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Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

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Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Time for a new no bake energy bites recipe!

This one’s extra-special because I made it with my lovely mama.

Remember how I talked in my last post about my parents coming up for a visit last week? Well, while Dad was making a cheesecake and helping wash 5.1 million dishes and tackling my to-do list, Mom was cooking up a bonafide storm with me in the kitchen. We made all sorts of crazy things while she was here! Nachos, blondies, salsas, coffee cakes — you know, just the normal use-every-dish-in-the-house-all-in-one-day life of a food blogger.

One of the first projects I had her tackle was rolling up some new Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites that I had just whipped up. She much prefers to turn my no bake energy bites recipes into granola bars (since she’s told me on more than one occasion that “those little balls” aren’t her favorite to roll up). But since she was in sous-chef mode, she willingly rolled each of them up and even poked a few extra chocolate chips in the outside for extra credit to please her food-styling daughter. (Don’t they look great?!?)

And then we ate them. :)

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Actually, I should point out that Mom’s the best cook in the family by a mile. She not only had dinner on the table for us almost every night growing up (even while running her own full-time business), but she was also constantly whipping up sweets for dessert, and homemade sack lunches for us to take to school, and casseroles to take to friends in need, and whatever other culinary need might arise. Then once my sister and I hit college, she would prepare little care packages full of chex mix and cookies and random little gifts to surprise us in the mailroom. Even today, she still usually comes to town with some sort of goodies in tow.

(Hmmm, and people ask where I got my love of cooking?)

Sadly, I was always stayed busy with various activities as a teenager and didn’t take the opportunity to learn from her in the kitchen. But now we’re making up for lost time, and really enjoy getting to cook together whenever we’re in the same city.

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

As I mentioned in my last post, she and my dad have been really generous these past few years with offering to come up to Kansas City for “work days”, as they call them. Basically they offer to help with whatever to-do lists I have around the house, which is SUCH an amazing gift. And let me tell you, these two entrepreneurs are hard workers, so we always get an impressive amount of things done! This month, though, my main to-do lists involved cooking recipes for various freelancing deadlines and a few other projects. So, Mom promptly donned her apron (always her first order of business, which is always followed by a question about why I don’t wear an apron), and we got to work. :)

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Somehow I accidentally deleted the photos on my camera of all of the ingredients laid out. (Oops!)  But as you can guess from the title, the main two ingredients in this version of the no bake energy bites are delicious cashew butter and dark chocolate chips.

It was Mom’s first time trying cashew butter, which she liked. Although it was not her first time trying dark chocolate, which is kind of her favorite.

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

I had already mixed up the basic granola batter with old-fashioned oats (use GF oats if making these gluten-free), coconut, honey, flax seed, and a splash of vanilla. Then Mom rolled them into little balls.

(And yes, if you want them to look extra cute and photogenic, just pop some chocolate chips in the side like you do for photogenic chocolate chip cookies.)

Just like the other no bake energy bites recipes on the blog, these little treats were ready to go in minutes.

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

They are perfect for snacking, an easy breakfast on-the-go, a healthy dessert, or any ol’ time you’re craving a boost of energy. Or craving that delicious cashew/chocolate combination. YUM.

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

And as I said, if you use GF oats, they’re naturally gluten-free. Also if you use agave instead of honey (and true milk-free dark chocolate), they’re also naturally vegan.

So energy bites for ALL!

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Mom is also a lettering artist (amongst her many talents), so I had her “play with her food” and create this little graphic too. ;)

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

Big thanks for all of your help making these, Mom, and for sous-chef-ing like a champ in the kitchen! And just in general for being so awesome, and smart, and giving, and talented, and loving. And for modeling what it looks like to be woman running a business and having a cool life at the same time. I think you’re amazing, and I love you!

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

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Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 20-25 energy bites 1x


These cashew dark chocolate energy bites are full of protein and perfect as a snack, breakfast, or healthy dessert.


  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or cacao nibs)
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade


  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 balls.

Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites | #glutenfree #vegan

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61 comments on “Cashew Dark Chocolate Energy Bites”

  1. Aw–your parents sound amazing. How sweet of them to help you. And these little energy bites? They look perfect! I feel like your mom sometimes about rolling them into balls, but in the end I’m glad I did because I love having cute little portion-controlled snacks on hand. :)

  2. Your parents are so sweet! Aren’t parents just the best?! They always help you tackle everything, whether they’d chose it or not. And it’s always better with them! These bites look amazing :)

  3. Your mom is adorable! I love that you ladies were able to spend quality time together in the kitchen. There is something so magical that happens when both people really enjoy cooking – I swear the food tastes better! I love the ingredient list here and have been eyeing the Cashew Butter at TJ’s – I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not but now I have a recipe to try it in so I’ll be buying a jar and testing it out! Thanks for sharing this made me smile!

