Try these bliss balls when you’re craving a quick snack that will give you energy. They come together in minutes and are filled with all-natural ingredients like dates, apricots, cashews and coconut. You’ll love these date balls as a post-workout pick-me-up or an after-school snack for the kids.
Have you had those moments when your stomach is screaming, “it must be lunchtime by now,” despite the clock saying it’s only 10:30 a.m.
Or maybe you’re falling asleep at your computer at 3:00 in the afternoon and the only thing that’s going to jolt you awake is a shot of sugar.
Either way, these date balls (a.k.a. bliss balls) will quell those hangry belly rumblings.
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Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This date balls recipe is made without processed sugar.
- The ingredients are all-natural, and even your two-year-old can pronounce them.
- Kids love them and will reach for these sweet treats instead of candy or cookies.
- They’re an instant pick-me-up, great for a post-workout snack.
- They’re quick and easy to make in the food processor.
- No cooking required. Make the date balls recipe in your food processor, then roll into individual 2-bite bliss balls.
Dates are nature’s candy — they’re sweet, chewy. Many people look at dates with suspicion, until they taste them and realize how truly ambrosial they are.
I’ve used them in some savory dishes like these crowd-pleasing appetizers like these palmiers, these incredible stuffed dates, and also for my morning granola. This ancient fruit is perfect for making date nut balls.
Ingredients for bliss balls:
- Raw Cashews – You can find them at Whole Foods or Sprout’s markets among other retailers.
- Pitted Dates
- Dried Apricots
- Vanilla Extract
- Flaked or Shredded Coconut
If you can’t find pitted, it’s easy to pit the dates yourself. Just make a slit in the side of the fruit and remove the seed.
- Pulse the coconut in the food processor until chopped very finely. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the cashews, dates and apricots to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the honey and vanilla and pulse some more until it forms a smooth paste.
- Use a 1-tablespoon measure or mini cookie scoop to portion out the date balls.
- Roll them into spheres and transfer to a sheet pan.
- Roll the bliss balls individually in coconut until the date nut balls are evenly coated in coconut.
Pretty simple, right?
While I love the flavor of dates — they’re even better with the tangy zip you get when mixed with tart apricots in these energy bites. Cashews add healthy fats and protein, while the dates make them sweet and oh-so-chewy.
- Taste the filling after processing in the food processor. If it’s too sweet, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pulse again. Taste test again, but be careful not to oversalt.
- I tried to roll the date balls in flaked coconut right out of the package, but it didn’t stick and coat them how I’d hoped. Take the extra step in the recipe to run them through the food processor until they are very finely chopped.
- Use another type of nut like pecans, pistachios, walnuts or almonds. Avoid peanuts or peanut butter as the taste is too strong and will compete with the flavor profile in the date energy balls.
- Try another dried fruit like dried mango or papaya in place of the apricots.
- Add mini chocolate chips after processing the date apricot bliss ball filling.
- Pulse pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds briefly in the food processor or roughly chop on a cutting board and roll the bliss balls in them instead of coconut.
- Add a pinch of salt with ¼ teaspoon of cardamom or ginger or other spices to the date mix for a more complex flavor.
Most date ball recipes combine dried dates and fruits with nuts and flavorings. Sometimes cocoa or chocolate is added. Date bliss balls can be rolled in anything from nonpareils to cocoa powder or ground nuts. You can also dip the balls in candy coating.
There are about 150 calories for each date ball, so they aren’t low-calorie food, but they are certainly better than grabbing a candy bar with fewer calories and more nutrients.
Yes. Freeze them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring the balls aren’t touching. When frozen, transfer the balls to a zip-top freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to 2 months—defrost in the refrigerator.
Yes, however, it would have to be a high-powered blender, like a VitaMix.
I used medjool dates, but you can also use deglet noor dates or whatever is available at your market.
No. They use honey, which isn’t vegan. To make them vegan, substitute maple syrup or agave for the honey.
How do they taste?
These bite-sized snacks are wonderfully sweet, chewy and slightly tangy. They will satisfy your sweet-tooth cravings without breaking the calorie bank and give you an energy boost.
My daughter, Emily, who turns her nose up at dates, absolutely loved these energy balls and reserved them for eating after her gym workout.
My husband brought them to his office to ward off afternoon hunger pangs — and ended up having to share them with his co-workers because they wanted to “try.” The container came home empty.
This date balls recipe will satisfy your sweet craving.
What do dates pair with?
Dates go well with semi-firm cheeses and most types of nuts. If you wanted to serve them as part of a charcuterie or cheese board, I’d recommend halving the size of the coconut date balls, to leave guests room to enjoy whatever else is on your spread.
If you want to enjoy the bliss balls after a meal, try sipping some port or amaretto with them. They would also be delicious with coconut shrub (a Caribbean liqueur).
More all natural snacks you’ll love:
- Blueberry Swirl Yogurt Popsicles
- Crispy Spiced Chick Peas
- Chunky Guacamole
- Tropical Fruit Salad
- Tangy Zesty Black Bean Dip
- Blistered Edamame
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Apricot Date Nut Bites
- ½ cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 8 dried dates pitted
- ½ cup dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Add the coconut to the bowl of the food process and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer coconut to a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the cashews, dates and apricots to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped.
- Add honey and vanilla and process until it comes together in a smooth paste. Use a tablespoon to measure out even portions of the date paste. Roll the paste into a ball. Continue to roll the rest of the date mixture into balls and rest them on a baking sheet.
- Roll each of the balls in the finely chopped coconut. Serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
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