I often think of blog posts when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Sometimes my mind is just so clear late at night. Plus, I’ve learned you have to embrace creativity when it’s here and ride it out when it’s not. Some days it strikes at 1:30pm and others it’s 1:30am.
Tonight, the clock reads 11:58pm and ideas are flooding into my mind. Hours before, I sat at the computer drawing a complete blank, so I welcome this wave of inspiration. I now have that awkward decision of whether I’m inspired enough to drag myself out of bed and down the hall to the office. This time I do and Eric murmurs something to me as I leave. The computer screen comes on and I’m blinded for a good minute, squinting my eyes until they adjust.
I type out my recipe ideas into my Google Drive document (yes, I finally got rid of my paper notebook!) and then I start writing a post. When I feel like I’ve dumped everything out of my mind, I turn off the computer and head to bed. It doesn’t take very long until I’m fast asleep for the night.
Many moons ago, I promised you a nut-free energy bite recipe. Today, I’m making good on my word and I believe this is the only nut-free energy bite recipe on my blog to date. Now, you know I love my nuts (there is just no good way to write that), but I’m a big fan of adding seeds into my daily diet too. If you follow me on Instagram you might have witnessed my recent obsession with adding hulled hemp seeds in smoothies. I just can’t get enough of these omega-3 and protein rich seeds. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to protein powder again!
Hulled hemp seeds do have a strong flavour – sometimes too strong if used with abandon – so in an effort not to allow their earthy flavour to take over a sweet treat, I decided that a chocolate flavour would work nicely to balance it out. Obviously, chocolate is the solution to every problem. Every time.
Into the food processor go pitted medjool dates and equal portions of sesame, chia, hemp, and cocoa powder. I added a bit of sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon for flavour enhancing and a scoop of cacao nibs for some awesome crunch. Raw cacao nibs are quite bitter on their own, but in these bites they work well adding antioxidants, fibre, magnesium, and more. Feel free to use mini dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate if you prefer. Leftovers are ready in the freezer for any snack attack and they are great when you’re running out the door in the morning!
PS- Thanks to my partner in crime for his crazy stacking skills!
Super Seed Chocolate Protein Bites
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Makes 16 bites
- 1 cup packed pitted Medjool dates (12-13 large)
- 1/4 cup hulled hemp seed
- 1/4 cup chia seed
- 1/4 cup sesame seed
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (or mini dark chocolate chips)
1. Add dates into processor and process until a chunky paste forms.
2. Add in the hemp, chia, sesame, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Process until thoroughly combined. Pulse in the cacao nibs. The dough should be sticky when pressed between your fingers. If it’s not sticky enough to shape into balls, add a small amount of water (a teaspoon at a time) and process until it comes together.
3. Shape dough into small balls (about 16) and freeze for 20 minutes or so until firm. Store leftovers in the freezer until your next snack attack hits.
Hope you have an energetic start to your week!
Way to go Angela, these look delicious, easy and nutritious!
I always like to try new bliss ball combos, so thank you :) xx
MMMmmmmm how yummy looking!
Look delicious, what can I use in place of hemp seeds as having trouble finding them? Thanks
Hi Lisa, I would try raw sunflower seeds :)
Wow..yum! Your website is an inspiration :) I also love the pretty design and font on the first photo, how did u do that?
Thank you Carole, I used Photoshop to write the text.
These look amazing. Was super keen to try them, and coincidentally had everything in the cupboard, except the hemp seeds. I’ve seen them mentioned in a couple of blogs, on twitter/instagram, so this gave me the push to go out and get some. Living in Western Australia, it can sometimes be hard to find particular health foods, especially ‘newer’ ones, so I hit up the internets to try to find a local stockist. Unfortunately I had very little success, as it turns out hemp (in all its forms) is not legal for consumption in Australia. Most upsetting. What would you suggest as a sub? Could I just up the amounts of chia & sesame to compensate? Or would flax work?
Hey Piper, I would suggest trying sunflower seeds if you can get them, if not other seeds should work fine. Enjoy!
THANK you! You may very well have solved my problem of how to get any kind of little omega-3 seeds into my husband. Not in smoothies, not in cereal, not in anything I can easily do (with gluten issues). He does love any kind of date/chocolate ball. Why didn’t I think of hiding chia in it? :D Thank you, again!!
These look amazing! I’ve been wanting to try hemp seeds but haven’t been sure what to do with them… until now. Will definitely be making these this week.
