My original energy bite post was such a hit that I knew I had to start experimenting with other flavor combinations. I also wanted to come up with an option for those of you that may have a peanut allergy (like my brother). I don’t know about you, but cherry and chocolate are a perfect pairing in my book! This recipe is a little more involved than my original energy bite recipe, but I promise it’s well worth the effort.
Cacao nibs are one of my favorite “super foods” to add to things like smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and desserts. They are rich in antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Cacao nibs contain phytonutrients called polyphenols which are found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. Polyphenols are broken down into a few different categories, one of which includes a powerful antioxidant family known as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to have many health benefits including decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Haven’t heard of cacao nibs before? They are made by removing the cacao beans from their pods and breaking them down into smaller pieces. These small pieces of cacao still have a bold chocolate flavor, but lack sweetness and can be quite bitter. You can find them sold at stores like Whole Foods, but I found them to be cheaper online. If you don’t feel like experimenting with this ingredient, this recipe is still delicious without them!
Dates are another key ingredient in this recipe. Not only do they provide a natural sweetness to balance the bitterness of the cacao, but the dates also give a moist, chewy texture. These energy bites are perfect to have on hand as a quick snack, afternoon pick-me-up or to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner. They keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- ¾ cup dried tart cherries
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 Tablespoon cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ cup oats
- 3 Tablespoons cacao nibs
- Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until fully chopped.
- Add dried cherries, dates, cacao powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Process until smooth.
- Add oats and cacao nibs and pulse a few times until combined.
- Using your hands, roll about 1 Tbsp of dough into a ball and repeat until dough is used up (will make about 24 bites).
- Place bites on a parchment-lined baking sheet and rest in refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.