Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Call it personal fault or personal flair, but I never leave the house for more than two hours without a snack in my purse. Bonus points if said snack can double as a dessert. My latest munchie mate: Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls. These scrumptious little morsels taste like chocolate peanut butter cups but are healthy, vegan, gluten free, and guaranteed to come to your rescue at the first signs of hanger.
Of all the healthy snack recipes I make, energy balls are the ones I come back to most.
They’re easy to make (for a primer, check out my original Energy Balls, an ultimate guide for no bake energy balls + six ways to customize them).
They’re friendly to just about every dietary and lifestyle consideration. Need your energy balls vegan? How about raw energy balls? Energy balls Paleo? Gluten free energy balls? Naturally sweetened? Grammatically correct?
Check. Check. Check. Aaaaaand, check. There’s an energy ball option for you.
Energy balls are EASY. Can you stir things in a bowl or put things in your food processor? You can make healthy energy balls.
They are high in protein and fiber, which meals they keep you full, and full = happy.
I’ve made a small hippie cafe’s worth of energy ball recipes over the years, many of which you can find on this site: Pumpkin Energy Balls; Fig Almond Energy Balls; Ginger Cookie Healthy Energy Balls, to name but a few.
With all my energy ball experimentation, however, I realized last week that I’d neglected to give you a recipe for one of the most fundamental flavors of all: Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.
How I managed to come up with a recipe for Golden Raisin No Bake Energy Bites before sharing a recipe for oatmeal energy balls that celebrates a combination as core to my personhood as chocolate and peanut butter, I do not know. (Chocolate and peanut butter also go together in this Peanut Butter Protein Bars recipe!)
Forgive my omission, make a double batch of these no bake chocolate peanut butter protein balls, and let’s make up for lost time!
About This Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls Recipe
These chocolate energy balls taste like morsels of chocolate peanut butter cookie dough but are made entirely of healthy ingredients.
Dates. Oatmeal. Peanut Butter. Cocoa. Chia seeds.
I feel as justified and satisfied eating one of these low calorie energy bites for breakfast or after a workout as I do for a healthy dessert.
If you are new to the healthy energy ball recipe world, most energy balls fall into one of two categories: those with honey or maple syrup as the sweetener and energy balls with dates.
While honey/maple syrup win in the maximum ease department (and I do make energy balls like this often, as these cookie-dough flavored No Bake Protein Balls can attest), I have a soft spot for energy balls with dates.
Dates taste like caramel, are high in fiber, and create a raw energy ball “dough” that is easy to shape, no extra fat, sugar, or oil required.
You do need to dirty your food processor to make energy balls with dates, but I promise it is worth the effort. I loathe washing my food processor, but I have never ever regretted using it to make a batch of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal balls.
(PSA: For those in the market for a food processor, I have owned my Cuisinart food processor for more than 10 years. It’s easy to clean and works just as well as the day I bought it.)
How to Store and Freeze
- To Store. Leftover energy balls can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator or overnight.
If you are looking for protein balls without peanut butter, you can make this recipe with an alternative nut butter or sun butter. As long as you use gluten free certified rolled oats (these are the ones I buy), these chocolate energy balls are gluten free.
Other Energy Ball Recipes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- 1 1/4 cups Mejool dates - pitted (about 10 dates)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter - plus 2 tablespoons
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds - you can also use ground flaxseeds, hempseed, or an additional tablespoon of oats
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- If your dates are dry, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and pat dry.
- Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until the dates break into small bits and form a ball that sticks to the side of the bowl. Add the oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, chia seeds, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is broken down and in small pieces but not completely smooth. Add the cocoa powder and pulse to combine. At this point, the dough will look like crumbs (see photo in the blog post above), but when you scoop some into your hand and press to roll it into a ball, it should hold together easily. If it seems too dry and isn't holding together, add a little peanut butter; if it's too sticky, add a few more oats. (The amount you need may vary based upon the brand of peanut butter you use and the moisture of the dates.)
- Roll the dough into balls of your desired size (I did slightly over 1 inch and ended up with 14 energy balls). Enjoy immediately (the balls will be soft but delicious) or pop in the refrigerator for 10 or so minutes to allow the balls to set.
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