Paleo Energy Balls (paleo, vegan)

These paleo energy balls only have three ingredients and take about 5 minutes to put together! They taste like no-bake brownies and are a great on-the-go snack. They’re also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

These paleo energy balls only have three ingredients and take about 5 minutes to put together! They taste like no-bake brownies and are a great on-the-go snack. They're also vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

During my pregnancy, I tried to eat a lot of dates starting at 36 weeks, after reading that they’ve been proven to help with the labor and birth. The only problem is that I really don’t like them on their own.

I’ve got recipes like this paleo chocolate cheesecake and this paleo chocolate mousse that use dates, but it somehow didn’t seem the best idea to eat so much dessert every single day.

I felt a little better about eating these paleo energy balls. They’re pretty much just cashews (or another type of nut), cocoa powder and dates.

I threw in some vanilla and salt because basically everything is better with the addition of those two.

They’re chewy and kind of like no-bake brownies. Seriously delicious! If you’re more in the mood for actual brownies, try my paleo coconut flour brownies or gluten-free brownies. Both have been reviewed very highly by readers!

These paleo energy balls also great to bring on-the-go. I keep four in a tiny tupperware box in my backpack. These gluten-free cheese crackers are also great to bring along.

If you’re wanting an alternative to store-bought energy bars that are sometimes not-so-healthy and usually ridiculously expensive… try these vegan energy balls!

There’s not much to really say about them. They taste way better than they sound and look and couldn’t be much easier to make.

You do need to use a food processor which is annoying to clean, but that’s pretty much my only gripe with this recipe.

Questions about these paleo energy balls?

  • What can I use instead of dates? Prunes have the same texture and might work but I’m not sure about the taste. I’m guessing they’d be fine.

    If you don’t want to use either, try my chocolate protein balls! They use maple syrup. You can use almond butter in place of the peanut butter for a paleo version.

  • What can I use instead of cashews? I think almonds, walnuts or pecans would work great.

  • Do I have to use cocoa powder? Yes. If you don’t use it you’ll just have cashews and a bunch of dates and that’ll be very sweet.

    For an healthy energy ball recipe without cocoa, try my peanut butter protein balls or lemon energy bites.

  • Do I have to roll them in cocoa powder? You don’t have to use anything at all! They’re great uncoated.

    I tried shredded coconut but it didn’t stick very well (the balls are too dry and not gooey enough for that).

Paleo Energy Balls (vegan, gluten-free)

Rated 5.0 by 8 readers
Paleo Energy Balls (paleo, vegan)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12 balls


  • 3/4 cup (116 grams) pitted dates, packed
  • 1/2 cup (71 grams) raw cashews (I imagine roasted would also be delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon water or vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • about 5-6 teaspoons of cocoa powder to roll the balls in, optional


  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add everything except the cocoa powder for rolling the balls.
  2. Blend about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture sticks together easily when pressed.
  3. If it doesn't hold together easily, add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or water and pulse again.
  4. Roll into twelve 17-gram balls (slightly less than 1" big) and roll in cocoa powder, if desired. I prefer mine without but some people liked the contrast with the sweet.
  5. Store in a container or bag at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. They can also be refrigerated for a few weeks and frozen for a few months.

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24 comments on “Paleo Energy Balls (paleo, vegan)” — Add one!

  • Jules Shepard says
    February 7, 2019 @ 8:56 pm

    I admit it…I’m an energy ball addict. I love that these have such healthy ingredients – am adding these to my collection!

  • Jacque Hastert
    January 22, 2019 @ 10:40 pm

    I made these again and they keep getting better and better each time.

    • Erin replies to Jacque Hastert
      January 28, 2019 @ 8:36 pm

      Hello! Sorry for just now seeing your comment. I’m really glad that you like the balls! Thanks for your feedback. :)

  • Catalina
    January 22, 2019 @ 9:52 pm

    These energy balls would be the perfect snack for my kid!

  • Jessica | The Novice Chef says
    January 22, 2019 @ 9:22 pm

    oh man! I LOVE energy balls. they give the best little boost to get me through!

  • Cheryl
    January 21, 2019 @ 11:20 pm

    we made a similar energy bar with nuts, dates and cocoa recently and loved them. can’t wait to try this recipe next time

  • Chrissie Baker
    January 21, 2019 @ 8:37 pm

    These were fabulous. The recipe actually makes quite a bit so I will freeze half. Yum!

    • Erin replies to Chrissie Baker
      January 24, 2019 @ 8:26 pm

      I’m glad to hear that you liked them. :) Freezing them is a great idea! I made them again last week and ate the full batch in a few hours. Whoops! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Denebe says
    September 25, 2018 @ 3:53 am

    What are the macros for these ?

    • Erin replies to Denebe
      September 26, 2018 @ 9:54 am

      I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile.

  • Christine says
    September 9, 2018 @ 6:37 pm

    Hey Erin, long time no comment… Another question at the end of the post could be: Did the dates really help?😉 I was craving plain apples. And everything cinnamon-y.
    Anyway, I will make them for my youngest, who dislikes bread for breakfast at school. So these will be good to bring.
    Lots of love, Chris

    • Erin replies to Christine
      September 9, 2018 @ 8:06 pm

      Hi Christine! And haha. I’m going to have to go with a big fat no to your question. It was long and traumatic. But perhaps it’s helpful for other people. :D Is your little one German? And they dislike bread?! Unglaublich. ;) Nice to hear from you!

      • Christine replies to Erin
        September 13, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

        Haha!:) Dear Erin, yes, german and really doesn’t enjoy bread… strange. Seems to be a “chewing issue”. Really, concerning dates, cinnamon, whatever- I think nothing really helps or at least it’s not predictable at all. Liebe Grüße! C

  • Jacque Hastert
    July 31, 2018 @ 10:22 pm

    These sound like a great morning or mid-afternoon snack!

  • Anna
    July 31, 2018 @ 9:31 pm

    I was looking for a new energy bites recipe. These look perfect!

  • Abeer
    July 31, 2018 @ 8:33 pm

    This is exactly what I want right now! 😁

  • Dee says
    July 31, 2018 @ 6:38 am

    These look amazing! My kids will these for breakfast!

  • Kimberly says
    July 31, 2018 @ 4:55 am

    These sound awesome, can’t wait to try them!

  • Jamielyn
    July 31, 2018 @ 3:50 am

    These look so healthy and yummy!

  • LMC says
    July 30, 2018 @ 2:45 pm

    I love the “3 ingredient” Paleo balls that have 6 ingredients (one listed as optional). I once made a “5 ingredient Thanksgiving dinner” that only used 24 ingredients.

    • Erin replies to LMC
      July 30, 2018 @ 5:52 pm

      There are five things listed. Cocoa powder for rolling the balls in doesn’t count as a new ingredient when it’s already in the recipe. Salt isn’t counted as an ingredient. Neither is water. Cocoa powder, dates and cashews. Thanks, though. :D

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It says
    July 30, 2018 @ 3:57 am

    I wish I could dates again (not really FODMAP friendly for me!). All I craved when I was pregnant was cookie dough (hence my almost 10 pound babies!) and towards the end I drank raspberry leaf tea all the time!


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