Side note: your photography is so, so lovely. I’ve been following your blog for the past couple of years and it just gets better and better, and truly inspires me to work on my photography skills. Can I ask: what did you use to get such a crisp white background in the stacking photos? I’ve tried white foam board, and it always ends up looking like foam board in my pictures — not exactly the look I’m going for!
Anything you would add in place of the sesame seeds? I’m allergic. Maybe just increase the proportions of the other seeds?
Yes I would increase the others or try sunflower seeds :) enjoy!
Oh, the only ingredient I’m missing are the dates! Well, I’m off on a quick shopping trip so I can try those as soon as possible. My son just saw the word “chocolate” and insisted I made them as soon as possible! :D
I made these and they are delicious. I didn’t have hemp seeds or sesame seeds so I used hemp protein powder and sunflower seeds. They came out delicious and I know I will be making them again. They’re perfect for when you need a little pick-me-up. Thanks for the great recipe!
PS: I made a parfait with them the other day. I made a banana pudding my blending bananas, rice milk and a bit of vanilla extract in my blender till it was thick and smooth. Then I alternated between layering the energy bites and some fresh blueberries in a tall glass with the pudding. It was delicious.
These look great! I love making protein truffles, or what I like to call “globes”. I actually have a recipe similar to these ones, thanks for sharing your variation :)
mmm we love adding hemp seeds to morning smoothies too. They are so filling :) Love making energy ball variations each week for snacks. Going to have to try cacao nibs. These look delish!
I’m loving hemp seeds at the moment and obviously chocolate makes everything better :) I bet the cacao nibs add a really nice crunch to these nutrient-packed treats.
These look amazing! I love dark chocolate, but have always found the raw cacao nibs too bitter for my liking. I’m excited to have a recipe to throw them into!!
Oh wow- GENUIS!
Do you think I could make this with nutiva hemp protein in place of the hemp seeds?
Hey Krissy, Is that hemp protein powder? I think powder could dry these out, so I’m not sure. I would add a very small amount at a time.
I’ve had hemp seeds in the pantry for months, and this recipe inspired me to open the package. The bites are great! I think they could be good with prunes and will let you know when I try that. Thanks!
I just made a batch and they were delicious. I am so appreciative that you made them nut-free. Due to my allergies I’m always substituting other ingredients for the nuts but this made it a lot simpler and I finally got to taste the recipe as is! Yum!
Thank you so much for a nut free energy snack!!! These look amazing–I will definitely be making them this weekend :D
GREAT recipe – I love all the things in those.
I always keep a stash of bliss balls in the fridge at work for something sweet after work, and these will be making an appearance.
I love them, I eating them from 2 days now!
I bought hemp seeds a few weeks ago and I haven’t cracked them open yet.. I guess I couldn’t think of how to use them (and I kinda forgot I had them in the cupboard). Thanks for posting this – I’m going to try it out!
AH these look fantastic! I’ve been looking for a snack bite recipe that doesn’t include loads of peanut butter or sweetener. Thanks for sharing :)
I love your blog! I eat one of your oatmeal recipes everyday for breakfast I’m hooked.
I would love to try this recipe. Unfortunately I’m severely intolerant to chocolate. Do you have a substitution I could use.
p.s. I read about you in the metro today :)
Hey Julie, Carob powder might work in place of the cocoa powder. I would add a little at a time since it has a strong flavour.
Hi Julie I substitute carob powder in any recipe that calls for chocolate for the same reason. It always works and no one knows I have used carob.
OMG!!! These bites are SOOOOO good!!!! Wasn’t sure where to find hemp seeds in Buenos Aires -and couldn’t wait to try it, they seemed so delicious and easy to make- so I replaced them for coconut… Excellent! Looooooove them. Like everything else I’ve tried from your recipes, they are fantastic and your instructions and photos always make things super easy to follow! I am so grateful for the day I came across your blog, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
Hey Angela! I want to make these but am having difficulties splurging on hemp seeds-they are so expensive! Any advice on a brand or alternative?-or should I just take the plunge?
These were very good. Even my grandparents liked them. :-)
Awesome! I love the idea of a nut-free snack ball. And packed with some nutritious power houses!
And inspiration most definitely never hits anytime after 7pm for me haha ;p
As someone who used to love to cook, then got waaaay to busy with a crazy job, thank you for re-awakening my love of preparing fresh, delicious food. I made these this morning and right away, made another batch as I could tell from tasting-as-I-prepared them, that these are a hit. I’m pretty sure even my carnivore husband will love them. Thanks for the inspiration and the great recipes!
