Dark Chocolate Covered Energy Bites are another spin on my original Peanut Butter Power Balls. These include a healthy nut and date center topped with a dark chocolate coating. Win/Win for balance!
I was recently sorting out my nut and raisin bin (I use these ingredients SO often!) and decided it was time to clean it out. I stumbled upon “almost empty” bags of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios – and then this recipe was created.
We love to keep healthy, homemade snacks handy for when we need them, and THIS recipe is now added to our stash. Several other items we keep for “hunger pain emergencies” include Peanut Butter Power Balls, Trail Mix Granola Bars, Homemade Cranberry Nut Granola, and Honey Roasted Nuts.
Can you use dates as a binder?
Yes you can! Normally, I use peanut butter and/or honey in my power balls/energy bites. But this time, I used Medjool Dates, aka “Nature’s Candy Store”. These dates are naturally sweet, in an unprocessed way. They are also high in fiber, a natural constipation relief remedy (ahem!), a great energy booster, good for your heart (reduces triglyceride levels), and are helpful in bone health.
Dates also help bind these energy bites together, especially if you soak them in water before using the food processor. Soaking them first helps to soften them, which is necessary unless your dates are already extremely soft. Mine were not.
Ingredients needed for Dark Chocolate Energy Bites:
My Dark Chocolate Energy Bites have only seven ingredients, including the dark chocolate coating which you can omit if you are being SUPER healthy. I personally like a little bit of chocolate with these bites.
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- dark chocolate chips
- dark chocolate melting chocolate
You will need a food processor to puree all the ingredients. As the dates soften, the nuts will release their natural oils, making a dough like consistency (see the photo above). It’s very easy to form the small balls, and you don’t actually need the chocolate coating if you prefer to use only the first six ingredients.
How to make Dark Chocolate Covered Energy Bites:
- Prep dates. Take the 20 dates, and soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes. This will allow them to soften up and they will become a BETTER binder for these energy bites.
- Process energy bites. In a food processor, combine the softened dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, dark chocolate chips, and vanilla. Pulse, and then let it run for several minutes to get everything well processed. This will allow you to form balls without adding other things (like peanut butter and/or honey).
- Form balls. Dump the energy bite mixture in another bowl. Then form it into small balls. You should get about 20 of them in total. Set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze until firm.
- Add chocolate. Take one ball at a time, and dip in chocolate until well coated. Shake off excess chocolate and place back on baking sheet. Place pan back in freezer until hardened.
I’ve always kept a bunch of “healthy” snacks in my pantry. Granola bars, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, etc. Oh hey, but are they REALLY healthy snacks? Not so much.
What I like about these, is that you know EXACTLY what’s in them. Only seven ingredients (providing you use the chocolate), and they are super quick to make. It’s quicker to make these than to run to the grocery store. Oh, and they taste GREAT! 🙂
Dark Chocolate Covered Energy Bites
- 20 whole Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 8 oz. dark chocolate melting wafers
- Place dates in bowl and soak them in warm water for approximately 10 minutes.
- Strain the dates and place in food processor. Add nuts, dark chocolate chips and vanilla, and pulse until smooth, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Roll into 22 balls and place on baking sheet. Freeze until firm.
- Melt the dark chocolate melting wafers in the microwave for about one minute using only 50% power. You may need another 30 seconds. The chocolate should be smooth and creamy. Be careful not to over-cook.
- Dip the energy bites in the chocolate (using a dipping tool). Roll the ball around in the chocolate until it is completely covered. Lift it out using the tool and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place baking sheet in the refrigerator until set.