Almond Joy Energy Bites

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This easy Almond Joy Energy Bites recipe taste just like the candy bar, but is naturally sweetened with dates and ready to go in less than 15 minutes! This post is also sponsored by Medjool Dates.

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Allow me to introduce you to my cute “dates” for Valentine’s Day.

They’re sweet, they’re charming, they are nice and healthy, and they come bearing chocolate — a must for any Valentine’s Day, if you ask me.  ;)

Yep, I made you some Almond Joy Energy Bites!  I realized we were long overdue on here for a new energy bites recipe.  And since chocolate seems to be on everyone’s minds this week, I thought it might be nice to have a healthier chocolate recipe that you could turn to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, or — yes — dessert.

As opposed to actual Almond Joy bars, these little bites are made with all natural, healthy ingredients.  And they are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.  And they are made with one of my favorite natural sweeteners — my Valentine’s “dates”, Medjool dates.

I’m pretty positive you are going to fall in love.

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I’ve long been a fan of traditional Almond Joy bars, but have never been stoked about all of the corn syrup they use to sweeten them.  So for these Almond Joy energy bites, I turned to one of my favorite natural sweeteners — Medjool dates!

I’m actually such a fan of dates that I’m taking over the Natural Delights Medjool Dates Facebook page this week, and talking about all things “dates” with their readers.  (If you’re free today at noon CST, hop over and come join for a Q&A about dates, where I’ll be answering reader questions!)

But it’s true — I discovered the joy of dates as a natural sweetener when I first began cooking, and have used them for cooking (and snacking!) countless times since.  When it comes to finding a natural sweetener that’s healthy, widely-available, affordable, sticky (especially good for energy bites), and full of delicious sweet flavor, dates win the gold star in my book.  Especially Medjool dates.

For years, I have to admit that I didn’t know there were different kinds of dates out there.  But then some friends introduced me to Medjools, and I fell in love.  They are larger than most other dates, sweeter, really soft (not try), and crazy good.  They literally taste like candy to me!  But they are also an awesome choice for a natural sweetener with cooking and baking.  They are easy to use, and they don’t give you the energy crash that comes from eating regular sugar.  Win-win, if you ask me.

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So it comes as no surprise that the Medjool dates rocked it in this Almond Joy Energy Bites recipe.  All of the ingredients came together perfectly in this recipe, and so easily too!  You literally just dump everything together in a food processor (or a strong blender) and let it do the work.  Then you can either shape the mixture into little energy bites or energy bars.  Here’s the how-to:

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Begin with — yes — your dates.  I used Medjool dates for this recipe, which I pitted by hand.  (Although you can buy them pitted as well.)  Then I popped them in the food processor, along with the remaining ingredients.

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And then I let the food processor do the work.  You’ll need to process the mixture for at least 2-3 minutes so that the almonds can grind up to form a sort of sticky almond butter.  Otherwise, they may not stick together as well.Almond Joy Energy Bites 7

You’ll know the mixture is ready when it moves past the crumbly stage and begins to clump to the sides of the food processor.  I then turned the mixture out into a bowl, and molded it into a big ball for easy scooping.
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Use a spoon or a cookie scoop (I used a small 1-tablespoon scoop) to help form your desired size of energy bites.  You can either roll them plain like this…

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…or immediately roll them in coconut flakes for extra coconut-yness.  (Just be sure to roll them immediately or else the coconut will not stick.)

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I made a mixture of coconut-covered energy bites, and just regular ol’ energy bites.  And then I thoroughly enjoyed eating them ALL.

Most of the time, I enjoy these as a pre- or post-workout snack (part of my motivation for working out!).  But they are also perfect for breakfast or even dessert.  Or Valentine’s Day.  ;)

You’re going to love ’em!

For more great recipes and tips on using Medjool Dates in cooking, be sure to visit their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

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Almond Joy Energy Bites

These Almond Joy Energy Bites taste like the candy bar we all love, but are made with healthier ingredients and sweetened with dates.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. (about 2 cups, loosely-packed) Medjool dates (**see note below about types of dates and substitutions**)
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)

Directions:

Add dates and remaining ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Blend the mixture for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has moved past the crumbly stage and begins to clump and stick to the sides of the food processor.

Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to measure out a tablespoon of dough (or your desired size) and roll it into a ball. If desired, roll the ball in a bowl of coconut flakes. Or just set it aside to eat as-is. Repeat with the remaining dough. (Alternately, you can flatten the dough into the bottom of an 8x8-inch parchment-lined baking dish, then cut it into bars.)

Store the energy bites in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

**I used Medjool dates in this recipe, which are already nice and soft. If you substitute another kind of date, you may need to soak them in warm water for 10 minutes first in order to soften then. (Then drain them before using.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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Disclaimer: This is a compensated sponsored post from Natural Delights Medjool Dates.  All date-loving opinions are 100% my own as always.  Thank you for supporting brands like this that help make this site possible!  

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Comments

  1. Cheryl Baker — January 29, 2015 @ 8:27 am (#)

    I LOVE the energy bites!  Do you have lit that who’s,the calorie counts on these wonderful recipes?

  2. Ruth — February 15, 2015 @ 9:27 am (#)

    What did I miss? Mine would not clump, added half cup of mind butter, still not very sticky and to top it off- my cuisinart started smoking! Recommend halving the recipie and adding almond butter. 

  3. Julia Gibson — February 21, 2015 @ 12:04 pm (#)

    Refrigerate??  They are relish and only about 90 calories per bite!!

  4. MARIA DE LOURDES ARAUJO — March 6, 2015 @ 3:27 pm (#)

    Olá !!
    Hum deliciosos esses docinhos me deixou com agua na boca parabéns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Catherine — March 30, 2015 @ 7:58 am (#)

    I made a half recipe of these last night. Delicious, super fast, filling, and I had all of the ingredients on hand. It was a great intro to using dates as a sweetener – I had been intimidated by them for some reason.

    • Ali — March 30th, 2015 @ 11:50 am

      Hey Catherine, I’m glad you liked these! And yes, dates are amazing! Try one or two in a smoothie sometime, they add just the right hint of sweetness. : )

  6. Kelsey — April 26, 2015 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    Made this recipe yesterday. They were so easy to make and are delicious!

    • Ali — April 30th, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

      Thanks Kelsey, so glad to hear it!

  7. Dayna — May 14, 2015 @ 8:34 pm (#)

    Made these tonight- I was amazed by how close they actually taste to an almond joy! 
    I used unsweetened dried coconut, and loved the result. My food processor hated the dates, though. 
    I calculated the nutrition facts for knowledgeable snacking (approx. per ball, if you make 40):
    Calories: 80 
    Total Fat: 5 g  (3.4 are unsaturated)
    Fiber: 2 g
    Sugars: 6 g
    Protein: 2 g

    • Ali — May 15th, 2015 @ 7:52 am

      Awesome, Dayna! Thanks for sharing the nutrition info! : )

  8. Toby — June 5, 2015 @ 10:11 pm (#)

    Love these! My 1 & 3yr old have one every morning to tide them over until I get their porridge cooked :) 

    • Ali — June 8th, 2015 @ 8:46 am

      That’s so cute, Toby! I’m happy you guys like them. : )

  9. Chris — June 19, 2015 @ 2:46 pm (#)

    My blade on my cusinart keeps popping up while it’s mixing… any tip? I never had this problem before.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28th, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

      That’s so weird, we haven’t had that problem before either! :/

  10. Allison — June 24, 2015 @ 8:53 pm (#)

    These are amazing! I made these with my 5 year old who called them “mud balls” because the mixture looks just like potting soil (maybe an idea for a healthier “dirt cake”?) but hubby, kiddo and I all love them! 

    Someone mentioned an issue getting the mixture to the right texture. Mine never clumped on its own but eventually did get sticky enough to make balls. I suggest testing the mixture to see if it sticks instead of waiting on spontaneous clumping. 

