Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites & A Book Review

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 28, 2012

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Back in 2008, I was a real Larabar junkie. As I walked to my car after work, I was often desperate for a boost in energy to fuel my 75 minute commute home. Larabars gave me enough energy to get through the long stretch until we had a late dinner around 8pm. I was rarely without a bar in my purse.

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Granted, my once a day habit became a bit costly after a while so I decided to take a crack at making my own homemade bars to save a bit of cash. At the end of 2008, I discovered that they are quite easy to make in a food processor for a fraction of the cost. I soon made Banana Bread, Cashew cookie, Cherry Pie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie dough, among other knock-off flavas.

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I now buy Larabars once and a while for convenience (if I’m out somewhere on the road and need a healthy vegan snack), but it’s comforting to know that I can also make something similar in my own home if I have the chance.

Ever since the move last week I’ve been on a big energy ball kick and relying a lot on no-bake recipes, as you’ve seen with vegan overnight oats and Green Monsters. Energy balls also provide long-lasting energy for busy days and are great for traveling and fueling before and after workouts. You wouldn’t think they dissipate hunger, but I find they really do a good job at delaying hunger in between meals. Nuts are a magical food! Just tuck a few in your purse and you have a portable, emergency snack on hand if you find yourself with a grumbling tummy and a lack of healthy food options.

I’m also working on a nut-free energy ball and granola bar recipe for those of you with allergies, as well as a bar inspired by one of the new Uber Larabar flavours. I told ya, I’m on a kick…

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4.8 from 6 reviews
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Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites

Vegan, no bake/raw

By

These energy bites are inspired by Larabar’s new Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte flavour. I prefer to roll them into bite sized balls rather than bars because it’s much faster, but shape them however you wish.

Yield
15 small bites
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3-4 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 or 2 pinches fine sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process the almonds until finely chopped. It’s ok if some bigger pieces remain. Just be sure not to pulverize it into a flour as you want some texture.
  2. Remove 1/3 cup of the processed almonds and set aside for the final step.
  3. Now, add the pitted dates and dried cherries and process until finely chopped and sticky. A dough ball will start to form.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and pecans and process until they are chopped. Add salt to taste and pulse the mixture. Finally, pulse in the reserved 1/3 cup almonds. If the dough is too dry to roll into ball, add water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
  5. Roll into small balls. Place in a container or baggie and store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition Information

Calories 108 calories | Total Fat 7 grams
Fiber 3 grams | Protein 3 grams
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

This recipe makes 1 and 1/2 cups of packed dough….mmm. I’ve concluded it’s impossible not to eat it straight from the processor!

Nutritional info (makes 15 small balls, per ball): 108 cals, 7 grams fat (1 g sat fat), 40 mg sodium, 13 grams carbs, 3 grams fibre, 9 grams sugar, 3 grams protein.

This recipe makes 1 and 1/2 cups of packed dough….mmm. I’ve concluded it’s impossible not to eat it straight from the processor!

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Get ready for a burst in energy…these bites are irresistible!

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The Book Of Vegan Swaps Review

Recently, I was asked to participate in the Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps book tour along with several other bloggers. You may be familiar with the sassy & no nonsense vegan crusader Kim Barnouin – co-author of the famous Skinny Bitch book, along with several other guides and cookbooks. Kim holds a masters degree in Holistic nutrition and she’s counseled countless celebrities, athletes, and models to follow her plan. While I’ve personally never been a fan of the term “skinny bitch”, I’ll be the first to admit that her first book was largely responsible for my decision to try eating vegetarian back in university. It was also one of the first wake up calls I’ve had about how cruel the industry can be to animals.

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Kim is now back with her Book of Vegan Swaps – a guide for finding vegan products in your own grocery store, airport, or restaurant.

The Book of Vegan Swaps is a guide for newly transitioning vegans who are in those first awkward stages of figuring out what – and where – to eat. The chapters feature where to shop, a restaurant guide (most are in the US only, fyi), vegan options at airports (also mostly in the US), decoding labels (how to detect hidden animal ingredients- very useful), and grocery store swaps for dairy, meat, condiments, frozen foods, desserts, alcoholic beverages, and more.

