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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Coconut Date Energy Bites.

Last weekend when we got a last minute invite to go hiking, the email accompanying the invite mentioned bringing snacks and a lunch to stay fueled during our adventure.  We didn’t have any granola bars or other nonperishable snacks on hand in the pantry, so I thought I’d try my hand at something homemade.  I wanted something dense, filling, healthy, and easy to transport.

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

I thought back to a special event I attended a few weeks ago for Seattle-area health bloggers.  It was hosted by Whole Foods, and we had a private cooking demo from WF’s Executive Chef, Chad Sarno – as well as a great discussion about healthy cooking, particularly for kids.  One of the things he stressed was reducing the amount of refined sugar our diets, and he suggested the use of things like dried fruit as natural sweeteners. 

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I watch Cullen shove food into his mouth faster and faster.  I feel comfortable that we already have pretty healthy eating habits, but I know there is always room for improvement.  I’d like to stop spending money on things like Clif Bars – things that have a lot of extra ingredients and wasteful packaging – and start making more things like this to keep on hand.

Coconut Date Energy Bites

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (12-14 balls)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 12 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water (you might not need quite this much!)
  • zest of one orange
  • pinch of salt
  • extra coconut for rolling (optional)

Instructions

Honestly, it doesn’t get much more simple than this.  Make sure your dates are pitted, and then chop them into bite sized pieces.

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

Add dates, oats, coconut, vanilla, salt, and pepitas to a food processor.  Zest one orange over top of the food processor, and then let it spin.  The mixture will be dry and crumbly – let it process for a minute just to break down some of the bigger ingredients.

Slowly add about 1/4 cup of water – add just until the mixture becomes wet and a bit sticky.  Scoop out tablespoon sized portions and roll into balls. They will have a bit of stickiness to them, so I like to roll them in dried coconut to help prevent them from sticking together.

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

These can be eaten at room temp, but I prefer them cooled in the refrigerator. Pack for snacks, hikes, bike rides, or any other long day where you might need a quick boost.

We ate ours at the top of a mountain after a long climb, and we stopped along the way for snacks and water a few times.  I offered some of the bites to our friends, who happily accepted.  As we continued to hike, Kelsey asked me two times exactly what went into the snacks, so I took it as a good sign that they were a hit.

IMG_7430 (427x640)

My fitness level has been subpar at best lately, but I’m hoping that changes soon.  These bites are certainly motivating me to get back to my old training days.  I think these would be perfect as pre-run fuel, or great to take along on a long bike ride. 

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

I’m also planning to make a batch or two of these each weekend for Casey to take to work the next week – a good pick-me-up in the middle of the workday, and much healthier than the dense sugar-bombs that often lurk in office breakrooms.

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

There are a million variations you can make with these, and I plan to test out as many as possible.  This particular recipe clocks in at about 125 calories per bite.  It might sound like a lot, but the idea is that it is a small, dense snack – good for filling and fueling.  I have a gigantic appetite (and sweet tooth), and I was surprised to find that just two of these was more than satiating.

Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish

As always, enjoy!

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79 Comments so far
Leave a comment

brandee     at 10:21 pm

They look great! I can’t wait to try them!

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Ashley     at 10:22 pm

I love, love homemade snacks like this. The zest of an orange was a fabulous addition. I’m definitely with you on the natural fruit sweeteners!

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Courtney@Translating Nutrition     at 1:04 am

Yum! Looks delicious. I am all too aware of the sugar bombs in the office kitchen. It is far too easy to given into them, but I think something like this would help ward off the sugar craving. Thanks for sharing!

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

My office kitchen features bagel/donut Wednesdays and drawers of free soda at all times. :(

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 2:37 am

These look delicious! I love that you rolled them with coconut–hmm. I need to make things like this at home more often too. I could keep them in my pocket at work for a snack–which is MUCH healthier than the things I tend to snack on when I get hungry otherwise. Thanks for sharing Emily!

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Emily @ Life on Food     at 2:40 am

I always have the hardest time finding dates at our two local stores. It takes some extra planning to get myself to the Whole Foods two towns over. Worth it though for all of the foods you can add them to.

