Just four ingredients needed to make these healthy, protein-packed chocolate almond energy bites that taste like cookie dough but have no added sugar. Keep them in the fridge for a quick pick-me-up.
It’s possible that the most challenging thing about January this year was getting ourselves off the cookie habit that we picked up in December. There were a few too many Christmas cookies hanging around over the holidays this year. I was really needing to ease off the sugar, but still wanted something for my ever-present sweet tooth. These “energy bites” are pretty perfect for dessert (even though they have no added sugar), but they also come in handy for those so-hungry-can’t-quite-make-it-until-dinner moments. I wrote about these years ago, but in the past few weeks I’ve been playing around with the recipe. This version has an extra rich chocolate flavor and a super fudgy texture.
Dark Chocolate Almond Energy Bites Ingredients
- Nuts – We tested this recipe with both raw cashews and raw almonds. Cashews gave the energy bites the most creamy texture. Raw almonds gave them an even more intense almond flavor (though both had almond flavor from the almond butter).
- Pitted Dates – Look for medjool dates. If they contain pits, just slice them open and remove the pits before using them (it just takes a couple minutes).
- Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder gives these a rich, deep chocolate flavor. Any type will work – just look for it in the baking section.
- Almond Butter – To keep these energy bites free of added sugar, I use a natural almond butter like Justin’s, but any type will work. Don’t have almond butter? Peanut butter, cashew butter, any nut or seed butter will work!
How to Make Dark Chocolate Almond Energy Bites
(It couldn’t be easier!)
- Combine nuts and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until finely ground. All of the pieces should be roughly the size of sesame seeds (or smaller) and evenly mixed.
- Add cocoa powder and almond butter. Pulse until smooth. The mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers. If it seems dry, add more almond butter 2 tsp at a time.
- Roll into 1 Tbsp balls. For some extra fun, roll them in toppings – see below for ideas.
- Eat or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
- For extra nutrition – Add 1 Tbsp of chia seeds, hemp hearts, or flaxseed.
- For fun – Roll the balls in mini chocolate chips (gently press them into the dough as you roll it), cocoa powder, white sesame seeds, or sprinkles!
Cuisinart Food Processor – This thing is so powerful, it makes quick work of these energy bites.
Glass Prep Bowls – Great for doling out toppings. My kids love having all the toppings spread out in small bowls so they can mix and match.
Dark Chocolate Almond Energy Bites
- 1 cup Raw Cashews or Raw Almonds
- 8 oz (~16 medium dates) Pitted Medjool Dates
- 6 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 4 Tbsp Almond Butter (I use Justin’s; see note)
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- White Sesame Seeds
- Chocolate Sprinkles
- Combine cashews / almonds and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until finely ground. All of the pieces should be roughly the size of sesame seeds (or smaller) and evenly mixed.
- Add cocoa powder and almond butter. Pulse until smooth. The mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers. (Note: If it seems dry or crumbly, add more almond butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Due to the variations in almond butter and other ingredients, I have had to add up to 4 Tbsp extra to get a smooth, pliable texture.)
- Roll dough into heaping 1 Tbsp balls. (It helps to work the dough a bit with your hands before rolling it.)
- For some extra fun, roll them in any of the optional toppings. (If using mini chocolate chips, gently press them into the dough as you roll them.)
- These are great chilled or room temperature. (They are softer and most cookie-dough-like at room temp.)
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition information below assumes no additional toppings.
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