These Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls are naturally sweetened only with DATES, yet they taste sweet and decadent, similar to an almond joy.
They are the perfect paleo/whole30 friendly afternoon snack, and since they pack a huge nutritional punch, they’ll give you a great burst of energy!
Plus, they’re super easy to make.
If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve done a Whole30 challenge. These were the perfect little morsels to get me through the tough times.
For those of you unfamiliar with the program, the Whole30 is not just a diet. It’s supposed to help you form new habits, train your body to not crave the “bad-for-you” stuff, and hopefully pinpoint exactly what kinds of foods don’t work well with your body.
The Whole30 definitely helped me develop more healthy habits that I’ve continued to follow well past the program!
And these AMAZING energy balls as a midday snack are definitely one habit I can get on board with- I love keeping them in my fridge for a sweet treat without the guilt.
These delicious chocolate coconut energy balls are the perfect edible pick-me-up in the middle of the day, and are 100% Whole30 and Paleo approved.
They are sweet, decadent tasting, and energy boosting. And, they are the perfect healthy thing to contribute to a party or potluck. My toddler also gobbles them up whenever I make them!
I find that the ritual of a midday break/light snack is super beneficial for me and my mental health during the day. Here’s why:
- It helps fight midday hanger. When I get home from a long day at work, or after a day of wrangling my kids while also somehow trying to cook, write blog posts, and take pretty photographs, I’M STARVING. That means going in for the tortilla chips before I even think about making dinner, no matter how quick and easy that dinner is. And don’t even try to stop me. With a snack like these energy balls, I should be able to make it without accidentally snapping at my kids or feeling super stressed.
- It enables a brain break. My brain gets so tired toward the late afternoon. I need a mental break from work. The ritual of taking a break, and sitting down for a fifteen minute break to sip a delicious beverage, munch on these chocolate coconut energy balls, and maybe read my favorite magazine or a few pages from my book is unbelievably rejuvenating during a work day.
This recipe for chocolate coconut energy balls makes 16, so you can stock your fridge, and they are SUPER easy to make.
And this may be a little dangerous to say out loud, but they taste almost exactly like Almond Joy candy bars. Smooth, creamy, chocolatey, coconuty, nutty, and sweet… but only sweetened with dates! That’s right- pure, natural dates.
These little bite-sized morsels really are a nutritional powerhouse to completely satisfy you. All you need is one, and you’re set!
Just add some pecans to your food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Feel free to use almonds, cashews, or other nuts if you want.
Add chopped, pitted dates, some unsweetened coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, and just a little bit of water to make it all come together. Turn your food processor on until it is well-mixed and holds together when you press it.
Using a tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into uniform ball shapes and roll in some more unsweetened coconut.
Place on a parchment covered sheet and refrigerate until more solidified (because coconut oil can melt or soften at room temperature, you’ll need to keep these refrigerated so they stay together).
After about thirty minutes, you can transfer the energy balls to a container or plastic bag to keep stored in the fridge.
I also love how versatile this recipe is. Don’t like pecans? Use almonds or walnuts. Nut allergy? Use sunflower seeds. Can’t find dried dates? Try figs.
The key is the consistency. If you watch the recipe video, you’ll see a point in which I squeeze the energy ball mixture together and it stays that way.
You want all the ingredients to be very small, and you want there to be a good liquid to “stuff” ratio so that they hold their shape.
Are you doing a Whole30 challenge? I have an entire archive of paleo and whole30 recipes, or recipes that are easily adaptable to be compliant.
Make sure you check it out!
Try out these Gingerbread Energy Balls, too!
Recipe below! Enjoy :-)
Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls with Pecans and Dates
- Put pecans (1/2 cup) in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
- Place 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the 1 tablespoon water to the food processor. Turn food processor on until very well mixed. If mixture seems too dry to stick together, add the water.
- Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out mixture and roll in balls.
- Coat each ball in the reserved 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
- Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes, until they harden.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to two weeks.
- Make it nut free: Substitute the pecans with sunflower seeds.
- Other substitutions: You can use almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pecans.
- A note on yield: I got 16 energy balls out of this, but the dates I used were big and the scoop I used was tiny. You may get a different total amount than I did depending on the size of your dates and how big you make them!
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.