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Chewy, sweet, chocolatey, coconutty… your new favorite snack is here.
These chocolate coconut date balls are full of flavor and sure to satisfy when you need some quick fuel mid-morning, mid-afternoon or any time of the day.
Perfect for sharing, the whole family is sure to enjoy these energy bites.
The recipe is inspired by my husband who is obsessed with all things coconut and is known to love a sweet snack.
With only 5 ingredients (not counting salt or water) these energy boosting bites hit all the marks:
- Quick to prepare (kids will love helping to roll them into ball shapes!)
- Good source of fiber
- Good source of protein
- Freezer friendly
Ingredients for Chocolate Coconut Date Balls
Is it just me or do Medjool dates feel extra fancy? These provide a source of sweetness to the energy balls without the need for an added sugar. Their caramel like texture also helps bind the ingredient so they stick together well when rolled into balls. Deglet dates may also be used for this recipe, but they are smaller, so you will need to increase to about 10 dates for the recipe.
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Who doesn’t love coconut? Shredded unsweetened coconut gets an upgrade in this recipe by toasting it on the stovetop. This elevates the flavor situation to a new level! I used a medium sized flake coconut, but small flakes would work as well. Coconut also provides a source of healthy fats to increase satiety and maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that is rapidly absorbed and readily used for energy.
Old Fashioned Oats
Using a whole grain base like oats, boosts fiber and complex carbohydrate content to provide slow burning energy. The soluble fiber in oats, called beta glucan is also beneficial in maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels. If you require a gluten free diet, be sure to purchase certified gluten free oats for this recipe.
Collagen Protein Powder
Collagen powder serves as the protein source for these energy balls, increasing the staying power so you can make it to your next meal without going hAngry! I used my favorite Vital Proteins powder for this recipe, but you can use any brand. In addition to the protein, the collagen also makes the mixture a bit more sticky so the ingredients maintain their spherical shape.
Unsweetened cacao powder provides a dose of antioxidants and chocolate flavor that perfectly compliments the toasted coconut. Cocoa is high in flavonoids, specifically, catechin and epicatechin, which have powerful antioxidant activity in the body helping to fight inflammation and chronic diseases.
How to Make 5 Ingredient Chocolate Coconut Date Balls
Soak the Dates
Soaking the dates in boiling water softens them and allows for easier mixing in the food processor. When the dates are soft they help bind all the ingredients together. If your dates have pits in them, you’ll want to remove the pits before soaking in water.
Toast the Coconut
This step is technically optional, but seriously, I don’t want you to miss out on the amazing smell of coconut toasting on your stove top! Not to mention the amazing flavor it adds to the recipe. Keep a close eye on the coconut as it can burn rather quickly. It should take less than 5 minutes to achieve a nice golden color.
Process the Oats
Before combining all the ingredients together, you’ll want to process the whole oats by themselves. Add them to the food processor and process on low until a you have a coarse flour that also contains some whole oats.
Add in the Remaining Ingredients
Add everything except the dates and the water to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine all the dry ingredients. Next, you’ll add the dates and water and process until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pause to scrape the sides of the processor as needed in order for all ingredients to combine.
Roll Into Ball Shape
Once the mixture is fully combined, transfer to a large bowl. Recruit a family member to help you roll the ingredients into 1 inch balls. The recipe will make about 1 dozen balls.
Can the Chocolate Coconut Date Balls be Frozen?
Absolutely! In fact, I recommend making multiple batches so you can freeze one for later. They can be pulled out of the freezer and added to lunch boxes or to your work bag for a between meeting snack. To keep them from sticking or freezing together, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet first and then freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer safe container.
Can the Recipe be Made Without Collagen?
You can definitely make this recipe without collagen for a vegetarian or vegan option. By omitting the collagen, the recipe will likely make closer to 10 balls. You could also experiment with adding a vegetarian protein source such as hemp hearts or a vegan protein powder.
5 Ingredient Chocolate Coconut Date Balls
- Food Processor
- 5 Medjool dates
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups old fashioned oats certified gluten free if necessary
- 6 scoops collagen protein powder 6 scoops of Vital Proteins collagen is equivalent to ¾ cup
- ¼ cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1-2 pinches sea salt I prefer flaky Maldon salt
- ¼ cup warm water reserved from soaking dates
- Place dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
- Place a medium sized pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Once the pan is warm add the coconut and toast for about 3-5 minutes or until it turns golden. Monitor closely as the coconut can burn quickly.
- Add oats to food processor and process on low until you have a very rough flour. You’re looking to have about 25% whole oats with the rest turned into a coarse flour.
- Next add coconut, collagen powder, cacao powder and salt. Pulse about 5-8 times until the ingredients are mixed.
- Drain the water from the dates, reserving ¼ cup, then add the dates and ¼ cup water to the food processor. Process until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, pausing to scrape the sides with a spatula as needed to adequately mix ingredients. This mixture will be thick and somewhat sticky due to the collagen and dates.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium sized mixing bowl. Using your hands roll the mixture into 12 1 inch balls.
- Can be enjoyed immediately, or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.
- If you love this recipe, make a double batch and store in the freezer.
- If freezing, place the energy balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, then freeze. Once frozen transfer the balls to a freezer bag or other freezer safe container.
- Each serving of 2 energy balls provides roughly 10 grams of protein.