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, 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.
TO STORE: Leftover chocolate peanut butter energyballs can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
TO FREEZE: Frozen protein balls are good for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator or overnight.