These gluten & dairy free chocolate & date balls require just a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of your time. Sweetened only with dates and dark chocolate (which is totally optional but highly recommended), they are a perfect healthy vegan snack to satisfy those sweet cravings.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve made these chocolate date energy balls in the last few weeks. I originally prepared them for this Valentine’s chocolate platter for my daughter & I.
We both loved the chocolate date truffles so much that we’ve been re-making them ever since. Not only are they delicious, they make a pretty sight on all kinds of celebration platters: Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas…
Just swap the toppings for whatever theme you’re going for. If you’re making them for Easter, decorate them with lemon zest for instance. For a Christmas theme, edible white snowflakes work really well. You got the point, right?
Anyway, regardless of whether you’re making them for a special occasion or for keeping a stash of healthy snacks in the fridge, ready for when those sweet cravings kick in, these healthy vegan snacks are a total winner.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE VEGAN DATE BALLS
- First of all, they’re super easy to make. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.
- Secondly, they only require 8 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.
- For health-conscious folks, we only use dates to sweeten and dark chocolate (which you can totally skip to make them even healthier). No refined sugar is involved.
- They’re a perfect healthy snack on the go.
- Finally, anything with chocolate is not worth missing out on!
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
These chocolate date energy balls are made of just a handful of ingredients:
- Medjool dates. We soak them in water to make them softer, so they’re more pliable and binding. I wouldn’t recommend any substitutions for dates, as they act as the main binding ingredient and without them the texture would be totally different. You can try replacing them with prunes, however I haven’t personally tried it myself.
- Ground almonds (almond meal) for adding more texture. You can use any other nuts, as long as they’re ground into fine meal.
- Roasted hazelnuts. Although you can use any other nuts of your choice, hazelnuts would be my top recommendation. Roasting hazelnuts really deepens the flavour, which gives these chocolate date balls its Nutella-like taste.
- Raw cacao powder to intensify the chocolate flavour. Make sure not to confuse it with cocoa powder. There’s a big difference between raw cacao powder and cocoa powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa bean, which helps the cacao bean to retain most of its nutrients. Cocoa powder is highly processed and made by roasting the beans at a hight heat, which results in a loss of a lot of natural goodness. More importantly though, manufacturers add many preservatives, sugar and sweeteners to the cocoa powder.
- Dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa). Use good quality dark chocolate and make sure to check it doesn’t contain milk.
- Vanilla extract (totally optional)
ARE THESE CHOCOLATE DATE TRUFFLES HEALTHY?
Yes they are! We only use unrefined natural ingredients to bring out the sweetness and add the texture. To make these chocolate date balls even healthier, skip the chocolate coating. They still taste good without it.
WHY ARE MY ENERGY BALLS NOT STICKING TOGETHER?
- If the dough feels too wet, add more ground almonds (or use unsweetened shredded coconut if you haven’t got almond meal) until the dough starts binding together.
- If the dough feels too dry, add either water or plant milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough is sticky enough to roll the balls.
HOW TO STORE CHOCOLATE DATE BALLS
It’s best to keep the energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll last up to a week. However, if you prefer a slightly firmer bite (which is my personal choice), you can also freeze them. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHIER VEGAN SNACKS?
Try some of the readers’ favourite below:
- Vegan peanut & caramel bars
- Soft pumpkin & chocolate chip cookies
- Healthy 4 ingredient energy balls
- Vegan peanut & caramel bars
- Healthy banana, peanut butter & oat cookies
To conclude, I really hope you’ll give these gluten & dairy free chocolate date balls a try. If you recreate this recipe, I’d love to read your comments and hear your feedback. Be sure to drop a comment here on the blog, tag me in your photos on Instagram @Fit Foodie Nutter, Facebook or Pinterest .
On Pinterest? Pin to your board to come back & make them later.
GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE & DATE BALLS (VEGAN)
For chocolate balls:
- 150 g medjool dates (around 9 dates) pre-soaked in hot water for half an hour
- 2 tbsp water from dates
- 5 tbsp ground almonds
- 80 g roasted hazelnuts or any other nuts of your choice
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For chocolate coating:
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp coconut oil for coating
- Freeze dried raspberries for decoration
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until soft dough forms. Roll into a snack size ball (around 1tbsp per ball) with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, just dip your fingers in water to stop the dough from sticking. Place the balls in the freezer whilst you’re making the chocolate coating.
- Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil. Stir to combine. Dip the snack balls in the chocolate and place in the fridge to set for half an hour.
- Store in the fridge or in the freezer if you prefer a firmer bite.