These chocolate cherry almond energy bites are as easy to make as they are dreamy to eat. Requiring just 20 minutes and a handful of common ingredients, these nourishing bites make the perfect after-school snack.
Chocolate-covered dried cherries rank high on my list of favorite candy. They’re basically up there with any sweet thing that marries peanut butter + chocolate.
One of my favorite recipe tricks is to take adored dessert flavors and turn them into nourishing snack recipes. Most notably, energy bites.
Energy bites are the ultimate snack. They come together in a flash, can be made in big batches, and pack a nourishing punch of healthy fats, omega-3s, fiber, and energizing carbohydrates.
Add to that laundry list of goodness the fact that they can be infused with dessert-like flavors, and you’ve got yourself an unstoppable force of snacking nature.
What’s not to love?
And so, I’ve lovingly turned one of my favorite candies—chocolate-covered cherries—into a snack-appropriate treat.
Just in time for back-to-school planning. These chocolate cherry almond energy bites are made with simple ingredients and come together in about 20 minutes.
You can even involve your little ones in the rolling portion of the recipe.
Sloane wanted nothing to do with rolling, shouting “Mama, messy! Messy!” and showing me her date-specked hands upon first touch of the sticky “dough”.
But she was all for enjoying the finished product.
“Mama, more chocolate treat?”
She had 3.5 energy bites in her first go. I mean, dang, that’s a small meal for me.
What can I say? Girl loves her nuts, cherries, and chocolate.
Like mama, like daughter.
To make these candies in snack’s clothes, you’ll start by pulsing a cup of gooey Medjool dates in the food processor until they’re chopped and begin to clump together in a ball.
Remove the dates from the food processor and set aside.
Then, add almonds, oats, cocoa powder, and salt to the food processor. Process until ground into a fine meal.
Return the dates to the food processor. Add in almond butter and a splash of water, and process until the mixture comes together in a moist but crumbly “dough”.
Then, add a small heap of chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate) and dried cherries and pulse to incorporate.
This energy bite “dough” has less dates than most and so it’s a bit more crumbly than you might expect.
Having said that, it should easily hold together in balls when pressed.
If it doesn’t, add another splash of water or add more dates and pulse again. That should do the trick.
Once the “dough” is ready, scoop out 1 1/2-tablespoon mounds and press/roll into balls.
Once all of the energy balls have been formed—you should have about 22—pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm and set.
Enjoy and refrigerate leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week.
These bites are delightful. They’re chocolaty, chewy, nutty, satisfying, and have a touch of tart cherry tang.
They’re also fairly portable, so feel free to pop a few in a jar or container on your way out the door as an on-the-go snack.
I hope you love these and much as I do. And Sloane, too. Every day for a week now she’s requested them by saying, “Mama, chocolate treat?” and inquisitively pointing to the refrigerator. Who am I to deny that sweetness?
If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #blissfulbasil on Instagram.
Chocolate Cherry Almond Energy Bites
- 1 cup pitted and packed Medjool dates
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter
- 1–2 tablespoons filtered water, as needed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup dried tart (i.e. montmorency) cherries
- To a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the dates. Pulse until the dates are broken down into small bits or until they begin to form a ball. Scoop out and set aside.
- Next, add the almonds, oats, cocoa powder, and sea salt to the food processor. Pulse several times and then process for 15 seconds, or until the nuts and oats are ground into a fine meal.
- Return the dates to the food processor along with the almond butter and 1 tablespoon of the water. Pulse several times and then process until the mixture comes together into a moist but crumbly "dough", stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If the mixture feels too dry and isn't holding together, add the second tablespoon of water and pulse again.
- Add the chocolate chips and dried cherries and pulse several times to incorporate.
- Scoop out 1 1/2-tablespoon mounds of the mixture and roll into balls. If the mixture is sticking to your hands, lightly dampen them with water. Transfer to an airtight container. You should have about 22 energy bites.
- Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm and set.
- Refrigerate the bites for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.