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Carrot and Date Energy Bites ~ No Bake and So Easy

Carrot and Date Energy Bites ~ No Bake and So Easy

If you have a blender or high-performance food processor, you can make carrot and date energy bites. This recipe takes around 5 minutes to make. They are so easy! Also, they freeze well so you can make them in advance and enjoy them as you wish. They are great for snacks, a quick breakfast, and to pack in lunchboxes. Kids love them and may not realize they are eating carrots. (In my house, that’s often a win!)

The sweetness comes from the dates and the maple syrup. The dates bind the ingredients together. 

Use the following ingredients as a base and feel free to add other ingredients you have on hand to change up the flavor. I love making homemade treats so my family can avoid palm oil. It doesn’t get easier than this.

Carrot and Date Energy Bites

Be sure to buy bags of unsweetened coconut. All the sweetened bags I’ve found contain palm oil ingredients in the form of Propylene Glycol. I buy unsweetened coconut from Trader Joe’s and blend it in my Vitamix. 

Also be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation which typically contains palm oil in the form of Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, etc.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups pitted dates
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 small carrots cut into pieces or peeled
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter or tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of sea salt 

How to Make Carrot & Date Balls

  1. Be sure to remove all stems and pits from the dates.
  2. Add the coconut to the food processor and blend until very small.
  3. Measure remaining ingredients, and put them in the food processor.
  4. Pulse the food processor in short bursts. Blend until dates form a paste; scrap sides as needed.
  5. Shape into balls.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to serve.

Recipe tips:

  • If the mixture seems dry, add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup. 
  • If the ingredients aren’t binding together, add a few more dates. 
carrot and date bliss balls

Easy carrot and date bliss balls ~ Cut in half ~ Image: Dawn Head

Variations

The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility! Get creative and experiment with different add-ins like chopped nuts, seeds, spices, etc.

  • Omit coconut if you wish
  • For a non-vegan option, you can replace the maple syrup with honey (children over 1 only)
  • Chopped walnuts, cashews, pecans, or any nuts
  • Dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries, or chopped apricots
  • Pinch of nutmeg or ginger
  • Palm oil free milk chocolate or dark chocolate
  • For more bulk and fiber, you add ¼ cups of rolled oats. If you want this to be gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free oats. (It does make a difference if you are sensitive to gluten.)
  • Roll the balls in chopped nuts or cacao powder for an extra flavor and textural boost.

You can make several of each type. As an example, you can have a small bowl of chopped nuts or cocoa powder and roll some of the balls in one or the other and leave the others “plain”. 

Tips

My Vitamix instructions say to put the easier-to-blend foods on the bottom. So when making these bites, I put the raisins and coconut first, then the dates and the carrots on top. If you are finding it’s difficult to blend, turn off the blender and add a bit more maple syrup.

I chop the carrots fairly small, in less than 1 inch chunks. Sometimes I peel or grate them but it’s not necessary. Do whatever your blender can handle. 

Be sure to scrap the sides and incorporate all the ingredients. Dates are sticky so using a dry ingredient like rolled oats can minimize them from sticking together in the food processor.

I buy shredded coconut that’s still in fairly large pieces. To be sure they break down, I blend them first in my Vitamix.

I have only made these with almond butter but you can also use cashew butter or palm oil free peanut butter. 

storing carrot and date balls

Storing carrot and date balls ~ Image: Dawn Head

Storing

Store up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag (remove all the air before freezing). Take them out in the morning, and they will be ready to enjoy by lunchtime. They keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

What Kind of Dates to Use to Make Bliss Balls

I most often find Deglet Noor or Medjool dates in the stores I go to. You can use either in this no-bake recipe. Others that work (that I haven’t tried) are Halawi, Barhi, or Sayer dates. Typically I buy dates from Costco. In a pinch, I buy them from my grocery store. 

FAQs 

1. Can I substitute the dates with another ingredient?

Dates act as the natural sweetener and binder in this recipe. I haven’t tried these with figs but you can try doing half dates and half figs if you are low on dates. 

2. Do I need a high-powered blender or food processor?

I think you do. However, if you have a regular blender or food processor, pre-chop the carrots and dates to make the ingredients combine better.

3. Can I make these in advance?

Yes, these carrot and date balls store well in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. They are perfect for meal prepping or grabbing a quick and healthy snack on the go.

4. Are these energy bites gluten free or vegan?

When made with maple syrup and not honey, they are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Use gluten free oats if you add oats and want them to be gluten free. Read labels and “may contain” statements be sure to check the ingredients you choose for any potential allergens or dietary concerns.

5. Can I use different types of dates?

Yes, I use Medjool or Deglet Noor dates because they are soft and sweet. Medjool dates are the most popular types because of their sweeter-than-average taste and larger size. However, you can use other kinds such as Halawi or Barhi dates. If using Barhi dates, use them in their tamr stage when they are fully mature and at their sweetest. 

Be aware that some dates might be drier and require soaking in warm water for 10 minutes before blending.

Using Dates in Desserts

These are no bake date balls but I also love baking with dates because they are healthy and easy to work with if you have a high-performance food processor. They are an easy way to add sweetness and texture. They are also great for gluten free desserts.

These date and carrot cake balls are so delicious with black coffee. The sweetness balances out the coffee for me. I love them morning, noon, and night! They make for a healthy holiday or birthday party treat (watch for coconut and nut allergies among your guests).

Thanks for being interested in palm oil free desserts and ways to use real foods. Relying less on premade and processed foods means less demand for palm oil. Thank you!

If you have other ideas for adding to these no-bake carrot and date energy bites, please add them in the Comments. Check out my other posts for making desserts at home. 

Love easy recipes using dates and/or real ingredients? Check out these: 

carrot and date energy bites
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Carrot and Date Energy Bites ~ No Bake and So Easy

You can make these no-bake, carrot date balls in 5 minutes... really! They are healthy, delicious and use real ingredients. Use this basic recipe and change it up based on your tastes and what you have in your kitchen. They're perfect for snacks, quick breakfasts, or lunchboxes. Make ahead or freeze leftovers to enjoy them anytime.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot bliss balls, carrot cake balls, carrot date balls, easy carrot date balls, no bake date carrot balls
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 4
Author Dawn Head

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Plate or bowl for rolling and storing
  • Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups pitted dates
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 small carrots cut into pieces or peeled
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter or tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of sea salt

Instructions

  • Remove stems and pits from dates.
  • Add all ingredients to blender.
  • Pulse the food processor in short bursts. Blend until dates form a paste; scrap sides as needed.
  • Shape into balls.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to serve.

Notes

If it's dry when blending, add one tablespoon of maple syrup at a time.
This is a versatile recipe. You can use honey instead of maple syrup. Add in other dried fruit, chopped nuts, nutmeg, ginger, chocolate chips, rolled oats, etc. as you wish. You can set aside some of the mixture and make different combinations, including rolling them in chopped nuts, cocoa powder, etc. 
Store covered in fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.  
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