These Chocolate Almond Energy Balls are perfect for an early morning snack or afternoon pick-me-up. Sweetened with dates and a hint of chocolate, they’re a healthy treat that everyone in my household loves!
Years ago my friend Amy shared a recipe for homemade energy bars. It wasn’t a precise recipe per se. It was more along the lines of “add a bit of this and a bit of that and then just mix it until you like the way it looks.” Every time I made it, it was so good. And since that day in her kitchen, I’ve made a variation of her bars many many times.
Eventually, my take on Amy’s energy bars developed into the “energy balls” recipe shared here. We always have a container of these in the fridge just waiting for anytime snacking.
What Are Energy Balls?
Energy balls are essentially mini energy bars that you can eat in one or two bites. They’re a simple, healthy, whole-food alternative to sugary snacks and give you a boost of energy without a sugar crash to follow. Sometimes they are also called “energy bites.”
What You’ll Need
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this energy balls recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Almonds – You’ll need whole, raw almonds. I have also used walnuts!
- Chocolate Chips – This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Dates – Healthy, full of fiber, and moderately sweet, soft pitted dates help the energy bites come together.
- Almond Butter – Almond butter has a more delicate flavor than peanut butter, but you can substitute peanut butter if you’d like.
- Water – Just a tablespoon or two to moisten the mixture.
- Wheat germ – This is optional, but does add a nice bit of crunch, as well as fiber, fat, and other nutrients.
How to Make Chocolate Almond Energy Balls
Making these little treats couldn’t be easier. All you need is a food processor!
- Process Almonds and Chocolate Chips. In a food processor grind the almonds and chocolate chips until they resemble coarse bread crumbs.
- Add Remaining Ingredients. Add the dates, vanilla and almond butter, then process until combined. Now add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture has the consistency of dough and holds its shape when pressed into a ball.
- Shape the Energy Balls. Scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Proceed with the rest of the mix until you have 14-16 bites. Place the wheat germ on a plate, then roll each bite in the wheat germ to coat. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.
How to Make These Into Bars
If you’d rather have energy bars than energy bites, that is no problem! Just follow these instructions to shape into bars.
- Prepare Your Pan. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread the Mixture in the Pan. Transfer the energy-bite mixture to the prepared pan. Spread and flatten the mixture evenly, using your hands or the back of a spoon coated with baking spray.
- Chill and Cut the Bars. Fold the excess plastic wrap over to cover the mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using the plastic wrap liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 12-14 bars, depending on size. Coat with wheat germ if desired.
Tips for Success
- Adjust as Needed: If your mixture won’t hold together, try adding more almond butter or some water about 1/2 a tablespoon at a time. This will make it more sticky and bind it together. If your mixture is too wet, try adding extra almonds or even extra chocolate chips.
- Add In Goodies: If you’d like, you can experiment with other ingredients to add flavor, nutrition, and texture. Try toasted oats, your favorite protein powder, dried cranberries or cherries for a sweet and tangy twist.
- Don’t Over-Process: Try to avoid over-processing the energy-bite mixture. Processing any type of nut will eventually result in, well, nut butter! And that will not hold together very well, and will be oily as the nuts release their oils. Instead, aim for a crumbly yet sticky mixture that holds together well when you roll or press it.
How to Store or Freeze for Later
- To refrigerate: Place the balls (or bars) in airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze: Freeze the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once they are solid, transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. For bars, wrap each bar in saran wrap and then place into a similar freezer-safe container. They will keep frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
No Bake Chocolate Almond Energy Bites Recipe
A sweet and healthy snack bite (or bar) recipe using almonds, dates, chocolate chips, and almond butter.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 15 bites
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup whole, raw almonds
- 3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup dates (pitted)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 to 3 tablespoons water
- 3–4 tablespoons wheat germ (optional)
Combine the ingredients: In a food processor grind the almonds and chocolate chips until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Add the dates, vanilla and almond butter, then process until combined. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture has the consistency of dough and holds its shape when pressed into a ball.
Bites: If shaping into bites (balls), scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Proceed with the rest of the mix until you have 14-16 bites. Place the wheat germ on a plate, then roll each bite in the wheat germ to coat. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.
Bars: If shaping into bars, line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan using your hands or the back of a spoon coated with baking spray. Fold the excess plastic wrap over to cover the mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using the plastic wrap liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 12-14 bars, depending on size. Coat with wheat germ if desired.
Storage: These bites/bars will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months in an airtight container.
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Keywords: energy bites, energy balls, no bake energy balls
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