Healthy never tasted so good with these No-Bake Date Energy Balls. Naturally nutty and sweet with a slight bit of crunch, these date balls taste like a treat while being good for you.
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Whether you are looking for healthy snacks to refuel with after a hard workout, are looking for filling but nutritious mid-afternoon snack ideas, want to provide your kiddos with more beneficial snacks, these No Bake Date Energy Balls are vegan and gluten-free, require only one bowl and a food processor, and are beloved by children and adults alike!
I've been on a roll lately. I've been so lucky to find healthy treats that are surprisingly healthy for how delicious and satisfying they are. These No-Bake Date Energy Balls are another such example. Full of nut butter, flax meal, chia seed, dates and other nutritious ingredients, they provide clean energy while also providing flavor that keeps on bringing me back for more.
The first mock-treat that got me hooked was Joy Food Sunshine's No-Bake Oatmeal Bars. One look at those beauties and I knew it would be love. And it was: within 24 hours of making, them I was calling friends asking if they would like to try some-please-before-I-eat-them-all-thank-you.
Next, it was Ambitious Kitchen's Chickpea Blondies - full of an addicting texture but somehow without any processed sugar. And really-- garbanzo beans? Mind blown. How inspiring to think of all the ways we can re-purpose ingredients we already have on hand for healthier sweet treats.
And most recently it was Kale Junkie's Life-Changing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know I've written about these before... and I guess that's a testament to how life changing they are. The texture they have without any flour is something that should be recorded in the Guiness book of world records. And something I've continued to think about since.
With such inspiration on my plate, my gears have been turning on how to think more outside of the box with my own recipes. Can I do something more surprising with tahini? Can I incorporate more omega-3s into snacks? Develop healthy treats that I can eat on hungry training days that are also replenishing my body?
These energy balls scream yes! With any nut or seed butter you have on hand -- peanut, almond, sunflower seed butter, or tahini, dates, flax meal, chia seed, oatmeal, and a few seasonings, they're full of healthy and whole ingredients but naturally sweet in a way that moves the energy balls from the snack category to the treat-snack category.
Experiment with which nut butter you like the best: I love the tahini energy balls, but Chris loves the peanut butter energy balls. Either way, I hope they inspire you to think about snacking -- and treating -- in a new, inspiring, and energizing way.
These Date Energy Balls Are...
- Quick and easy to make
- Hearty & Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
- Perfect as an on-the-go post-workout snack
- An energizing at-work snack
- Versatile and can be made with whatever nut butter you have on hand
- Easily made vegan
And most importantly... they're delicious and filling without being overwhelming!
In fact, this afternoon I was lagging around 3 o'clock. Hungry and tired, I grabbed two of these guys and within 20 minutes of eating them, my focus and energy had returned. It feels good to know I'm armed with healthy and good-for-me snacks!
What ingredients are needed for these date balls?
Medjool dates - the larger, softer dates are the best for this recipe. They're sweet, jammy, and blend up nicely for these date balls.
Tahini - the creaminess of the tahini helps bind the date balls together and the savory flavor helps balance the flavor of the balls so they don't get sickenly sweet.
Banana - because this fruit is soft, it blends up very smoothly and helps bind the balls together.
Ground cinnamon - this spice adds a sweet note to the balls without adding any extra sugar.
Almond meal - this ground nut meal adds nuttiness and depth of flavor to the recipe. Make sure to grab almond meal, not almond flour, for best results.
Flaxseed meal - this ground seed provides fiber and healthy fatty acids to the date balls and also helps to bind them together.
Old fashioned oats - this ingredient provides a heartiness and satisfaction to the date balls because of the type of fiber in the oats. They also add a nice nutty flavor.
Chia seeds - these seeds give the date balls a nice crunch, some extra fiber, and the host of nutrient benefits that chia seeds provide.
Chocolate chips - add a little indulgence to your date balls with some chocolate! Just a conservative amount of the chips keeps the recipe healthy, too.
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Ingredient substitutions you can make in this recipe:
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are difficult to substitute for, unfortunately, so try to stick with as close to the original list of ingredients in order to have the best result. There are the two ingredients you can substitute in, however.
Nut butter for Tahini: you can easily substitute in peanut butter or almond butter in for the tahini. Bring your nut butter to room temperature before using if you substitute it in.
Quick oats for old fashioned oats: you can substitute in the quick-cooking oat in place of the old fashioned oats. If your mixture isn't thick, enough, however, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons in at a time until the batter reaches your desired consistency.
Popular Questions About Making Date Energy Balls:
Are energy balls good for you?
These date and oatmeal energy balls are good for you because they are full of healthy fats from nut or seed butters, fiber, protein, and have no processed sugar. Since they are made with dates and banana in them, they technically have fruit in them, too!
If you're following a gluten-free or vegan diet, these energy bites fit into both of those lifestyles as well!
Can you eat raw oats in energy balls?
