I was making a recipe the other day and accidentally soaked a few too many of my dry dates in warm water. I had already made this recipe before so I knew I had too many and needed to do something with the extra dates. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to throw something together and see if it worked out. Luckily, they turned out DELICIOUS! I usually spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of recipe I want to make, what ingredients I should use in them, etc. so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried these balls and they didn’t need any tweaking!
Oats – The base of these balls are oats. You can use rolled oats or quick oats but I prefer rolled/old fashioned. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure to buy gluten-free oats. Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free but sometimes through processing and packaging they can get contaminated so gluten-free ensures there is no cross contamination.
Almond butter – I recommend a natural, drippy almond butter. You can substitute another nut butter but almond butter tends to be more neutral tasting. I find it gives it the best brownie flavor without being overpowering.
Dates – There are a few different types of dates. I’ve found that medjool and deglet work the best. If your dates are dry, you can soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes to soften them up.
Cacao powder – You can also use cocoa powder, it’s just a personal preference. I find cacao powder a little more dark chocolatey.
Cacao nibs – Cacao nibs are chocolate in it’s purest form before anything else is added. We often think of chocolate as sugary but cacao by itself is actually pretty bitter. Most chocolate we eat has a lot of added sugar. In the past, I haven’t enjoyed cacao nibs because they are pretty bitter when eaten alone. However, I found that in this recipe, there was enough sweetness in the dough to really enjoy the nibs.
When making this recipe, I was debating between chocolate chips and cacao nibs and decided on nibs because I bought them awhile ago and hadn’t used them in a recipe yet (sometimes it’s just that simple when making a decision! LOL). I am so glad I used these instead of chocolate chips! They gave the recipe a chocolatey crunch without being overly sweet. You can definitely substitute chocolate chips and it would still be delicious but I found the crunch of the nibs really made the balls pop with flavor.
Brownie Batter Energy Balls
- 1 cup oats (80 g)
- 1/4 cup almond butter (64 g)
- 12 dates (150 g)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder (20 g)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cacao nibs (30 g)
- Mix all ingredients except cacao nibs in food processor until combined. Pulse in cacao nibs.
- Roll dough into 12 balls. Chill in freezer for 2 hours. Enjoy!