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When I first made a gradual shift to a vegan diet in 2009 I had no clue what to eat, so I instantly related to the need for this book, even though it’s now been a long time since I’ve felt confused about what to eat. Now, my only difficulty seems to be choosing what to make among so many options. Like anything new, it can take time to feel comfortable with the change and I totally get that.

When I first started out on my vegan journey, I filled my cart with a variety of imitation meat and dairy products like Tofurkey, fake sour cream, and Ives ground round. I really had no clue what a vegan diet should (or could) look like and to make matters more challenging, I also didn’t know how to prepare my own balanced vegan recipes at home. Well if I’m going to be really honest, I didn’t know how to cook at all. As they say, I could barely boil water!

Not surprisingly, I realized that I didn’t feel so great eating these imitation products every day and my body started to crave more natural stuff. I finally had to teach myself how to cook and bake my own vegan meals and that’s exactly what I’ve documented on this blog for the past 3 years. I revisited naturally vegan foods (beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruit, etc!) to fill up most of my diet, with the occasional splurge on imitation products as I saw fit. When I made those gradual changes, everything started to fall into place and I realized I didn’t miss my old go-to products at all. My energy also increased, my skin broke out less, and I knew I was on my way to being the vegan ninja I always wanted to be. Of course, everyone’s experience will be unique, but this has been mine.

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I think this guide is very helpful for locating tasty vegan products and vegan brands, especially when you have a killer craving for a cheese pizza or bowl of rich and creamy ice cream and you don’t know where to turn. There are so many vegan options out there now, many of which taste as good (or better) than the real thing. Best of all, these vegan products are cruelty-free, allowing you to satisfy your craving without contributing to the harm of animals. You’ll find all of Kim’s recommendations in there – and let me tell you, there are hundreds of specific brand suggestions for every kind of food you can think of from wine to waffles and everything in between.

With that being said, I believe it’s equally important to keep in mind that a vegan diet does not have to rely on packaged, imitation, and/or processed products. This is also a sentiment that Kim mentions in the beginning of the book and I appreciate that she’s honest when a food mentioned isn’t the healthiest or contains many artificial ingredients. I wish there would have been more emphasis on this though. She also includes about 10 of her vegan recipes in the book and I found myself wanting many more recipes, but I realize this guide was not intended to be a cookbook.

So go on and enjoy your Dandies marshmallows or soy jerky as a splurge or when time is tight. Just don’t forget to add some natural vegan staples in your cart while you’re at it and take pleasure in making something from scratch in your own home. Really, there’s no better swap than that.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 3 of 3«123
Marlee March 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Your blog is so inspiring! I love everything that you make and your photos are gorgeous!

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Laura March 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I make these all the time!

Have you tried using hemp instead of nuts? As far as I know hemp is safe for people with nut allergies.

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Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours March 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I’m glad you found parts of the book helpful even if it wasn’t perfect. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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april March 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I made your choco/cherry balls, and they are SOOOO good! i had a hard time having any left over to put in the fridge for later! i would love to try your other recipes too. i wrote down your recipe for banana bread larabars, but i didn’t see links to your other homemade bars/balls. are they posted? if not, will you post them? thanks so much!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I think the cashew cookie one is, but I dont think the others are. you can google ohsheglows cashew cookie larabar and it should come up

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Brooke March 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

WOW! I just made these tonight, and they are really incredible. Even my very very picky boyfriend loved them. I forgot to buy cherries though, so I used dried cranberries, but they still turned out great. I am thinking of making a choco peanut butter version next time, replacing the cherries with peanut butter. Maybe also a chocolate coconut version! I would probably have to add more dates though, to make up for the extra dryness of the coconut.

Thanks for the great recipes! I read your blog religiously :).

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Tina April 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

The Chocolate Chip cookie dough recipe will fit that one.

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Nicole @ giraffelegs March 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Yum!!

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[email protected] April 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

Here’s a challenge for you Ange! Have you ever had Sobe life waters? I love them–they have no artificial colors or flavors, and are sweetened with Stevia. After a hard, long workout they’re what I grab to restore lost electrolytes in place of sports drinks full of fake colors, sweeteners, and sugars. I’ve tried to replicate them with no success–if you’ve ever had them, your culinary genius imitating skills would be much appreciated!