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com }     at 3:29 am

The pumpkin seeds seem like they would be a nice twist of flavor in these!

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Michelle@PeachyPalate     at 3:44 am

Yum! They sound incredible! I love making raw energy balls but I haven’t tried using seeds in them, definitely have to give these a go!

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Lauren     at 4:15 am

These look great Emily! I used to make date energy balls all of the time but haven’t in awhile. We are going to the beach next weekend and I think these will be perfect to bring along.

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Chase     at 5:10 am

These look great, Em! I’m really REALLY over highly processed, loaded with additives snacks. These look like a perfect alternative!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

ME too. :)

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Ellen     at 5:19 am

We also made these a few days ago. We added cocoa powder (antioxidants/caffine), flax seeds, almond butter, dates, and peanuts. They turned out excellent and were quite addictive. It isn’t something we had made before, but we ate them up in two days! I forsee myself making lots more of them for quick energy boosts!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Sounds delicious!

[Reply]

Simply Life     at 5:33 am

What a great snack to take!

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Kristi     at 6:01 am

Looks easy and yummy! I’m due with my first bebe in December and already on the hunt for easy to make snacks with lots of mom fuel! These look like they would freeze easily also. Can’t wait to see your variations!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Congratulations!!

[Reply]

Clara     at 6:04 am

What would you suggest as a replacement for someone who doesn’t like coconut?

[Reply]

Betty Reply:

I was going to ask the same – so if someone has an idea – let us know
thanks !

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

I would say that thinly sliced almonds would work well. Maybe run those through the food processor first?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Perhaps almond meal? Someone else tried wheat germ and said it turned out well!

[Reply]

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:20 am

Oh my, these look good! I am making these this weekend!!

[Reply]

Ali     at 7:54 am

Yummm. And extra thanks for an ‘energy bar’ type of recipe that doesn’t rely on nut butter as a binder. I’m severely allergic, and it can be tricky to get the consistency right without it. Thank you thank you!

[Reply]

Lauren     at 8:13 am

These look amazing and friendly for me since I have a nut sensitivity! Can’t wait to try. Have you found a relatively inexpensive place to buy dates? I feel like they are so overpriced most places!

[Reply]

Leah Reply:

I get mine at a small health food store in the town I work in. They sell them in the refrigerated section. :) It’s cheaper to get them there compared to Whole Foods. Other dried fruit I do get at Trader Joe’s (that seems to be the most affordable in my area). I just figure that the dates are pricey anywhere but at least this way I’m supporting a small local business. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I get mine at Trader Joe’s!

[Reply]

Carly @ Snack Therapy     at 8:34 am

These look like little donut holes! So adorable and yummy : ).

[Reply]

Heather (Heather's Dish)     at 8:50 am

these sound incredible – dates are now on the grocery list!

[Reply]

Adrianne     at 9:01 am

These look great, Emily! I can’t wait to try them this weekend! Did Cullen taste them at all? If so, what did he think? I have a daughter who is 11.5 months and getting more and more into table foods. She’s in daycare 2.5 days a week and I don’t love what they serve for breakfast, lunch and snack, so I’ve always sent her own food. This is getting more and more challenging and stressful for me as she moves away from purees and into “real” food. I’m at a complete loss on what to send for her lunch everyday that is semi-portable and most importantly, healthy! I’d love to hear more about what Cullen is eating these days and if you have any fun and easy ideas (like this!) for our babies who are rapidly becoming toddlers:) I know you’re super busy, so don’t feel obligated, but if you’re looking for any post ideas, I’d love to hear more!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

He didn’t, only because he hasn’t had any nuts yet, and also had a bad reaction to oats at six months. His doctor encouraged us to wait until he’s a year before we try again. I’ll definitely write something about good packable baby food though! Good idea!

[Reply]

Nicki Reply:

I can’t wait for the packable baby food ideas!!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 9:47 am

Just went to BJ’s and restocked our supply of dates. Perfect timing!

[Reply]

Angela     at 11:09 am

I can’t believe I actually have all of the ingredients to make this! Mostly thanks to your influence :). I bought some dates, dried fruit, and nuts based on your suggestion to try them for snacks. Thanks so much for the great recipe, and health living advice!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Oh yay – enjoy!