Yep! It is safe to eat raw oats in any form. Here, the oats are blended down into the energy balls so they mix into the rest of the batter nicely so there aren't many big flakes of oatmeal to chew.
How long do protein or energy balls last in the refrigerator?
Protein or energy balls should last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just make sure they're in an airtight container, otherwise they will dry out and not last the full two weeks.
Can I freeze protein balls?
I don't usually freeze my protein or energy balls since they don't last that long around here, but you can do it. Just seal them up in an airtight freezer-safe Ziploc bag and then defrost at room temperature for about an hour.
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How do you use medjool dates?
Pretty simple! Just slice the date from top to bottom, open them up and remove the seed from the middle. You can also push down on the end with the "navel" and peel it open (like you would an orange) to get the seed out.
Medjool dates are great in smoothies, as a natural sweetener in an energy bar or bite, on salads, wrapped with bacon and grilled, and they're also amazing just on their own!
Are medjool dates vegan?
Yes! They are a fruit so they are vegan. If you're using dates that are chopped and tossed in sugar, however, they will likely not be vegan unless that sugar is vegan.
What type of dates are best for date balls?
Medjool dates are the best type of dates for date balls. Medjool dates are the larger, softer dates. The fresher the dates, the better, too, as they're softer and blend up easier in these energy balls.
How do you store date balls?
Store your energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you want them to last even longer than that, you can freeze them in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. When you go to enjoy your frozen date balls, just defrost them in the fridge for a few hours before enjoying.
How to make these date energy bites-- a quick overview:
- Combine the nut or seed butter, banana, dates, almond meal, salt, cinnamon, and flax meal in a food processor or blender and blend until no chunks of banana or dates remain.
- Pulse in the chia seeds and oatmeal until the oats are pretty well combined into the batter and there are no big flakes remaining.
- Dump the batter out of the food processor into a bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber scraper until they are pretty evenly distributed throughout.
- Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the batter starts to firm up.
- Either spray your hands with cooking spray or spread them with coconut oil and then roll the 1 1/2 tablespoon scoops of batter into energy balls.
- Serve the balls immediately or move to an airtight container in the refrigerator and store for up to 2 weeks.
What tools do you need to make these date energy balls?
Other healthy and energizing snack recipes:
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabars - bring it back to childhood with ingredients you can feel good about enjoying as an adult! Dates, peanuts, and raisins come together for a quick and healthy energy bar you can enjoy any time of day.
- Mae's Mean Green Smoothie - enjoy a green smoothie with bright and light flavors of pineapple, coconut, and kombucha! Delivering in healthy greens and probiotics, this is a smoothie or smoothie bowl that delivers on flavor and nutrition.
- Cranberry & White Chocolate Chip Larabars - Flavors of white chocolate and cranberry can now be enjoyed in a healthier format! With just dates, peanuts, dried cranberries, and white chocolate, these are whole-foods based energy bars that are better for you.
- Vegan Chia Pudding Parfaits - chia pudding is back, but this time with even more flavor! Warming spices, bright pops of golden raisins, and crunchy granola clusters combine for a healthy and heartwarming snack!
- Vanilla Spiced Coconut Granola - crunchy and clustery granola that is oh-so-perfect on yogurt for breakfast or an afternoon snack!
- Protein Breakfast Cookies - you will never guess these cookies have no processed sugar (except for the chocolate chips!) or butter! They are nutty, just-sweet-enough-for-breakfast, and chock-full of satisfying nuts, raisins, and chocolate.
Looking for other healthy snack ideas? Check out my 10 BEST Thrive Market Snacks!
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Easy and energizing No Bake Date Balls! All you need is a food processor, bowl, and 30 minutes of chilling time.
Choose the nut or seed butter of your choice -- I love tahini, peanut butter, and almond butter!
To keep these date balls vegan use a dairy-free or vegan chocolate chip!
- 1/2 cup tahini (or almond butter or peanut butter)
- 1 large, ripe banana
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- Add the tahini through flax meal to a food processor high-speed blender and blend until the batter is smooth and there are no more chunks of banana or date left, about 45 seconds- 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the blender and then pulse in the oats and chia seeds until just combined about 15 or so pulses.
- Dump the batter into a medium-size mixing bowl and then mix in the chocolate chips with a rubber scraper. The batter will be soft and doughy, but that's ok.
- Cover the mixing bowl and chill for 30-45 minutes, or until the batter firms up.
- Wet your hands with water (this will help keep the dough from sticking to you) and roll the batter into balls by the 1 1/2 tablespoon. Place them on a large plate or small cookie sheet not touching. Cover the energy balls with plastic wrap.
- Chill the energy balls covered in the fridge until serving, or enjoy right away!
- These will store in the fridge covered for 1.5-2 weeks. They will store well in the freezer for 1-2 months in an airtight Ziploc freezer bag.
- Moderately ripe bananas are best for this-- you don't need an overly ripe and brown banana.
- For certified gluten-free energy balls, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Serving Size1 ball
Amount Per Serving Calories 147Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 11mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 3g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.