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These healthy Bliss Balls are made with just 5 ingredients and are ready in 10 minutes! They have no refined sugars or coconut oil and are naturally sweetened with dates. The perfect healthy on-the-go snack!
When the sweet tooth kicks in, make these bliss balls for a healthy dessert or an afternoon snack!
They’re made with plant-based ingredients like nuts, dates, and oats, and are easily customizable with your favorite add-ins.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Ready in no time! You’ll need less than 10 minutes to make this recipe.
- Made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- Healthy and nutritious. This recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, and can even be made grain-free. It’s high in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Meal prep friendly. These bliss balls can last for several weeks in your fridge and keep well when you take them on the go with you.
Ingredient & substitutions
- Dates: Make sure to use fresh Medjool dates that are soft and juicy. They’re a key ingredient here, as they not only add natural sweetness but also bind all of the dry ingredients together. Other dried fruits such as figs or apricots can be used instead but will alter the results slightly. If you like it sweeter you can add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. For a healthier option, avoid using added sugar.
- Raw walnuts: They’re high in healthy fats, fiber, and omega-3s. You can substitute them with any other nut or seed that you like such as cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Rolled oats: To make this recipe gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free certified oats. For a grain-free version, substitute them with almond flour.
- Shredded coconut: It adds a subtle coconut taste and helps with the texture, but it can be substituted with coconut flakes, more oats, nuts, or seeds.
- Salt: For balancing out the sweetness and enhancing the rest of the flavors.
- Vanilla extract: A little bit of vanilla goes a long way here.
- Chocolate chips (optional): If you want to take this recipe a step further, I suggest adding a small handful of mini dairy-free chocolate chips.
Scroll to the recipe card below for the full recipe and measurements.
How to make bliss balls
To a food processor, add the dry ingredients first—oats, walnut, and shredded coconut.
Pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until they’re finely ground, but don’t over-blend! You want to have some texture.
Then, add the pitted dates, salt, and vanilla extract. Process until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump together.
Using your index finger and thumb, press some of the mixture and see it if sticks together. If it doesn’t, add a few more dates and pulse again.
The mixture should be moist and a bit sticky, but not runny or dry.
Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll it between your hands until you have an even ball.
Place it on a plate or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all balls are done.
To make coconut bliss balls, roll each one in shredded coconut (optional).
Then, either enjoy right away or for better texture, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Make sure to use soft and juicy dates. Have you ever had one of those dry dates that are hard to chew? These are exactly the kind of dates that you don’t want to use in this recipe. Since dates are a key ingredient, it’s important to use Medjool dates are that soft, fresh, and juicy.
- Don’t over-blend the mixture. You want to have some texture, so make sure that you’re processing the ingredients just until they’re finely ground.
- Adjust the texture as needed. If the mixture looks too dry and doesn’t stick when you press it between your hands, you’ll need to add a few more dates. On the other hand, if the mixture is so sticky you can’t roll it into balls, you’ll need to add a few tablespoons of shredded coconut.
- To make this recipe without a food processor, chop the dates super finely until they start to turn into a paste. You’ll need to do that with the walnuts as well, so no big chunks remain. Also, make sure you’re using oat flour (you can make it at home by grinding oats in a blender). When everything is ready, add the ingredients to a bowl. and using your hands, press until a sticky dough has formed.
- To take these bliss balls to the next level, coat them with melted chocolate. Melt some dark chocolate either in a microwave or with a water bath. One by one, drop the balls into the melted chocolate and cover on all sides. Place on a plate layered with parchment paper and sprinkle some flaky salt if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Bliss balls, also known as energy balls, are small bite-sized snacks that are usually made from a blend of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sometimes oats.
They don’t require cooking and can keep for several weeks in the fridge, which makes them a great on-the-go energy booster.
Yes, bliss balls are high in dietary fiber (important for gut health), as well as healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With the addition of protein powder or other protein sources, bliss balls can also be a good source of protein too.
However, they’re high in calories, so consuming them in moderation is advised.
Your mixture is most likely too dry, which can often happen if you’re using dates that are dry and not as fresh. To fix that, either add a few more dates or a few tablespoons of any nut butter of your choice.
