energy balls. There are three of the treats on the table beside the bowl.

Energy Ball Favorites

There are a lot of great energy ball recipes to be made. In fact, once you have the foundation of the protein ball recipe down, you can begin altering it in myriad ways.

A bowl holds a mound of peanut butter energy bites with chocolate chips.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These Peanut Butter Energy Balls are packed with lots of good-for-you ingredients such as flaxseed, oats, coconut, and dark chocolate chips.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 126kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (about 10 dates with pits removed) (substitute 1/4 cup agave nectar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (see notes)
  • cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Place the oats and pitted dates in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips and pulse for a few seconds. Use a spatula to push down the ingredients and pulse again until the ingredients are combined. Test the batter. It should stick together between your fingers. If not, add another date or two and pulse to combine.
  • Add the chocolate chips and pulse in short bursts until combined. Reserve a few chocolate chips to roll the finished energy balls to make them look irresistible.
  • Roll the dough into bite-size balls, roll in reserved chocolate chips, and then store in the fridge. Allow the energy balls some time to chill in the fridge for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow them to firm up or eat them in their ooey-gooey room temperature state.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

Substitute 1 cup of pitted Medjool dates for the sweetener to keep this whole-foods focused.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 35mg1%
Potassium 171mg5%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 11IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 29mg3%
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.

13 Responses to Peanut Butter Energy Balls with Dates

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKara Brook Reply

    Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing our Autumn harvest! ;0)

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLaura @ Raise Your Garden Reply

    I love these as a mid morning pick me up when I’m getting sluggish or post workout. Or pre-workout out. Might throw out a few peanut butter chip in them too!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Laura. Great idea to have these for a mid-morning pick-me-up. I find when I pair these with a cup of hot tea, they’re really filling! I think it must be from all that great flax seed meal. Bring on the Omega-3s!! xoxo!!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlysonaly Reply

    its super delicious.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Just like you! xoxoxo

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCindy Reply

    I think my daughter would love these! As a college student with not a lot of cooking experience, it is a perfect recipe for something sweet to share that can give her energy to get the studying done (I may be dreaming a bit)!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      My daughter is in college too! And I tested them out on her and she really liked them. I haven’t tried having her make them yet, but I thought about sending her off this semester with an “Energy Bite Kit”. I’m going to put the ingredients in a bag and send them off with her so she can make it herself. She’ll have to use a spoon instead of a food processor, but I think it will work!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKathryn Reply

    Hey, I just found your blog through these delicious-looking bites, and I was excited to see that you’re from Missouri! I live in Springfield. It seems like most food bloggers live in California or Toronto, so it’s nice to see someone from my state. 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Yay Missouri! I love this state. We have four seasons, beautiful hills, an arch, and some amazing accents. I personally think people from the areas surrounding Springfield have the best accents. I just love that southern Missouri drawl. Glad to have met you!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDarcey Reply

    Hi! What’s the measurement on the agave/honey/syrup? 1/4 what? Thanks!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Darcey
      First of all – awesome name! Second, it should say “cup” or “up-cay” if you’re speaking pig latin…which I’m sure you’re not, but you know, just in case. 🙂 xoxo!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPamela Reply

    So excited to try these. Can you sub dried dates for the sweetener?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Pamela,
      I’ve used dates in this recipe frequently and your comment makes me realize I need to add a note to that effect. I love using whole food sweeteners like dates and it adds stickiness to this recipe to keep the energy balls compact. Hope you enjoy them!

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