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Julie     at 11:46 am

Thankyouthankyou Emily! It’s like you read my mind. I have a long trail race coming up and just yesterday was looking for something easy to make that had dates and coconut in the ingredients. This will fit the bill perfectly and I can stash them in my drop bag and take a couple in my hydration vest. Cannot wait to try them out…thanks again! Love your blog so much. :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Have a great race! Happy to help.

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Allison     at 1:22 pm

Holy yum! It’s times like these I get soooo sad I don’t have a food processor!

[Reply]

Melissa     at 1:27 pm

Any suggestions on a replacement for the oats that doesnt include grains?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Maybe almond meal?

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Laura     at 1:41 pm

I just made these (I only subbed dry roasted almonds for the pepitas, and they added a nice saltiness) and they are AWESOME! We are hiking on Saturday in New Hampshire so I’m bringing them then. Thanks for the inspiration!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Have a great hike!

[Reply]

Errign Reply:

Have fun in New Hampshire :) That’s my home state and I’ve spent years working in the White Mountains!

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Amy     at 1:44 pm

Those sound great…I will definitely try them.
Great post!!

[Reply]

Laura     at 1:57 pm

Update…just rolled them in wheat germ because my coconut is flaked, not shredded. Worked perfectly!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Wow – good idea! Thanks for the tip!

[Reply]

kristin     at 11:00 pm

LOVE DATES and COCONUT! Yumyum :) I was thinking about buying a bunch of Larabars to hold me over, since those have minimal ingredients as well, but I really like this idea and I am sure the combinations could be endless, so thank you for another great idea!
I also don’t have a food processor, but would a standard blender do the job? I’ve made pesto & hummus with it and no problems…
Keep up the hiking! Isn’t it fantastic!? It’s another thing I will look forward to sharing when I have a little one of my own. Washington looks just gorgeous!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

It really depends on the blender, but it’s worth a shot!

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luv what you do     at 6:30 pm

I’m going camping/hiking next weekend and I have been looking for some snacks to make. These look perfect!

[Reply]

Aaron     at 4:24 am

G’day Emily, I just whipped up a batch of these and they are AMAZING! I’m running my first half marathon (first proper any-distance run ever really) in Sydney, Australia in a few weeks time and my wife suggested we try these for a pre- and/or post-run energy boost.
I made them with mixed peel instead of zest, and orange juice instead of water (mainly cos we had some of each that we need to use up).
Thanks heaps for posting this – cheers! =)

[Reply]

Danielle     at 1:38 pm

So far I’ve tried Trader Joe’s, Fred Meyer, Abertson’s, and Safeway. I can’t find unsweetened dried coconut, just the sweetened moist shredded stuff. I wish there was a Whole Foods on the west side of Puget Sound, I’m betting they have it.

[Reply]

Sarah Crosby     at 6:59 pm

So good. I thought I had all of the ingredients but sadly didnt so I improvised and used peanut butter… yum. I was even thinking the coconut peanut butter from earth balance would be amazing. So many options.

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Danielle     at 4:11 am

I just made these and yum they are delicious! I’m curious, do yours seem to break apart and crumble easily? I’m not sure if it’s because I processed it in 2 batches since my food processor is small but mine are very crumbly!

[Reply]

Stephanie     at 11:32 am

I just made these and they are so good! Can I make a request (if you have time/want to) for more recipes that are real snack food? It is so hard to find snacks that aren’t processed and loaded with junk. With winter coming on soon we won’t have fruits to snack on and we aren’t big raw veggie snackers.

Thanks! :)

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I’ll see what I can do! :)

[Reply]

Cindy     at 7:45 am

THANK YOU for this delicious recipe!! I’m a breastfeeding mama to a boy who is sensitive to nuts – so I cut them out of my diet awhile ago and struggle to find good grab and go snacks (since SO many granola bars have nuts!). These are so tasty, I will be keeping some in my fridge for the foreseeable future!!

[Reply]

Energy Bites « onebiteplease     at 1:58 am

[...] workouts require some serious fuel. Luckily I had some of Emily’s Coconut Date Energy Bites to snack on beforehand. These are ideal for those times when you need an energy boost but [...]

