Vegan and nut free chocolate hemp energy bites made with orange and raw cacao for a dessert-like snack high in protein and healthy fats.
Energy bites or balls are popular with plant-based eaters because they’re quick, easy, and nutrient dense. They can be a little high in sugar from the dates but I try to balance that with some coconut oil and high fibre ingredients like hemp (dates are, of course, also high in fibre).
If you’re active then they’re a perfect energy hit, or if you need a boost to get you through the afternoon. I often have one or two before a walk or workout.
These chocolate hemp energy bites are a nice bright twist for winter, with refreshing orange zest and juice. Make a batch, pop it in the freezer, and you’ll have snacks for the whole week!
- Dates: add sweetness and volume, plus they’re the glue that sticks everything together!
- Hemp Hearts: these provide protein and a creamy element.
- Raw Cacao: just a little adds a rich chocolate flavour.
- Coconut Oil: I always add a bit of oil in some form to energy bites. It makes for a much better texture and flavour.
- Orange Zest: from unwaxed organic oranges if you can, for the best taste.
- Orange Juice: this helps to hold the bites together more and adds more orange brightness.
Soak the dates beforehand if needed. Place the dates, hemp, cacao, coconut oil, orange zest, and orange juice into a food processor. Blend on high speed until the mixture comes together in a ball.
Use your hands to form the dough into small balls, rinsing off as needed to prevent sticking. Place the bites onto a board or plate and freeze for 15 minutes.
Once the bites have chilled, place them into an airtight container. Keep in the freezer for up to a month, or refrigerate up to a week. I recommend freezing if possible as they are a bit soft when refrigerated.
Notes and Substitutions
These are date based and high in natural sugars. I don’t have any problem with that, but if you need to avoid sugar, this probably isn’t the recipe for you. There is not a substitute for dates.
If you prefer, use regular cocoa instead of the raw stuff. Don’t mix it up with drinking cocoa, which has sugar and other ingredients like milk powder added.
Coconut oil helps to keep the bites solid, so I don’t recommend switching it for a liquid oil.
Depending on how soft your dates are, you might need to add an extra splash of orange juice (or water). If they’re really dry, soak in hot water for half an hour before blending. I usually use deglet nour and sometimes medjool.
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- 120 grams (1/2 cup, packed) soft dates
- 120 grams (1/2 cup) hemp hearts
- 3 tablespoon raw cacao
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Zest of an orange
- Juice of 1/2 an orange (~2 tablespoons)
- Soak the dates beforehand if needed.
- Place the dates, hemp, cacao, coconut oil, orange zest, and orange juice into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
- Blend on high speed until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Use your hands to form the dough into small balls, rinsing off as needed to prevent sticking.
- Place the bites onto a board or plate and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Once the bites have chilled, place them into an airtight container.
- Keep in the freezer for up to a month, or refrigerate up to a week. I recommend freezing if possible as they are a bit soft when refrigerated.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
This post was first published in March 2018. It has been most recently updated as of March 2021.