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 big walk or workout. We are quite active so it’s nice to have easy snacks like this on hand.
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!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Dates: there’s no need to use expensive medjool dates for this recipe. Smaller dates will work just as well and can be soaked beforehand if needed.
- Hemp hearts: don’t mix this up with hemp seeds, which contain the outer hull and are crunchy. Hemp hearts are soft.
- Coconut oil: this helps to keep the bites solid, so I don’t recommend switching it for a liquid oil.
- Orange zest: from unwaxed organic oranges if you can, for the best taste. Wash with warm water before using.
Step by Step
Step 1: soak the dates beforehand if needed. Place the dates, hemp, cacao, coconut oil, orange zest, and orange juice into a food processor.
Step 2: blend until the mixture comes together in a ball.
Step 3: use your hands to form the dough into small balls, rinsing off as needed to prevent sticking. Freeze for a few minutes.
Step 4: Once the bites have chilled, place them into an airtight container.
These are date based and high in natural sugars. 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.
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.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Freezing: freeze for up to a month in an airtight container. I recommend freezing if possible as they are a bit soft when refrigerated.
More No-Bake Snacks
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Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites
- 120 grams soft dates
- 120 grams hemp hearts
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Zest of an orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 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.120 grams soft dates, 120 grams hemp hearts, 3 tablespoons raw cacao, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, Zest of an orange, 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 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.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in March 2018. It has been most recently updated as of March 2021.
If you’re looking for approachable, seasonal vegetarian recipes, you’re in the right place! Occasionally Eggs is all about healthier plant based recipes that follow the seasons.