A favorite flavor combination, these vegan chocolate orange energy bites (or energy balls, or bliss balls, or cookie dough balls, or whatever it is you like to call them) are quick and easy to make. It's so nice to have a batch on-hand for those hangry moments. Plus, they're gluten-free, plant-based, vegan, refined sugar-free, and oil-free!
I just have a thing for the combination of chocolate and orange. Adding citrus to chocolate raises the bar. When that tasty combo can be ready for consumption within 10 minutes, I call that success. It's true that, to hold their shape, it's best to chill them first. But nothing is stopping you from grabbing one beforehand; no matter its shape, it will be delicious.
Energy bites are so wonderful because they are easy to make, to grab while running out the door, to pack for lunch or a long bike ride, to get that snack and move on to the next thing. They're filled with yummy flavor, nutrition, and a quick energy boost - all inside a little portable package. They are a crowd-pleaser, generally satisfying all age groups (those under three and over one eating tiny pinches at a time). In short, they are a little round real-food superhero for those moments when we need a boost.
As usual, I recommend doubling the recipe for these energy balls so you have plenty on-hand. These babies disappear fast!
Just six ingredients (plus salt) are needed to make these cute little energy balls:
Rolled oats: Oats straight out of the bag or box work great. You could toast them if you'd prefer.
Medjool dates: These dates are nice and sticky, helping the balls stay together. For best results, look for dates that are still soft and not too hard and dried out.
Hemp hearts: I used to make these with chia seeds, and you can use those instead if you prefer. Flax seed meal could work as another alternative. I find hemp hearts work better texture-wise.
Oranges: Both the zest and juice from oranges are used to make these nice and flavorful! The juice helps form the ball, as well.
Cacao powder: A small amount creates a nice flavor. These are also wonderful as just orange energy bites.
Vanilla: A little vanilla brings a smooth, delicious flavor. In a pinch you could skip it, but I do recommend it.
Salt: A small amount of salt really enhances the flavors in these energy bites. It is optional, however.
This is an easy one!
Just add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until well combined. You should be able to squeeze the ingredients and they'll stick together.
Wet your hands and squeeze the mixture in small amounts, forming them into balls. I like to make them around 1 ½ inches or so in size. They can be placed in a jar for storage in the fridge for up to a week.
Other chocolate orange recipes:
Chocolate-dipped Dried Satsuma Orange Slices
Chocolate Orange Energy Bites
- food processor
- 2 cups rolled oats if necessary, make sure the label indicates gluten-free
- 1 cup medjool dates pits removed, about 10-12 dates
- ¼ cup hemp hearts and/or chia seeds or flax meal
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon orange zest heaping, from about 1 large or 2 small oranges
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup orange juice from the zested orange(s)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt optional (enhances flavor)
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process until well mixed, pulsing at the end to break up any bits at the top. Note: the processor may jump around a bit - keep an eye on it!
- Wet your hands and form the dough into 1 ½-inch balls, squeezing to help the ingredients stick together.
- Place the bites in a container and store in the fridge up to a few days.
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