Don’t get me wrong- I am a big fan of some convenience protein bars, but I’m also a big fan of making snacks from scratch when able to. The closest I get to making granola or protein bars is these poppable little energy bites! I love how easy they come together, how the ingredients can be customizable, and that they are a perfect midday snack or fuel before a workout.
During the winter I seem to have an abundance of unsweetened cocoa powder around from hot chocolate making, and so I figured it deserved some love during snack time too! The sweetness and flavor comes not from the cocoa, but from the naturally sweet dates and nut butter. These bites stay fresh in the fridge for about a week, after which I’d recommend storing in a container in the freezer to enjoy for weeks to come.
What are you waiting for? Go, cocoa!
Walnut Cocoa Bites- makes 22 small bites
1 cup pitted dates
2 cup dry, unsalted walnuts
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp nut butter- almond or sunflower seed work great
1 tbsp hemp seeds, plus extra for finishing
Pinch of sea salt
In a food processor pulse dates until broken into very small pieces. Then add walnuts and pulse until a fine ground meal is made.
Add cocoa powder, nut butter, hemp seeds, and salt. Process until everything comes together and a semi-wet dough forms. Chill this dough for about 10 minutes in the freezer.
Use your hands to form the chilled dough into small bites; the size is really up to you, but quarter sized bites will yield about 22 bites. To finish, sprinkle with more hemp seeds, finely shredded coconut, or even more cocoa powder.