These Paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, gluten-free hand-held balls are a delicious and easy snack option! I don’t really love date & nut bars any more, but the chocolate fudginess of these really converted me. My kids do *not* enjoy date-based things usually, but I had kiddos asking for seconds. It’s flexible too – use whatever combination of chopped nuts or seeds works for you or you need to use up in your pantry. No added sugar or sweeteners make these a win all around!
NOTE: If you are on Whole30, these are recommended as emergency and travel food not your Whole30 “dessert.” They are compliant, just as most date/nut RxBars and Lara bars are compliant, but you need to take some personal responsibility to determine if they are a wise choice for your Whole30. I encourage you to read this post from Melissa Urban on the topic.
Chocolate Fudge Date Balls
- 15 dates fresh medjool dates, pitted and soaked (see instructions)
- 1/3 cup+ finely cchopped nuts or seeds see notes
- 2 tablespoons+ cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 single serving (about 0.4 oz) collagen or protein powder optional
Soak the pitted dates in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes. This will help your food processor blend them more easily. Drain and discard all the hot water, using only the soaked dates for this recipe.
In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Puree until combined (mixture should stick together in a ball when done). This will probably involve stopping and stirring it down a few times.
Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in extra cocoa or chopped nuts or seeds to coat. You could probably eat them without this coating, but it helps them be less sticky and looks nice. If rolling in cocoa, dust off excess or you will be inhaling a bit of cocoa powder when you eat them. Makes 10-12 balls, depending on how big you make them.
Place rolled balls in a storage container. Keeps on the counter for 1-2 weeks, but we prefer them cold out of the fridge or freezer. Keeps in fridge for 3-4 weeks, freezer for 3+ months. If traveling with them, putting them in lunches, etc. I recommend freezing and then they will be perfectly thawed by lunchtime!
Finely chopped nuts = like almost to a meal finely chopped for the best texture, or your date ball consistency will not be very smooth or stick together as well.
Also, have 1/4 cup extra finely chopped nuts or seeds or 2 tablespoons cocoa or even some chopped coconut flakes extra to roll in once balls are combined.
You can use whatever combination of nuts or seeds you have on hand, need to use up, or works for your family in this recipe. For us that's usually cashews, almonds and walnuts.