These Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Balls are the best healthy snack and make for a delicious dessert too! Made with just four ingredients, ready in less than 20 minutes. Vegan, paleo and no added sugar.
Energy BITES? Or, Energy BALLS?
Whatever you like to call them, they are the best easy snack that doubles as a satisfying healthy dessert.
Bonus: energy balls freeze well and are the perfect healthy snack to bring out of the freezer at any given moment.
Why You Need This Recipe!
This energy bites recipe tastes like nutella, or like a Ferrero Rocher chocolate. And if you’re a fan of either one of those things, then you definitely need these in your life.
You don’t need a ton of ingredients for these no bake energy balls. Just four ingredients, to be exact, and a food processor.
Oh, and a little patience for some energy ball rolling!
- Toasted hazelnuts – toasted will give them the best flavor!
- Medjool dates – Medjool dates are the juicy, thick and chewy ones, with a delicious caramel-y flavor.
- Cacao powder or unsweetened cacao powder – either will work and give you a rich chocolate taste. If you can’t do chocolate, carob powder would be a good substitute.
- Vanilla extract – for a hint of flavor.
- Water – just a little to get things moving in the food processor.
So this recipe has some healthy fats thanks to the hazelnuts, no refined sugar, sweetened with fruit (Medjool dates) and is naturally dairy free, vegan, gluten free and paleo. And made with Whole30 compliant ingredients… But that’s a little on the iffy side if you’re talking to the strict Whole30ers.
You could also add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for some additional fiber, or 2 servings of collagen peptides for extra protein – no other change to recipe needed.
Why Medjool Dates?
Whenever I make a recipe with dates, I use Medjool dates. This is because they’re soft and juicy and break down well.
People often think that dates are dried but that is not the case. Medjool dates are fresh fruit!
If you don’t have Medjool dates or can’t find them, use the weighted measurement for how many dates to use in this recipe.
How to Toast Hazelnuts
You’ll also want to make sure you use toasted hazelnuts for best flavor. If you buy raw hazelnuts, you’ll also notice they have a skin on them. By toasting them in the oven, the skins will fall off.
To toast hazelnuts, preheat oven to 325ºF. Lay out the hazelnuts in a flat layer on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow them to cool and simply rub the hazelnuts on the baking sheet and the skins should fall right off. You can roll them between a clean tea towel to help remove the skins.
It’s okay if you have little bits of skin remaining before you get into making the recipe.
How to Make Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Balls
- Place all ingredients in your food processor with S-blade.
- Pulse until ingredients start to break down, about 1 minute.
- Check on mixture and see if it holds when pressed together. If it doesn’t, continue pulsing and break down the nuts a bit more.
- Add water to food processor while pulsing, but only as needed. I only added 1 tablespoon of water. If your dates are dry, you may need more water.
- Use a round tablespoon to scoop mixture and roll into balls between the palm of your hands.
The perfect energy bite
The mixture will be ready when you can easily roll into balls. Be careful not to over-process, or the mixture will be super sticky and hard to work with.
If this happens, you can try adding a little bit of coconut flour to absorb some moisture.
Cover in Chocolate for a Healthy Dessert
And then if you’re really looking for more of a dessert option, cover them in melted chocolate!
Melt your favorite high quality chocolate, and use a toothpick to dip the ball and coat it in chocolate. Just don’t push the toothpick too far in or you might break the energy ball.
Use about 2 ounces of chocolate per 8 small energy balls. Place on a lined baking sheet and you can chill the chocolate to let it set.
Storing for Later
You can store homemade energy balls in the fridge, or in the freezer. They’ll last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but several months in the freezer if stored in a tight container.
They’re delicious cold but can be left out to enjoy at room temperature as well, as long as it’s not too hot – we don’t want melty chocolate!
More Healthy Snack Ideas
- Chocolate Cashew Protein Energy Balls
- Blueberry Vanilla Cashew Snack Bars
- Monster Cookie Energy Balls
- Banana Bread Energy Bars
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and star rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx AshleyPrint
Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Balls
These Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Balls are the best healthy snack, that doubles as a little treat! Made with just four ingredients, ready in less than 20 minutes. Vegan, paleo and no added sugar.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: About 20 balls 1x
- Category: snacks
- Method: food processor
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
- 10 large Medjool dates (175g)
- 2 1/2 TBSP cacao powder or unsweetened cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 TBSP water
- Toast hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Lay out the hazelnuts in a flat layer on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow them to cool and simply rub the hazelnuts on the baking sheet and the skins should fall right off.
- Add toasted hazelnuts, soaked/drained pitted dates, cacao powder and vanilla extract to bowl of food processor. Using S-blade, process until mixture breaks down, about 1 minute. Add 1-2 TBSP of water as needed to get mixture sticky. Little tiny bits of hazelnuts can remain, but mixture should hold together when pressed. See pictures in post for visual.
- Remove S-blade and use a heaping rounded tablespoon to roll into balls. You can also press into a lined 8×8 pan if you’d like to make bars. Store in fridge, about 2 weeks. Or freeze and best used within 3-4 months.
If dipping in melted chocolate, I used about 2 ounces of chopped chocolate (then melted) per about 8 energy balls.
Keywords: date energy balls, energy balls recipe, nutella energy bites