Erica     at 2:56 pm

Love these! Definitely share any other good variations you hit on. I made 2 other types this weekend (from other food bloggers), but these are by far the best!

[Reply]

Pam     at 6:04 pm

These look great! I can see how so many variations are possible too! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with. I think chia/hemp seeds and quinoa flakes would be great ingredients.

[Reply]

Noelle     at 6:05 am

These are awesome! I have been wanting to make them since the original post, and finally decided to do it for a weekend in the mountains with friends. I feel so healthy when I am making something almost entirely from the Whole Foods bulk bins :)

[Reply]

Errign     at 2:15 pm

Just made these! My boyfriend has a peanut allergy so he usually avoids granola bars and goes for candy when he’s out and about and hungry so I’m hoping these he’ll like! I actually got 19 balls using a tablespoon and they taste absolutely amazing (I omitted the orange zest)!

[Reply]

Emily     at 10:37 am

Thanks for a great recipe! They are delicious. I think I’m going to make a lime-cardamom version next. And then maybe one with lemon and cranberry? I’m so excited to have a new healthy, easy snack to make!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Those both sound fantastic!

[Reply]

Emily     at 5:38 am

Do you have general nutritional info (I know this is a really just an estimation!) for one ball/serving? I’m starting to count calories just to give me a better idea of my daily intake and I eat these or something like these regularly! Any estimates would be so helpful… thank you!!!

[Reply]

Ramani     at 10:46 am

Emily- was thinking of adding almond butter to this recipe. Do you think it would work. It would up the protein and staying power not to mention the yum factor. ;)

[Reply]

Nicki     at 9:50 am

How long do you think these would last in the fridge? Would they freeze well?

[Reply]

Tiffany     at 5:41 pm

Hi Emily,

I made this recipe today and it was delicious! I loved the flavors of coconut and orange zest! Thank you! :)

[Reply]

Melissa     at 6:06 am

Just wanted to stop by and tell you that I brought these on a hike yesterday, and they were a big hit! Delicious! (I did sub almonds for the pumpkin seeds since I couldn’t actually find pumpkin seeds at my grocery store. Can’t wait to try the original, too!)

[Reply]

Coconut Date Balls - Culinary Colleen     at 1:19 pm

[...] looking for healthy things that I can have on hand or bring to work when hunger strikes. Enter the Daily Garnish’s Coconut Date Balls. They might not look like much in the pictures, but I highly recommend you give them a [...]

Ann     at 12:11 pm

Made a couple of batches of these for a cross-country skiing excursion yesterday, and loved them! I made two batches – in the second I subbed almond flour for the coconut since my spouse doesn’t like coconut. I actually preferred the almond flour ones! That may have also been because it was the second batch, and I figured out that we needed to chop the pumpkin seeds first – could have just been our food processor, but no matter how long I ran the thing I couldn’t get them small enough for my liking with everything together.

Would love to hear ideas for more variations! I loved these and would like to make them more often. Thanks Emily!

[Reply]

Gallery Of Snacks | The Juicer     at 12:36 pm

[...] Coconut Energy Date Bites [Also great from the [...]

Brennan @ Yum Run     at 5:08 pm

I just made these date balls and they are amazing! I’m doing a sugar detox this week and I really needed something that I can use as energy for my runs–something that is easy to carry and that I can eat while moving. These are totally perfect. I used unsweetened chocolate instead of pumpkin seeds, though. I’m definitely going to make another batch using the seeds. And I’ll probably make a bunch of variations. Thanks!

[Reply]

Fun Announcement     at 7:10 am

[...] made Emily’s Coconut Date Energy Bites to get us [...]

Coconut Date Energy Bites | double take love     at 9:10 am

[...] be used and inspiration from our favorite food bloggers Kylie from immaeatthat and Emily from the Daily Garnish these were [...]

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[...] Notes These tarts can be made completely raw by using raw honey or raw agave in place of the honey and skipping the melting step for the coconut oil and coconut butter.Inspired by and adapted from The Kitchn, where it was adapted from Practically Raw Desserts. Crust adapted from Daily Garnish. [...]

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