    I used unsweetened coconut and, while they aren’t candy sweet, they are plenty sweet for me. I say they ride that line between dessert and decadent snack – they can go either way. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28th, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

      Thanks, Allison! We’re so glad these were a hit with your little one, and with your husband! And thanks for sharing your tips! : )

  11. Rose Pitasi — July 9, 2015 @ 11:34 am (#)

    OMG just made these jewels!  they are so good and so easy to make!  you wont be sorry (even if you eat them ALL) <3

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 9th, 2015 @ 11:54 am

      Yay, we’re so happy you liked them, Rose!

  12. Chloe — July 24, 2015 @ 9:55 pm (#)

    I just made this recipe and added a tablespoon of almond butter. It is so delicious and Whole 30 approved!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29th, 2015 @ 10:05 am

      That’s awesome Chloe, we’re glad you enjoyed them!

  13. Linda — July 27, 2015 @ 10:53 pm (#)

    These turned out to be delicious – they taste a little like brownies! I processed for exactly 3 minutes and the ‘dough’ came together beautifully. The only downside is that they came out very, very greasy. I used the exact ingredients and measurements, but not sure if this was a result to processing the nuts, the coconut or what. Surely on Tbs of coconut oil couldn’t cause this much excess oil. I wonder if anyone else noticed this.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29th, 2015 @ 9:59 am

      Thank you Linda, we’re happy they worked out for you! We’re not sure why they were a little on the greasy side – it could be that you processed yours a little longer (which could have released more oils)?

  14. Connie — August 29, 2015 @ 6:59 pm (#)

    I love energy bites! I have some organic almond butt that I would llove to use, butI am not sure how much tho use as a substitute for whole almonds. Any suggestions?

  15. Gayle — August 29, 2015 @ 7:59 pm (#)

    These all look so good I want to try them all.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2nd, 2015 @ 11:01 am

      Thanks Gayle, we hope you enjoy!

  16. Lauren — August 31, 2015 @ 4:14 pm (#)

    These are awesome!  I added some chia seeds for a little extra boost.  Great snack to make with my daughters 5 and 9- and they love them too :)  thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 2nd, 2015 @ 10:13 am

      Thanks Lauren, we’re glad you and your daughters like them! Chia seeds are an awesome addition too, so good call! :)

  17. Lori — February 23, 2016 @ 10:18 pm (#)

    OH.MY.GOODNESS. I made these tonight and my kids and myself could not stop eating them. they are beyond delicious. We love to roll them into balls and store them in the freezer. They taste SO much like an almond joy bar- but better. Amazing. Thank you!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — February 24th, 2016 @ 11:28 am

      Awww we’re so glad you and your kiddos enjoyed these! :D

  18. Tammy — March 3, 2016 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    Made these yesterday, but used Walnuts instead of Almonds and left them a little chunky, so there are bits of Walnuts in them. They are delicious.  A nice, not too sweet treat!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 4th, 2016 @ 10:29 pm

      Thanks Tammy — we’re glad you enjoyed them! :)

  19. Kelly O — March 12, 2016 @ 3:29 pm (#)

    Can you recommend a food processor to make these. Mine burned out in my 2nd batch. Delicious!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 12th, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

      Hi Kelly! We like Cuisinart and Magimix. We’re glad you enjoyed these! :)

  20. Vin Fortuna — May 10, 2016 @ 2:46 pm (#)

     Yummy ! Looking forward to making. Storing? Can you freeze them?  How long will they last in container?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — May 15th, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

      Hi there! You can refrigerate and/or freeze these! In the refrigerator, they should be good for about two weeks, and in the freezer, we’d say three to four months. We hope you enjoy! :)

  21. Tina — June 4, 2016 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    I am going to try to make these. Do you mean a whole tablespoon of vanilla? I’m just checking!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 16th, 2016 @ 9:17 am

      Hi Tina! Yes, 1 TBS of vanilla is correct. We hope you enjoy these!

  22. Gene Stoops — July 25, 2016 @ 2:15 pm (#)

    Live alone live to cook and I think I enjoy energy bars and low calories but Good steak anytime too

  23. Kaye Loraine — August 2, 2016 @ 8:39 pm (#)

    These are perfect for Arizona in the summer. No one wants to turn on the oven. Thank you so much. They make the perfect dessert.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 3rd, 2016 @ 2:15 pm

      Thanks Kaye — we hope you love them!

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