These raw sunflower seed energy bites have become a staple in our home since moving to Germany. We’ve been eating only organic food since we moved here, which is great, but it’s also meant that we can’t buy as many grocery items that are pricier, like nuts or medjool dates. I’ve been using more seeds, basic flours like spelt, and less expensive fruits.
We make these about once a week to have on hand for a quick snack. Of course the sugar content is fairly high, as with any recipe like this, due to the added dates. They also contain fibre, protein, and nutrients that are present in the sunflower seeds and cocoa.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Dates: I use small deglet noor dates, but any date type will work. For a similar date-free recipe, try these fig bars.
- Seeds: keep the sunflower seed base for the most part for this recipe, but add a tablespoon or so of sesame, chia, or hemp seeds if you want a bit more texture.
- Spices: if you don’t want to use the cardamom and nutmeg, simply omit them. I like these with the spices during colder months but usually leave them out in summer.
- Oil: while coconut is easiest, a hint of walnut or hazelnut oil add excellent nutty flavours here without splurging on nuts (oils like this make great gifts!).
Step by Step
1. Blend the seeds: add the sunflower seeds to a food processor and blend into a coarse meal.
2. Add the dates: and remaining ingredients, and mix until a rollable dough forms.
3. Roll into balls: use your hands to roll the mixture into small balls, and store.
Regular dates work perfectly well to make energy bites, and you’ll save a lot of money by using them. If they’re a little hard, just soak them in hot water for half an hour. Any longer, and your bites will probably be a little too soft when thawed and too hard when frozen from the extra water content.
The oil is not absolutely necessary, but it does add a nice element of flavour, will help keep your energy levels up for longer, and makes the bites easier to roll. Of course to keep them nut-free, use an oil that isn’t made from nuts.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Freezing: store in an airtight container for up to three months. These can be served frozen.
- Freeze before storage: placing the balls in the freezer on a flat surface before transferring to a container is simply so that they keep their round shape more when stored.
- Roll in cocoa: to make these a little more decadent, roll them in cocoa powder after forming the balls (dutch cocoa is milder, if you prefer that).
More No-Bake Snacks
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Sunflower Seed Energy Bites
- 125 grams raw sunflower seeds
- 130 grams dates* packed if measuring in cups
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons bee pollen optional
- 1 tablespoon coconut hazelnut, or walnut oil**
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pod cardamom crushed
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the sunflower seeds and blend until a coarse meal forms. If you blend too long, oils will release and you'll make sunflower butter.125 grams raw sunflower seeds
- Add the dates, cocoa, bee pollen, oil, and spices. Blend until the dates have broken down and a ball of dough has formed in the processor.130 grams dates*, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons bee pollen, 1 tablespoon coconut, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pod cardamom, Pinch nutmeg, Pinch salt
- Form the dough into small balls, about half the size of a golf ball, using your hands. You can roll the bites in cacao if you’d like. Place the bites onto a plate or board and freeze for 30 minutes before removing and placing in a jar or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
* 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.