  4. I love these, Ali! They’re the perfect snack! I’m obsessed that you use the cashews and chocolate chips to spell out their respective names. So fun :)

  5. I love this post, and the one with your Dad! I hope my teenagers will want to hang out with me when they are adults on their own. Oh, and we love energy bites around here. Mine are very similar, but I haven’t tried them with cashews yet. Good idea!

  6. Okay, you and your mom are TOO cute! You’re so lucky to have both of your parents ready to lend a helping hand in the kitchen. My love for cooking (and baking) also comes from my mom, and I couldn’t be more greatful! I llove your “portion control” granola bite recipes. They totally satisfy a sweet craving! And cashew butter!! Yum, it’s so rich and delicious! I haven’t gotten the cashew butter yet from Trader Joe’s yet but I can’t wait to pick some up!

  7. I love cashews more than anything! These are so perfect!

    Also, your parents so so awesome!

  8. Cashews and chocolate are two of my favorite snacks, so to combine those two into bite size balls is just genius!

  9. wow: good and tasty idea!

  10. Your mom is adorable! I haven’t seen the cashew butter at TJ’s….I’ll have to check next time I go. I love to grind it myself and Whole Foods. Anyhow, these are perfect for pocket snacks when hitting the mountain- love them!

  11. omg I love your mom. She sounds like the mom to have if you love food!! My mom was quite the oppostite of this lol. Awesome food art :) These energy bites look fabulous. I have been staring that cashew butter from TJ’s down nearly everyday. STILL have yet to buy it. Looks like I have a valid reason now. Wouldn’t you say? Thanks Ali! Always love your posts and food style!

  12. These look perfect for snacking and I love seeing pictures of you and your mom having fun in the kitchen!

  13. We are heading to TJ’s next week and I’m going to keep my eye out for cashew butter!!! Ps: I heart your mom. I love that she comes to help you with blog work!!! What a peach.

  14. Who has a 1 week old and will eagerly scarf down anything with the word “energy” in it?! *waves hand frantically*

    These sound super yum – cashews and chocolate are so meant for each other!

  15. I am sharing this recipe with some of my vegan and gf friends. Might have to make them myself!

  16. Cashew butter has the most amazing taste and Trader Joe’s is the best I’ve tried so far… Love how simple these are to make and how they satisfy my sweet tooth with something healthier. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your parents and have a ton of fun together:)

  17. I love the photo of you and your mama!
    Even though you feel like you didn’t take the time to spend in the kitchen with her when you were a kid, you were still learning from her. You were smelling and tasting her cooking. You were watching her enjoy the process. You picked up more than you think ;)

  18. I’ve been obsessed with that cashew butter, too! Cannot wait to use up the remainder of the bottle making these :)

  19. You and your momma have the same eyes! Such a cute pic of you two!

    I’m all about energy bites, super easy to make, and darn right tasty. But these are off the charts because I LOVEEEEEE cashews! Can’t wait to make these … next week!

  20. Looks great Ali! I love energy bites as they are so useful when you want a quick snack!

  21. Awww, love the photo of you and your mom! Also, totally agree on the energy bites – so easy and so fun to pop in! Love your dark chocolate and cashew butter combo! Pinning!

  22. Mom’s are seriously the best. Now that I’m a mom, I feel like it’s impossible to live up to my own mom’s awesomeness! If I could only be half as cool as she is, I’ll take it! These little bites look awesome and easy. Thanks for the great recipe.

  23. I LOVE these pictures! Some of your best yet, for sure! And these little bites look amazing – I can’t wait to see whatever you whipped up with your mom!

  24. I sounds like you and your mom had a fun time! (ps you guys could be sisters!!) And these look phenomenal Ali! Cashews and dark chocolate?Goodness me! I’d give anything to have these to snack on right now!

  25. hey…
    trying this recipe today…going to the shops in a bit to get the cashew butter.
    got 2 kids who go through all the sweets in the house so.. thought I should get in to bit of home made sweets.
    I am so impressed with the photos..are they done by a professional.? I wish I can do those amazing quality photos for my products.

  26. Yup, I think your mom’s great now, even without meeting her!
    Love these little energy bites, too. Anything that’s as easy as this … I’m in!

  27. I love cashews so these might be my fave energy bites yet!

  28. I love everything about these!

  29. Yes please! I could gobble a few of these up right! They sound delicious.

  30. Such a delicious little snack!

  31. Looks great! wish I knew the nutritional break down!

  32. Yum! Have to make these.

  33. These are wonderful! I fell in love with the peanut butter protein bites at The Filling Station and have been trying a bunch of recipes to try and recreate it. I changed a few things up (sunflower seeds instead of coconut and almond meal instead of flax) but they were so good! Thanks for a great recipe :)

  34. This is a great recipe and tastes yummy. Thanks for all your vegan inserts too!!

  35. Can’t wait to try these…all my favorite ingredients and no bake!
    I must say, your mom looks like your sister!

  36. Thanks for the deliciousness!! My picture is here:

  37. Hey. I love your recipes. They’re awesome. Do you have any suggestions for replacement ingredients for dessicated coconut. I usually use oats to the same weight (when I make crunchies) and was wondering if I could do the same with this recipe? Thanks!

