No-Bake Energy Bites (4 Ingredients)

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Only FOUR ingredients to make these amazing and secretly healthy chocolate-chip cookie flavored energy bites! Healthy and delicious! via chelseasmessyapron.com

These No-Bake Energy Bites are easy to make — only four ingredients and less than 15 minutes prep time, plus no oven or microwave needed! These bites are made to taste like indulgent edible cookie dough but instead of sugar and butter, we’re using nutritious ingredients.

Try some of our variations on this recipe next time — these Oatmeal Energy Balls, Chocolate Energy Bites, or Chocolate Protein Balls.

No-Bake Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bites

I’m a huge proponent of having nutritious snacks around the house, and especially snacks that taste indulgent like a dessert!

These simple and healthful No-Bake Energy bites are just the thing — they take mere minutes to whip together and they’re packed with protein and healthy fats (which will keep you fuller for longer). Additionally, these bites of goodness are naturally sweetened with dates. They’re soft, chewy, and speckled with chocolate chips throughout.

Process shots-- blending the cashews and dates

Ingredients

Since there are only four ingredients in these bundles of tastiness, the ingredients you use really matter to the overall flavor of these bites.

  • Cashews. For extra flavor (without any extra effort on your end) I recommend roasted and salted cashews in these balls. See the “quick tip” box below.
  • Dates. For the dates, I like to use Deglet Noor made by Sunsweet® — these can be found near other dried fruits, trail mixes, and nuts in the store. We rely on dates for sweetness and as the “glue” to hold these bites together. If you’ve got some leftover dates, use them in these Granola Bars or Gluten-free Zucchini Muffins!
  • Vanilla extract. The vanilla is what gives these bites a stronger cookie dough flavor. We prefer a strong vanilla flavor, but if you’d like it to be more subtle, add the vanilla slowly and gradually increase to suit your preferences. I recommend real, pure vanilla extract and not fake imitation vanilla — here’s the difference.
  • Miniature chocolate chips. If you want to keep these No-Bake Energy Bites as nutritious as possible, use dark chocolate miniature chocolate chips. (Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other healthful properties.)

QUICK TIP

If you only have raw cashews, you can quickly toast them in the oven. Add the cashews to a lined sheet pan and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F, stirring once halfway in between. The cashews should smell fragrant, but not burned. Additionally, if you can’t find salted cashews, add a pinch of salt to the recipe. The cashews really are the “secret” to amazing flavor — if the flavor of your cashews don’t wow you, you probably won’t be as impressed with these bites.

Process shots-- mixing the chocolate chips into the dough

No-Bake Energy Bite Tips

  • Make sure dates are pitted. Even in bags labeled “pitted” dates, I’ve still found pits before! Don’t risk breaking your machine– give each date a quick inspection for any potential pits left behind.
  • Use the freshest possible dates. If the dates are old and hard, they won’t blend up properly. If you only have hard dates, soak them in hot water for 10-30 minutes. Thoroughly dry before using. 
  • You’ll need a high-powered blender or food processor. Blending this mixture takes a bit of patience even with a high-powered appliance — cashews and dates are a lot to break down!
  • Take your time blending. Thoroughly blend the mixture to avoid unpleasant sharp chunks of cashews.
  • Add salt. If the cashews aren’t salted, you’ll want to add a pinch (or two) of salt. You may even want an extra pinch of salt with salted cashews — the flavors should be vibrant!
  • Let the mixture cool before adding in chocolate chips. Blending the cashews and dates to form a thick dough causes a lot of heat to be generated — it’s a lot of work for the machine! If chocolate chips are stirred into the warm dough, they will melt and the mixture will become messy. That said, if you like the idea of chocolate-y energy bites, stir the chocolate chips into the mixture as soon as it’s done being blended and they’ll melt a bit into the mixture.

QUICK TIP

What’s the difference between the types of dates? It’s kind of like all the varieties of apples–everyone has their favorites, and some are better suited to particular dishes, but they’re all delicious! The two main types of dates you’ll find in the grocery store are Deglet Noor and Medjool. Medjools are larger, lighter in color, and sweeter. Deglet Noor are smaller and a bit darker, and a bit chewier, too. Dates are dried fruits, just like raisins. In this recipe, we like to use Deglet Noor dates.

No-Bake Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bite Storage

We like to enjoy a few of these right as we make them. Then we’ll store some in the fridge to eat throughout the week and freeze the rest (if there are leftovers, that is!).

To freeze: Space No-Bake Energy Bites on a lined plate or tray in the freezer. Once firm (about 1-2 hours), transfer to an airtight bag or freezer container. They’ll last up to 6 months in the freezer.

To thaw: Simply pull one out and let it stand for about 15-30 minutes. You could also pop these nuggets in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. (When they’re completely frozen they are hard to eat, but don’t feel like you need to completely thaw them before eating — we enjoy them still a bit frozen– they’re delicious that way!)

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No-Bake Energy Bites

5 from 4 votes
These No-Bake Energy Bites are easy to make -- only four ingredients and less than 15 minutes prep time, plus no oven or microwave needed! These bites are made to taste like indulgent edible cookie dough but instead of sugar and butter, we're using nutritious ingredients.
Print Recipe

No-Bake Energy Bites

5 from 4 votes
These No-Bake Energy Bites are easy to make -- only four ingredients and less than 15 minutes prep time, plus no oven or microwave needed! These bites are made to taste like indulgent edible cookie dough but instead of sugar and butter, we're using nutritious ingredients.
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword no bake energy bites
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 -12 small bites
Calories 164kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $4.69

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (133g) cashews dry roasted and salted (with sea salt) Note 1
  • 7 pitted (~1/3 cup) Deglet Noor dates (I like Sunsweet brand, you can find these in any grocery store by dried fruit) Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (41g) miniature chocolate chips.
  • Optional: tiny pinch fine sea salt

Instructions

  • PULSE CASHEWS: Add the cashews to a very high-powered food processor or blender (you'll need a miniature blender jar; I use the "twister jar" and my Blendtec) and pulse until crumbly, but not powdered.
  • ADD DATES: Add in all of the dates and pulse until the mixture begins to turn into a thick dough. Add in the vanilla (if desired, add the pinch of salt in here too) and pulse again until combined into a very thick and smooth mixture. (Take time to thoroughly blend to avoid unpleasant sharp chunks of cashews.)
  • ADD CHOCOLATE CHIPS: Remove from the blender or food processor and transfer to a bowl. Allow the dough to slightly cool -- it usually heats up quite a bit from being blended. Once cooled, gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  • FORM BALLS: Tightly kneading the mixture, roll into small bite-sized pieces -- we get about 10-12 balls from this mixture.
  • STORAGE: Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Snack on them pre-or post-workout or whenever you're craving a sweet treat or snack! We like these best straight out of the fridge! To freeze: Space the No-Bake Energy Bites on a lined plate or tray in the freezer. Once firm (about 1-2 hours), transfer to an airtight bag or freezer container. They’ll last up to 6 months in the freezer. To thaw: Simply pull one out and let it stand for about 15-30 minutes. You could also pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. (When they're completely frozen they are hard to eat, but don’t feel like you need to completely thaw them before eating — we enjoy them still a bit frozen– they’re delicious that way!)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cashews: I highly recommend roasted and salted cashews in these balls. If using raw cashews, the energy bites are lacking in flavor.
Note 2: Dates: The dates should be soft (old and hard dates won't blend correctly). If they aren't soft, soak them in water for 30 minutes and then thoroughly dry.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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