These coconut date balls are fast and simple to make, and are vegan, gluten-free and paleo! They only require 4 ingredients to make with no refined sugars, and are perfect healthier treat for kids and adults.
Energy bites are one of my favorite snacks to meal prep (these No Bake Energy Balls 7 Ways are proof!). While experimenting with date-based energy bites, I ended up with this coconut date ball recipe, and it is sooo good.
Not only are they free from nut butters, but they require four simple ingredients: dates, maple syrup, coconut flour and cocoa powder.
These date balls come together in minutes and are perfect for stocking up the kids snack drawer.
Reasons you'll love coconut date balls
- they require less than 4 ingredients, and take only about 20 minutes to make
- they are raw, vegan, and gluten-free
- great for kids or a healthier anytime treat
Wondering how this recipe comes together? Watch this 1-minute video to see how! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
Don't forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
- medjool dates - which often come with the pit in. You will need to slice the pit out (see the video at the bottom of this post for a tutorial on how to do this). Other types of dates may not work in this recipe as they have not been tested.
- cocoa powder - for a hint of chocolate flavor
- maple syrup - as a moist sweetener that helps the balls stick together
- coconut flour - the base needed for great firm texture and smooth consistency. I do not recommend swapping for any other flour- more on that below.
Soak your dates to get them sticky
When dates become older, they tend to dry out. Soaking the dates in hot water before processing can revive old dates, and generally makes them sticky, which is essential for the balls to stick together.
When transferring soaked dates to the food processor, we gently shake off excess water.
Coconut flour is the magic ingredient
Something magical happens when these four ingredients are combined, and the coconut flour is definitely the 'secret sauce'. I've made this with almond flour and they were incredibly soft (even when increasing the almond flour), and have also made this with rolled oats (also much softer).
For firm, easy to roll date balls (with a delicious coconutty flavor) do not skip the coconut flour!
Chill before rolling
Before rolling the balls, it helps to put the food processor in the fridge for 10 minutes. This cools all the ingredients down a bit and makes them easy peasy to roll.
- TIP- use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for perfect and evenly sized energy bites
Prep now for easy snacks later
These date balls work so well for meal prep as they can be stored in the fridge or freezer for easy snacks.
- fridge- store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.
- freezer- store in a reusable silicone freezer bag or a meal prep container for up to 3 months
These balls hold up best fresh from the fridge but do OK in a lunchbox for a few hours.
Here are some ideas (note that these are just suggestions and have not all been tested)
- peppermint- try ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- gingerbread- try 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (adapted from my fave Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Energy Bites recipe!)
- peanut butter- add ¼-1/2 cup peanut butter, roll in chopped peanuts
- mocha- add 1 tablespoon espresso powder
More healthy snack recipes:
- Easy Homemade Protein Bars (Cinnamon Roll)
- Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- Kids Snack Drawer Meal Prep
- Chocolate Tahini Oat Bars
- 7 Homemade Granola Bars
- 20 medjool dates (pitted)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅔ cup coconut flour * see note
- shredded coconut
- crushed nuts
- sesame seeds
- Cover dates with boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes.
- Shaking excess water off the dates, transfer to a food processor along with the cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut flour and salt.
- Blend on low until everything is completely mixed and blended together.
- Use a cookie scoop to form 1 tablespoon sized balls and roll in the palm of your hand.
- To get toppings to stick, you can immerse in the soaking liquid for a second, shaking extra liquid off before rolling in the toppings.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freeze for longer term storage.
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