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Brigid April 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Yummy! I made these tonight for this week’s afternoon treat at work. I rarely work consume coffee but something must’ve come over me. I swapped out the quarter cup of pecans for “German Chocolate Cake” coffee beans, now they’re mocha cherry! Worked really well, but I think I most certainly need a better blender. Vitamix? A girl can dream.

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Ruth April 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

These are ah-mah-zing! I made them this weekend, and put 3/4 of them in the freezer as soon as I tried the first one, because I knew what would happen if I didn’t. Ah-hem. They’re also good frozen.

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Ruth April 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Amazing. I tried freezing them to save some for later. They taste really good frozen, too.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

glad to hear that Ruth!

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Tina April 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I made these the day you posted (I think last Thursday) to bring with us on our “long” run of 12 miles. I was leary if anyone would like them being my husband is not a vegan and usually does not want to try anything I make. Well, low and behold, I think the long run made him hungry enough to try around mile 5 and by mile 8 all 4 of our kids plus one extra and another runner had ate all of them!!!!!!!!!! I had made 2 batches – gone!!!!!! Thanks for the post. Will make for this weeks 10K race and next weeks half-marathon to bring along! I can not tell you how much I appreciate the posts. (We also make your chocolate chip cookie dough balls often and the “icecream” smoothie, my kids love!)
Thanks
Tina

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hey Tina, That is great news! Thank you so much for sharing. :) And kudos to you for getting out there and being so active with your family. Have a great weekend.

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Lea April 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hi Angela
Made these Chocolate Cherry Energy bars last night….really good. Froze them in a mini silicone ice cube tray (after eating a couple) and popped them all out this morning.
Thank you again and again and again…..

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 9, 2012 at 7:35 am

So glad you enjoyed them Lea! I love the idea of a ice cube tray…genius!!

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michelle April 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

how long do these last for in the fridge?

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[email protected] Jew Broad Cooks April 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I needed nutrition for a long run and had no idea what I was going to use as it is Passover. I made these and they are PERFECT. I did have some issues with the dough getting as fine as yours was, but that could be my crappy food processor.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Im glad you like them! :) Thanks for letting me know.

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Amanda April 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I love these! Unfortunately my boyfriend is allergic to nuts AND seeds…..in your search for a nut free recipe, could you possibly find a recipe that is both nut and seed free?

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Amanda April 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I should mention chia and hemp seeds are okay, but most others are NOT. :)

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Sam January 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

How would you make the peanut butter chocolate chip larabar? Or just the peanut butter one? Im thinking about just trying 1/2 cup peanuts and like 4 dates?? I am just nervous about the amounts. I’ve tried your banana larabar! YUM!!

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Michelle January 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I made these the other day and they were great lasted all of 24 hours in my house. The only issue I had in making them was I could not get them to stick together at first. I figured out what I did wrong, needed to cover my hands with plastic baggies so I could get them into balls. I think it is because of where I live and no humidity, darn desert. My Daughter (10 years old) ate most of them and asked for me to make them again.

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Eloïse January 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Oh my!! These are amazing! Even better then larabars… Will try not to eat all of them today! Will be making this again for sure!

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Adriana Perciballi January 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hi Angela,

Sounds yummy! Can’t wait to try this recipe! To add more protein, what do you think about adding protein powder – rice or hemp? Keep the yummy recipes coming….. Adriana

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Em April 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

Hi Angela! Someone recycled these from your blog and I just made them. They are fantastic! I added about a teaspoon of vanilla compound (not extract) and used dark chocolate covered ginger that I just happened to have in place of the cherries and chips. Thank so much – and I especially appreciate the nutritional info!

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Nadine April 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

These are so great! I had to change the recipe a bit to match what I could find at the Navy commissary, but I think I got it pretty close :) Thanks for creating this recipe!

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christopher stephenson October 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

i totally love these things and i watched my mom in Ontario make them this summer for the first time. she added a little water when things got a little too sticky.

subsequently i now recommend the recipe (and the blog) to my friends here in Vancouver!

pro-tip: for slightly naughty energy bites, i now substitute a little Grand Marnier, Triple Sec or Tia Maria instead of the water to, um, lubricate my processor.

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Britt December 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hey,
I’m on the migraine trigger diet to cut back on migraines, and am having a hard time finding gluten-free and nut-free recipes: especially for energy bars. So glad I found your website!