    • Thanks, Judy! I think you could definitely just up the amount of oats, or you could add nuts (cashews or walnuts would be awesome in these, but whichever nut you prefer is fine). Or you could do a combination of more oats and the addition of nuts. I hope that helps!

  38. looking forward to making these… You had me @ Trader Joe’s… Any thoughts on how to change the recipe to NOT use coconut? Could I just add more oats or do you have a substitution suggestion? (I hate coconut). Also, do you know calorie count?

    • Thanks, Sara! You could totally just add more oats, or use some nuts (any kind you like), but I think walnuts or cashews would be awesome in these. : ) I actually do not know the calorie count. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, since the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. I hope that helps!

  39. I just made these today….they are AWESOME!!  This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your site, and I love them.  I’ve recently gotten into the energy ball craze, so I’ve been looking around on-line for some different recipes. I’m glad I tried this one.  I didn’t have cashew butter, so I put 2/3 cup cashew pieces in my food processor, along with the honey called for in the recipe.  I blended them until smooth.  Also, I didn’t toast the coconut, because I’m lazy like that :)  But, man, the final product was great!  I made these with sweetened coconut flakes but I may try them with unsweetened next time, just to cut back on sugar a bit.  But really, I love love love them!  I also wasn’t patient enough to put them in the fridge for 30 mins before rolling into balls, so I just sprayed my hands with cooking spray, and rolled them into balls right after I mixed the ingredients together.  That worked just fine.  I’m looking forward to trying other recipes of yous!

  40. is there anything you can substitute for the coconut or leave it out all together?  I really want to try these but hate coconut!

    • Hi Leah, certainly! You could leave the coconut out, and add 2/3 cup of your favorite nut(s), and/or seeds (like chia or sunflower), or just leave it out entirely, and maybe add some extra oats. We hope this helps!

  41. How much protein in these, the basic one with the chocolate chips and almond Joy?

    • Hi Sheila! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the amount of protein in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  42. These look delicious! And your mom looks so young! 
    Seems like you had a great time together :)

  43. Can you freeze these to make them last longer? I was hoping to whip up a few different energy bites in one swoop and freeze just to have on hand (they’re perfect for grab and go during nursing sessions!) but I wasn’t sure how well they would hold up. 

    • Yes, you can definitely freeze these! They’re so small, so they barely take any time to defrost (plus, we think they’re better cold anyway)! :)

  44. Hi,
    I’m wondering if you have any idea if I could sub with peanut butter and/or use softened cashews in place of cashew butter? Also, omit the flax seeds?
    I know this will change the recipe/taste, but I would like to use what I have and not buy more ingredients.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Briana! Yes, you could definitely use peanut butter instead of cashew butter, and you could omit the flax seeds. We hope you enjoy! :)

  45. I am LOVING all the no-bake energy bites/balls recipes on your website – thank you!  Am wondering if there is a way to sub a non-grain for the oats?  I am trying to keep mine low-carb and grain-free.  You think a nut flour might work?  Or even chopped cashews?  I don’t mind reducing the agave either so that there is less liquid in the mixture …. please help with any suggestions you might have.  Thank you in advance!

    • We’re so glad to hear that, Faye! And that’s a good question, hmmm…we haven’t experimented with using nut flour in these, but there are definitely recipes out there (this one uses nuts and a combination of seeds): You could do a combination of the two recipes perhaps? We hope this helps!

  46. Hi! This recipe looks great. I’m wondering if there are any substitutes for honey/agave? I’m vegan and can’t have agave – maybe use some coconut oil?

    • Hi Julie! Honey isn’t vegan but Agave nectar is. So is maple syrup so you could use either of those ingredients in these. We hope you enjoy!

  47. for the person that asked about calories or nutrition. These “energy balls” will give you energy. Yet if you are trying to lose weight or eat healthy , these are not the way to go. Look up the sugar and fat content of chocolate chips, coconut, oatmeal, cashew BUTTER … if you eat these as a treat , thats just what it is. a treat 

    • Julie

      Many Sugar companies use none chat but with Agave it should be Vegan. Are you worried about the clarity of the Agave product? Are you worried about some of the data on Agave??

  48. When my son asked if we could make chocolate chip cookies today I hesitated and decided to look for a healthier version. So glad I found this post!! My kids loved help making these! We used peanut butter since that’s what we had on hand. Also because kids were the cooks we rolled first (I did have to add extra pb to make them stick but after that they rolled out fine), ate a bunch, and then refrigerated the rest, and I will be secretly freezing a majority of those shortly! Loved them!! Thanks so much :)

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Marcie! We’re so happy you and your kiddos enjoyed them! :)

  49. These were amazing! p.s. your mom looks like your sister:)

  50. I just made these! OMG! They are really yummy! I used peanut butter since I didn’t have cashew butter, but still oh, so good! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Cherish your lovely parents. They sound wonderful and, clearly, love you lots!