A sugar-free spin on a classic, these peanut butter balls are sweetened with dates (but still taste like peanut butter!) and held together with a bit of coconut flour. I’ve been making these for over a decade and they’re our very favourite version of this treat. These can be mixed without a food processor – see more on that below.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Peanut butter: this should be natural peanut butter, with only peanuts or perhaps salt in the ingredient list. Use chunky peanut butter if you like a little more texture.
- Dates: no need for fancy dates, I use the cheapest ones I can find – pitted, nameless dates – and soak them before blending.
- Coconut flour: there is no 1:1 substitution for this, and I do not recommend using wheat flour, which can made you sick when consumed uncooked. You could probably sub oat flour, starting with double the amount and then adding more if needed.
- Coconut oil: using an oil that’s solid at room temperature makes the peanut butter balls more stable and gives a better texture. Use refined if you don’t want a slight coconut flavour.
- Salt: adjust the salt based on personal preference and where salt is added to the peanut butter you’re using.
- Milk: I always use oat milk, but any time can be used, or even water in a pinch.
Step by Step
Step 1: add all of the ingredients but chocolate to the bowl of a food processor.
Step 2: mix until the dates are broken down and the dough holds together when pressed.
Step 3: roll into small balls. This should make about 20.
Step 4: freeze before dipping in chocolate, then store in the refrigerator.
If you want to make sure there’s no added white sugar at all here, either use a sugar-free chocolate bar for the coating, make your own raw chocolate, or don’t coat the balls in anything. I happily use dark chocolate.
These are stable at room temperature – they won’t melt into goop – but taste better chilled. If you want to have them sitting out for a while, like for a party of some kind, I suggest freezing them first.
How to Store
Storage: keep the balls in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freezing: transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. They will be quite hard when frozen but thaw quickly.
- Make without a food processor: you have two options. Either use very soft dates and mash very well by hand before mixing in the other ingredients. Alternatively, use maple syrup or honey in place of dates (2-3 tablespoons, to taste) and mix until the dough seizes and can be rolled.
- Check the salt: if your peanut butter already has salt mixed in, don’t add any here. If you want a saltier flavour, be sure to taste the dough and add to your preference.
- Soak the dates: unless your dates are very fresh and soft, soak them in hot water for at least half an hour before draining and using. This can be water from the tap and doesn’t need to be boiling.
- Use bar chocolate: chips have special additives to prevent them from melted completely and burning when baked, and is harder when chilled than bar chocolate. For the nicest texture, use a bar that’s meant for eating rather than baking.
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Peanut Butter Balls
- Add the peanut butter, dates, coconut flour, milk, oil, vanilla (if using), and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.200 grams natural peanut butter, 100 grams dates, 2 tablespoons coconut flour, 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Blend until the dates have broken down and the mixture is either pebbly looking or has formed one large ball. The dough should hold together when pressed in your hand.
- Roll the dough into small balls, making about 20 in total. Place onto a parchment-lined tray or baking sheet, then freeze for 20 minutes.
- Once the balls have chilled, melt the chocolate (if using). Dip each into the chocolate to coat, then place back onto the lined tray and chill again if needed to set the chocolate. Keep the peanut butter balls in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.100 grams dark chocolate, melted
* 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.