Do you have any advice for nut replacements and nut flour replacements in your recipes?
Thank you so much!
—britt:)

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Kimmy February 7, 2014 at 9:50 am

Much like everything on your God-sent site, these things are a breeze to make. They’re guiltlessly delicious. I recently made the transition to a more plant based diet, with the end-goal of a fully vegetarian diet. This recipe and many others on your site helped me realize that vegetarian food need not be defined by the salad bar or sauce-less taste-less meat substitutes. Thank you. :)

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Mary February 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Hi Angela!

I made a variation of these last night, and they are absolutely delicious. Even my husband who judges almost any of my blog-found recipes loved them. Thanks for the recipe!

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Victoria February 25, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I absolutely love these! I’ve made 3 batches in a week and a half, which is almost embarrassing. Hahahaha….

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Marta Marques May 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

I’ve just made it. They are DELICIOUS!

Thanks your blog is great.

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Katherine July 24, 2014 at 4:25 am

So glad someone else is trying to spread the word about at home bars. So easy and cheap to make. I just made some raw Brownie Balls and they are so delicious and more moist than store bought. Look forward to trying your recipes out soon!

feedmefull.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/raw-peatnut-butter-brownie-balls/

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Sue Green January 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

The dark chocolate cherry energy bites are fantastic. I made them tonight and was shocked at how tasty they are. I didn’t bother to freeze them because I know they won’t last more than a few days. I will make these often.

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Bridget G February 26, 2015 at 6:40 am

Thanks for the great recipe!

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Nancy August 4, 2015 at 6:23 pm
Recipe Rating:

My new favourite energy bite! And I’ve been experimenting with lots of bars/bites in 2015. I used dried blueberries instead of cherries, because that’s what I had in the pantry. Awesome! And thanks. I can’t wait for your new recipes.

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Daniel Mattock August 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm
Recipe Rating:

Thank you for this recipe- I added a bit too much water the first time and my balls were a bit sticky but they tasted great. And thank you for giving me so many potential ball jokes.

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Cami August 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just made them and wow….I actually prefer them to Lara bars! They were so good, I made a second batch immediately! As usually, you make eating vegan fun and delicious! I am so grateful to have found your website Angela! I’m not vegan but have friends and relatives who are and now I have a great resource for tasty meals to cook for them! PS your potatoes with avocado garlic aioli is phenomenal!

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norah November 13, 2015 at 10:41 am
Recipe Rating:

I made these with a mix of dried cherries and raisins – they are delicious! i love your recipes for freezable bites – they make for great snacks in a pinch!

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Kayal January 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Just made these for the first time last night – they are delicious!! I live with a non-vegan family, and while I am vegetarian, I’m trying to make the switch to complete vegan. My mom asked me to make them every few days so we could have a healthy chocolate snack. I didn’t read the recipe clearly, and ended up with a cup of pecans, a half cup of almonds, and dried cranberries instead of cherries. Still delicious! Cheers!

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Ellen March 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Hi Angela,
I really dislike dates, but I know they’re commonly used in vegan recipes to sweeten and bind things together. Can you suggest any alternatives? Not sure if raw honey would be an option.
Just ordered your book and am looking forward to diving into a healthier lifestyle!
Thanks,
Ellen

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Raine_van March 13, 2016 at 9:51 am
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Love this recipe! Easy and full of flavour!

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Ali April 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm
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You know these bites are good when you give one to someone who doesn’t like cherries and they ask for another one! Will definitely make them again.

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Angela Liddon April 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Haha, it sounds like the recipe was a hit, Ali! I’m so glad to hear it :)

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Nicola Gildersleeve March 26, 2017 at 7:01 pm

I love these energy balls! I use them for my long training runs in the mountains!! I would use them as fuel for races too. Thanks!

Nicola

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Mary April 7, 2017 at 11:58 pm

Thank you for an energy ball that’s not got oats in it. My daughter is celiac and still can’t eat oats, and I’ve found it hard to find any non-oat recipes. When I create my own they always turn out a bit too soggy or de-frost far too quickl. As soon (may be a while!) as I find some decent gluten free pecans (most seem to be from factories that process wheat) I will give these a try.

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