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Cocoa, date and oat energy balls

 In Dessert, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian, Videos

Cocoa, date and oat energy balls are a great, healthy snack that feels indulgent and decadent but can be enjoyed guilt-free.



Date, cocoa and oat bites

You guys, what is happening with this year? How is it almost Valentine’s day?! I’m not even properly back into the swing of things yet and we already have to focus on this day filled with hearts and love and shmooziness? I just don’t feel like I’m ready for it. But then I remember that chocolate comes along with this day I don’t really celebrate and my mood lifts a little.

Date, cocoa and oat bitesDate, cocoa and oat bites

And even though I never feel guilt when eating chocolate (you only live once, you know?), I know many people do so I thought of ways to get you that intense chocolate hit with no guilt and I decided to turn the date and oat balls I always make into a super-chocolatey, delectable little bite of yumminess. I’ve stuffed them with good-for-you ingredients that not only add flavor but also add texture and crunch.

The other wonderful thing about these little bites is that they are completely customizable. Don’t like peanut butter? No problem, exchange it for cashew, almond or macadamia butter. Want them to be more Nutella-y? Add a handful of hazelnuts instead of the salted peanuts. You can use agave, honey or another alternative instead of the maple syrup, etc. The only ingredients that have to stay are the dates, oats and good quality cocoa powder. Other than that, go crazy.

Date, cocoa and oat bites

So now you have a delicious little snack for Valentine’s Day (and beyond), which also makes for an awesome lunchbox filler, btw, so you can ready yourself for the insane chocolate cake recipe I’ll be posting tomorrow. Get excited!


Cocoa, date and oat bites
Prep time
Total time
Cocoa, date and oat protein balls are a great, healthy snack that feels indulgent and decadent but can be enjoyed guilt-free.
Recipe type: Date balls, snack, lunchbox, vegan
Serves: 15-20 balls
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • ¾ cup good quality cocoa powder
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
for the coating
  • desiccated coconut
  • cocoa powder
  • chopped nuts
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until relatively smooth. The mixture will start clumping together.
  2. With damp hands, form the mixture into little balls then roll into coconut, chopped nuts or cocoa powder.
  3. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before eating. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to a week.



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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 14 comments
  • Rebecca Q.

    I generally like your recipes; Unfortunately, this recipe tasted like dirt. I followed the directions-I only made a half batch. Would that be the problem?

    • Alida Ryder

      I’m so sorry to hear that Rebecca. It could be but it shouldn’t influence the taste that much. Was it the texture or the taste that put you off? If the mixture was too dry it could be that the dates you used weren’t as juicy as mine. Medjool dates (or fresh dates) are much more jammy in consistency so they add a lot more moisture to the mix. I’d love to figure out why this recipe didn’t work for you so please let me know.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings

    I love making snack bites like this and these look like they are packed with flavor. They look especially good with all that coconutty goodness inside and out!

    • Alida Ryder

      Coconutty goodness is my favourite type of goodness. 😉 Thanks Karen!

  • Reply

    What a great idea for a Valentine’s Day healthy treat! I’d totally love a box of these! LOVE the video too!

    • Alida Ryder

      Thanks Mary Ann! They are a lovely home-made gift for someone special. 😉

  • Natasha

    I just got my food processor today and this was the second thing I made after grating carrots. ? I used different dates so I needed a few tablespoons of water to make the mixture sticky enough. But then it worked perfectly. They’re a bit too sweet for me so I’ll leave out the maple syrup next time. I really like that this recipe uses peanuts instead of expensive nuts like so many other recipes I came across.

  • Jordan

    I really wanted to like this recipe, but it fell flat. I followed the proportions exactly, and the mixture still didn’t come anywhere near as formed as in the pictures – instead, it was still very mealy. It also had virtually no sweetness at all. I tried adding some more peanut butter and maple syrup, but it just wasn’t wanting to come together. I let my kids try it anyway, and they thought it tasted bitter and unpleasant. So I tossed it. Sad to have wasted all those ingredients. Might have worked out without so much oatmeal and cocoa powder.

    • Alida Ryder

      Hi Jordan. I am so sorry that it didn’t work. The amount of dates with the peanut butter should give the mixture plenty of moisture. May I ask, which dates did you use when you made this?

  • Sabrina

    Yummy and healthy; love it! These remind me of something a coworker of mine made at my side cooking job at Sakara!

    • Alida Ryder

      They are really great little bites of goodness. Thanks for your comment Sabrina!

  • Lynne

    These will be devoured within the day….in fact it will be hard to wait the hour whilst they are in the fridge 🙂 They sound AMAZING !!!!!

    • Alida Ryder

      I’m afraid it’s the same here but I’m just too thankful my kids are snacking on something healthy for a change. 😉

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