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Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

bite-size dark chocolate energy balls

These dark chocolate energy bites are just the thing for times when you need a quick “pick me up.” They’re a satisfying combination of protein, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber, all wrapped in a portable, chocolaty ball of deliciousness! Dark chocolate energy bites are chocolate truffles, healthier cousin. They are toothsome, fudgy, earthy and lightly sweet.

It may seem a little weird to post this recipe around the holidays, when everyone else is talking pies, cakes and cookies, but that’s precisely the reason you need a tasty ally to snack on. An ally that can curb hunger, cravings, and add nourishment to help you keep your head in the game.

Before I jump into the recipe, I want to give you a little background on the host of “superfood” ingredients so you can fully appreciate the goodness of these dark chocolate energy bites.



Dates are a wonderful sweetener with notes of caramel and molasses. Dates are low on the glycemic index and chockfull of soluble fiber making it less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar compared to many other types of sweeteners. Dates are also high in several nutrients and antioxidants. Yay and yum!

Black Walnuts

This recipe calls for black walnuts. Black walnuts are one of the only all-wild tree nuts consumed in the United States, while the more ubiquitous English Walnut is cultivated in orchards. Black walnut has been used by Native Americans for centuries, in cakes, breads, porridge and soup.

Black walnut is generally more nutritious than English walnut, boasting a higher level of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids and other health promoting compounds. Another huge difference between the American black walnut and the English walnut is the flavor. The flavor of black walnut is much more robust and nuanced. It is a little sweeter, with notes of cream and bourbon.

The downside to black walnut is that it’s a little harder to find than English walnut, but can often be found at natural food stores or online retailers like Amazon. I am consistently happy with Hammons black walnuts.


Cacao has a deep, bitter chocolate flavor and kick of caffeine. Cacao is a more pure, raw form of chocolate than cocoa. It is less processed and therefore contains higher levels of magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, selenium, flavonoids and other antioxidants, with no added sweetener. For lovers of bittersweet and dark chocolate, cacao is a familiar delight.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are all over the place and for good reason. Chia is mostly flavorless but contains a host of antioxidants, minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acid. When added to liquid, it forms a soothing mucilage and when added to dry ingredients, adds a pleasant crunch.

Almond Butter

Not only is almond butter a respite from common peanut butter, it also claims a higher vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Truth be told, one of the healthiest nut butters is walnut. Walnut butter is hard to find but if you can get your hands on it, swap out the almond butter for walnut butter.

Walnut Oil

Walnut oil, like many walnut products, is a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega-3). The fat content of walnut oil is generally considered a “good fat.” Walnut oil is highly perishable and should be kept in the refrigerator after opening. Walnut oil is a delicious addition to salad dressings, “no-bake” recipes and as a finishing oil for desserts, meats, fish and vegetable dishes.

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

While sweetened coconut flakes have additional sugar added to them, unsweetened coconut flakes do not, but they still pack a punch of coconut flavor, fat, fiber, iron and protein, and are low in carbohydrates.

Don’t let all this talk of health benefits fool you into thinking the taste of these dark chocolate energy bites are inferior in flavor. Dark chocolate energy bites are a seriously delicious snack that also happens to be a nutritious treat. 

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bite-size dark chocolate energy balls

Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

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  • Author: Asha
  • Yield: 1820 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted, rough chopped dates (preferably Medjool)
  • 1 cup black walnut pieces (you can substitute English walnuts but the flavor will be muted)
  • 6 tablespoons cacao powder (unsweetened cocoa powder if you can’t find cacao)
  • 3 tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons creamy almond butter (you can substitute walnut, cashew or macadamia nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil (I use Spectrum or La Tourangelle brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (you can substitute vanilla, walnut or rum extract)
  • 2 cups (or more) unsweetened coconut flakes for dusting the bites


  1. Add the dates to a food processor and pulse until the dates have broken down into a rough paste that begins to form a ball. There maybe a few small pieces left, that’s fine as long as the majority of the dates has started to form a paste. Scope out the processed dates and set aside.
  2. Add the walnuts to the food processor and pulse until the walnut pieces become a fine meal. Add the cacao powder, chia seeds and sea salt. Pulse 2-3 more times.
  3. Add the date paste, almond butter, walnut oil and extract to the dry walnut mixture. Pulse to combine. You should have a moist pate or thick batter consistency. If the mixture is to wet, add more cacao powder and/or chia seeds.
  4. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of the paste (I like to use a small ice cream scoop for ease and uniformity) and form into a ball using the palm of your hand.
  5. Once all the paste has been formed into balls, put the unsweetened coconut flakes into a shallow plate and roll the balls to coat in the coconut flakes. This adds another element of flavor and texture while helping to absorb some moisture form the bites, preventing them from sticking to each other.
  6. Sprinkle the bottom of an airtight container with a thin layer of coconut flakes, put the energy bites in container and cover with a thin layer of coconut flakes. Close the container and store in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for up to one month.
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