dark chocolate date & peanut butter energy bites.

it's all about the easy energy bites, baybay.

i've made several interpretations of these from some of my fave bloggers around the internets and i enjoy them all! this recipe is my own and i was satisfied with this version the second i realized they taste verrrry similar to no-bake cookies but use healthier, natural ingredients.

these take about 20 minutes to make and the best part is that you just throw all the ingredients into the food processor...no need to chop any of the choppable items first. 

i truly LOVE these. i bring 2 or 3 bites to work and enjoy them with coffee in the morning. they are hearty and have quite a bit of protein, so they keep me shockingly satisfied and full until lunch time. energy bites like these are also perfect to have around when you just want a very quick pick-me-up throughout the day.  i also eat these as a dessert. they taste amazing. and the texture is πŸ’― ! 

i use mostly peanut butter and just a little almond butter for extra creaminess with a slightly different flavor.

i add chia seeds and a little bit of quinoa for extra protein, fiber, and CRRRUNCH. the dry quinoa can be almost too crunchy, so if you want to cook the quinoa in advance so that it's soft, go right ahead!

soaking the dates is super important. i've made these without soaking them first, and it makes it harder to blend everything together smoothly in the food processor. save yourself some sanity and soak!

i like to leave a small portion of the oats for the very end so i can mix them in as whole oats.

most of the oats get all chopped up into tiny bits in the food processor, so its nice to have some of them remain whole for the texture. this also helps if the date mixture is too sticky. just add some extra oats and roll them into the mix with your hands until the date dough is not sticking to your hands.

^^^ delicious little dense orbs of tasty & hearty delight.

these really do compare to the taste and texture of no-bake cookies, which i LOVE. my dad used to make those all the time growing up. they're fantastic and swimming in butter and white sugar. i'm always happy to discover methods of making indulgent foods with more natural ingredients that still satisfy those cravings for buttery & sugary junk. junk that i loveeee, but am trying to emulate using less junky-4-u foodstuffs. 

this recipe is naturally sweetened with dates & honey, loaded with protein from the nut butters, oats, chia & quinoa, and extra tasty with a small amount of heart-healthy dark chocolate. 

make 'em! they're good!

Dark Chocolate, Date, & Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Makes about 12

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TB. almond butter
  • 1 cup oats (separate 2/3 cup from the last third)
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate - (1/2 of a dark chocolate bar - I usually use about 70-80% dark)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 TB. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 TB. dry or cooked quinoa (optional)

Instructions-

Soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for about 5-10 minutes.  This step is important to bring some moisture to the mix of dry ingredients without adding liquid. Strain all the water from the dates. If you have dates with pits, make sure to cut the dates open and discard the pits.  I usually try to buy dates that have already had the pits removed. 

After the dates have been soaked and pits removed, add to a large food processor with the peanut butter and almond butter. Run food processor for a minute until the dates and nut butter begin to form a ball. Add the dark chocolate and honey and run the machine again until everything is well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add 2/3 cup of the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, quinoa (if desired), salt, and cinnamon. Pulse or run the food processor on low until combined. Scoop the mixture into a large bowl and add the last 1/3 cup of oats. Use your hands to mix everything together well and form a big ball. If the mixture is still too sticky, add small handfuls of extra oats and continue to mix with your hands until it no longer sticks and you're able to roll it into smooth rounds. 

Line a tray or container with waxed paper, parchment or foil. Spoon golf ball sized amounts of the mixture into your hands and roll into tight & smooth spheres.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for best results. 

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