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, healthy energy balls are the best easy snack!
I’m currently on a big medjool dates kick (hello, end of third trimester!) and need all the snacks I can get.
Bonus: energy balls freeze well and will be the perfect fuel for once our little FMK baby arrives.
Hazelnut Energy Balls Recipe
These basically taste like nutella, or like a Ferrero Rocher chocolate, and if you’re a fan of either one of those things, then you definitely need this energy ball recipe in your life.
And a little patience for some energy ball rolling!
Just 4 Ingredients
- toasted hazelnuts
- medjool dates
- cacao powder or unsweetened cacao powder
- vanilla extract
Oh and water – but that’s barely an ingredient, right?
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.
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.
It’s okay if you have little bits of skin remaining.
How to Make Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Balls
- Place all ingredients in 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 round tablespoon to scoop mixture and roll into balls.
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!
How to Store Energy Balls
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.
I hope you enjoy this delicious healthy snack / dessert!
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 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.