Just finished making these … hope I can wait until the 20 freezer minutes are up. Really good.
I made two batches of these this weekend (one for me, one for a gift). The second batch I rolled in shredded coconut– this was a great addition!
Angela, I do have one question about substituting though. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so dried fruit is something I need to consume in very small amounts due to the sugar content. If I was to sub out half of the dates in order to reduce the sugar content, what could I include in it’s place?
Thank you! :)
Hmm, that’s a tough one – the dates act as a binder and sweetener, so you’d need to replace it with something that helps the mixture stick. I would probably try adding a bit of water to help make the mixture sticky (add 1 teaspoon at a time) and then I’d probably add some nut or seed butter since it helps bind too. good luck!
I just made these and they are amazing! My kids walked in while I was pulsing the dates and I was afraid they wouldn’t try them. But…they did. Not sure if they will make it in the freezer for the 20 minutes, the kids are searching for them. Oh well. Thanks!
Just what I was looking for! Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to make these tomorrow. Perfect for a late night snack or to bring to work when my afternoon cravings strike.
I made these today, and love them! I’m just starting marathon training again, and am looking for fun, protein packed snacks instead of always using protein powders (especially since I can’t have dairy or gluten). It’s hard to stop eating them. :)
I have never used seeds in baking, but I’ve been desperately seeking a healthier option to protein bars… Maybe I’ll be brave and give this one a try. Thanks!
Loved these! They were easy to make and are packed full of nutrition. These will be a regular snack at our house. Thanks!
Thank you for this recipe – they’re delicious and so incredibly easy to make! My 23 month old got a huge kick out of making them with me and he loved them as well (even thought he got his own little mini bites)! They may also become a go-to as far as my gifts to new moms – an ideal one handed snack! Thanks again.
I made these Chocolate Protein Bites for the first time this morning. This is my new favorite recipe. Love the chocolate flavor and the crunch. I lightly rolled them in dark cocoa powder and they look exactly like my favorite chocolate truffle (without the guilt). Thanks for the inspiration!
hi there! i was wondering what if we dont have a food processor? does a normal blender work okay? :) cant wait to try these!!!
oh and one more thing- what brand of cacao nibs is the healthiest/organic/least processed? i dont know where to find those! thanks so much for your time :) xx
I have become obsessed with making protein bites. I must try this recipe. Thank you for sharing!!
These are absolutely incredible and ridiculously easy!
I’ve never been super crazy about sesame seeds.. do you think that ground flax would work, or would it change the texture too much?
You could always give it a shot! I’m not sure as I havent tried it, but let me know how it goes if you do.
Hi Angela, I was just wondering if you used sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe. I have both at home but I think the unsweetened version might make it too bitter? I’m not sure so I thought I’d ask before wasting any ingredients or having to dunk these bites into actual chocolate haha! Thank you!
Hi Emy, I always use unsweetened cocoa powder in my recipes – hope this helps!
These are fabulous!! I made these for the first time a few weeks ago and now I can’t live without them!! thanks Angela!
Hey I love all of your recipes!! I’m thinking of buying a food processor since a lot of your recipes require one. Which one do you have?
I have a 14-cup Cuisinart processor – love it. I would probably get a smaller size next time though.
These look delicious. Is it possible to make them without a food processor, I don’t have one yet. I only have a Magic Bullet.
Hi Janet, I think you could make them in a bullet or blender, though you may need to process in batches if your blender is on the smaller side. You’ll also want to make sure your dates are soft, so your blender can handle them. If you find your dates are a bit on the dry side, you can soften them by soaking them in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes (then drain them, and continue on with the recipe as written). That way your blender will be better able to handle them. Hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!”
These are amaze-balls.
I’m very new to the vegan lifestyle. I’m trying to determine how much protein I am getting. Your nutrition information for this wonderful recipe gave the grams of protein per serving. However, I cannot find how many of these balls constitute a serving. Thank you!
Depending on the size you make your balls, one or two, about 30grams I believe.
OMG I just made these and added some natural organic orange zest. They came out amazing! Just like the orange chocolate coffees from all the coffee shops in winter. Now I can enjoy the taste without having to buy an over expensive coffee. Thank you Angela!
I’m stocking up today on my healthy treats for the week since its snowing up here in MA! These are amazing!! Do you think I could add crushed sunflower seeds to these, maybe throw some in the food processor for a few pulses? Trying to increase my vit e intake. Thanks!
We are in MA also Juliet.