Yes, these bliss balls can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Store them in an airtight container covered with a lid, or in a zip-lock bag.
Other dried fruits such as figs or apricots are great substitutions for dates in energy balls. It’s important that the dried fruits you’re using are soft and juicy, and not dry, since they bind the rest of the ingredients together.
You can easily soften dried fruits by soaking them in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain them very well to remove excess moisture.
This recipe is versatile and customizable, and you can always modify it to your liking. Here are some ingredients you can use to switch things up:
- Peanut butter bliss balls: You can substitute 1/4 cup of dates for any nut butter of your choice. I like to use peanut butter or almond butter, but cashew butter or sunflower butter will also be delicious here.
- Protein bliss balls: Skip the rolled oats, and add 1/4 cup of your favorite vegan protein powder instead! This will also make this recipe grain-free.
- Chocolate bliss balls: Add 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder for a delicious chocolatey flavor. You may need to add a few more dates if the mixture seems dry.
- Superfoods: Chia seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina powder, etc. are all great additions that can bump up the nutrition of this recipe.
- Extracts: To add more flavor without adding more calories, you can add a drop of your favorite extract. Examples include almond, rum, or mint extract.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves or ginger are all easy ways to spice things up! For best results, stick to 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon.
- Mini chocolate chips: As we’ve mentioned earlier, adding a handful of chocolate chips is a great way to add more flavor and texture to your bliss balls.
- Raisins: If you’re a fan of raisins, try adding a small handful of them here. I think you’ll love it!
- Crushed cereal: For some crunch, mix 1/3 cup of crushed cereal when the bliss balls mixture is done processing.
- Puffed quinoa: This is a healthy alternative to crushed cereal, that will add crunch without added sugars.
- Cacao nibs: Adding 2-3 tablespoons of cacao nibs will add crunch and chocolaty flavor. They also have a number of health benefits including blood sugar control and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sprinkles: For a fun twist, add a few tablespoons of sprinkles to the mixture when it’s done processing.
- Espresso powder: For coffee lovers, add 1 tablespoon of espresso powder to the dry ingredients.
- Freeze-dried fruit: They’re fun to eat, and add a pop of color. You can use any freeze-fried fruit of your choice, but I think strawberries will be especially good here.
Transfer balls to a container and cover with a lid. Keep for up to 2 weeks, stored in a refrigerator.
More easy snacks
Healthy snacking doesn’t stop with just bliss balls. Here are more easy and delicious treats that are low-effort to prepare:
- Dip some strawberries in melted chocolate for a simple 2-ingredient dessert or snack! Or try chocolate pineapple for a tropical twist!
- Want a snack that tastes like Snickers candy but is actually full of healthy ingredients? These peanut butter stuffed dates covered in chocolate are where it’s at!
- For something salty and sweet, chocolate peanut butter pretzel balls are delicious! Make them to look like spiders for Halloween or any fun shape you want!
- If you only have 5 minutes, these no-bake granola bars are quick to make and are great for on-the-go!
- Keep dessert simple with these 3-ingredient banana oatmeal cookies. They satisfy a sweet tooth without much effort!
- Food Processor
- 1 cup raw walnuts or other nuts/seeds of choice
- ¼ cup rolled oats use gluten-free if needed
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup dates pitted and packed (about 10 large soft Medjool dates or 20 small)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
- To a food processor, add the dry ingredients first- oats, walnut, and shredded coconut. Pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until they're finely ground, but don't over-blend! You want to have some texture.1 cup raw walnuts, ¼ cup rolled oats, ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Then, add the pitted dates, salt, and vanilla extract. Process until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump together. Using your index finger and thumb, press some of the mixture and see it if sticks together. If it doesn't, add a few more dates and pulse again. The mixture should be moist and a bit sticky, but not runny or dry.1 cup dates, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- At this point, add chocolate chips if desired (do not blend after adding them). Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll it between your hands until you have an even ball. Place it on a plate or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all balls are done.¼ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- To make coconut bliss balls, roll each one in shredded coconut (optional). Then, either enjoy right away or for better texture, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Fridge: Transfer balls to a container and cover it with a lid. Keep for up to 2 weeks, stored in a refrigerator.
- Freezer: Store them in an airtight container covered with a lid, or in a zip-lock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.