Treat yourself to an energizing ball of coconut, almonds, and dates! These Almond Date Balls with Coconut are packed with fiber and good nutrients yet taste like an indulgent dessert. Best of all, there's no baking involved!
I have a Larabar obsession, so I came up with this copycat recipe for the coconut creme pie flavor. Like my beloved Larabars, this almond butter energy ball version is made with wholesome, refined sugar-free ingredients and incredibly delicious!
I played with the recipe until it was just right. These date and coconut balls are incredibly moist, flavorful, and have a slight crunch. The only difference is the shape. To simplify things, you'll roll the date mixture into balls rather than cut it out into rectangular bar shapes. I prefer this bite-sized variation. It's the perfect poppable pre and post-workout snack (especially with added protein powder).
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It doesn't get much easier than no-bake desserts! This is a great recipe to get the kids involved.
- These date almond balls are delicious. The combination of sweet, warm, and nutty flavors is perfect.
- Dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo!
- It's the perfect elegant addition to any dessert table as well as a healthy grab-and-go snack.
- Grain-free -made without oats.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Shredded Coconut: I prefer unsweetened shredded coconut. You can also use sweetened shredded coconut. Just keep in mind your date balls will be much sweeter.
- Almonds: I like to leave the skin on whole raw almonds for date balls. For the best results, be careful not to grind the almonds too much. Blend them into nibs.
- Coconut Oil: provides subtle coconut flavor, healthy fats, and moisture. It's best melted before adding to the food processor.
- Almond Butter builds on the rich, nutty flavor and helps the mixture stick together.
- Coconut Cream: enhances the soft and creamy texture. If using a can of coconut milk, chill it first to make it easier to scoop out the coconut cream.
- Non-dairy Milk: To loosen up the heavier ingredients into a shapeable batter, you'll need a small amount of non-dairy milk like almond, coconut, oat, or cashew.
- Vanilla: deepens the decadent flavors. For the best taste, use a quality pure vanilla extract.
- Warming Spices: Cinnamon & nutmeg add cozy and comforting flavor.
- Orange Zest: You'll also add orange zest to the mixture to brighten things up without overpowering.
- Sea Salt: make naturally sweet date balls taste even sweeter.
- Pitted Dates: Soft dates blend effortlessly into the mixture. Feel free to set a few aside to snack on.
How To Make Date Balls with Coconut
Step 1: Blend ingredients. Using a food processor, blend until the mixture clumps into a dry sticky ball, scraping down the sides as needed. It should look like this.
Step 2: Roll into balls. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 1" balls, using a heaping tablespoon each. You should end up with 20 balls.
Step 3: Coat in coconut. Then, gently roll the balls in coconut to coat and place them on a parchment paper-lined plate or baking sheet.
Step 4: Chill. Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least an hour. If you plan on chilling them any longer, you should also cover them. When you're ready to serve your yummy date balls, bring them back to room temperature and enjoy!
- If your dates aren't pre-pitted, you can soak them in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, which will soften them so the pit slides right out.
- The key to achieving a soft, fudge-like texture is not over-grinding the nuts. The goal is to achieve a pleasant contrast between the crunchy almond nibs and the soft dates/coconut.
- Don't skip out on the orange zest! It's just enough to enhance the flavors without overpowering. I use a Microplane zester to grate the orange.
- Feel free to mold the mixture into bars instead of balls.
- Be sure to let your energy balls chill for at least an hour, so the flavors have a chance to mingle and the balls can firm up.
Date Ball Variations
The sky's the limit when it comes to customizing your date balls. Check out the list below for some delicious ideas.
- Nuts - Swap raw almonds for raw walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts.
- Nut butter - Feel free to use a different smooth and creamy nut butter in place of almond. Try hazelnut, cashew, or sun butter.
- Flavors - Use different extracts like almond, hazelnut, maple, orange, and coconut. Feel free to use any combination of warming spices or pumpkin pie spice.
- Toppings - You aren't limited to coconut. You can roll your date balls in chia seeds, mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc.
- Protein powder - Bump up the protein using your favorite protein powder. Start with ½ a scoop and add more as necessary. You may need to add a bit more almond milk to keep a good rolling consistency.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Keep your date almond balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing: You can also keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. They'll soften quickly once you take them out of the freezer.
There isn't much liquid in the recipe, so using a blender can be tricky. A heavy-duty high-speed blender like a Vitamix might work, but you'll need to scrape down the sides periodically.
Absolutely! Date energy balls are a great source of fiber and are naturally gluten-free and refined sugar-free. Keep in mind that while all of the ingredients are nutritious, dates are not a low-calorie dried fruit. Give them a protein boost by adding protein powder to the mix and adjust the liquid, as needed.
If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
Almond Date Balls with coconut
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¾ cup raw almonds whole with the skin on
- 3 teaspoon virgin coconut oil melted
- 2 tablespoon roasted almond butter
- 2 tablespoon coconut cream
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- dash freshly grated nutmeg *just a dash,nutmeg can be overpowering
- 1 teaspoon orange zest about one whole orange zested with a Microplane
- ½ cup extra coconut for rolling balls
- Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until well mixed, nuts should be in small bits and not finely ground, scraping down the sides, as needed.
- Roll balls into coconut and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
*This post was originally published March 19, 2013 and has been updated throughout.