These nut-free energy balls are a healthy snack that the whole family will love. Made from only 6 ingredients, these energy balls with dates, oats, and coconut are ready in 20 minutes!
When I first made these, my daughter (6 at the time) said they tasted like birthday cake! I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂
We love a good homemade snack, especially my Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Balls and No-bake Peanut Butter Oat Bars. But, with lots of classrooms being nut-free, I knew I needed to make a snack that was free of nuts… so I came up with these nut-free energy balls made with dates, oats, and tahini (also called nut-free bliss balls).
Why You'll Love These
- GOOD FOR YOU INGREDIENTS - made with 6 simple, nutrient packed ingredients like flaxseeds, coconut, and tahini.
- KID FRIENDLY - always a win when you can make a nutrient dense snack the kids love!
- NO-BAKE - these take 20 minutes to make and don’t require any baking.
- DIETARY NEEDS - dairy free, gluten free, and nut free!
Dates – I prefer using medjool dates as they are softer and have a more caramel like taste. If your dates aren’t pitted, be sure to remove the pits. If you don't have medjool dates, deglet noor dates can be used in their place.
Rolled outs – I always use certified gluten-free rolled oats/old fashioned oats, but quick cooking oats work too in these nut-free bliss balls. If not gluten free, no need to use certified gluten-free oats.
Clean food tip: buy organic oats to avoid herbicides/pesticides. Like most grains, oats are sprayed with glyphosate (an herbicide that’s been linked to increase cancer risk) prior to being harvested. Opt for rolled oats vs. quick cooking if you can - quick cooking are more processed.
Mini Chocolate Chips (allergy free/semi sweet) – to keep these allergy friendly, I use Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips, which is made from simple ingredients and is allergy friendly.
Clean food tip: Look for chocolate chips that have no more than cane sugar, chocolate liquor/chocolate/cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Brands that are Fair Trade certified and/or organic are even better!
Flaxseed meal - you'll want to use flaxseed meal/ground flaxseed vs. whole flaxseeds.
Tip: keep your opened flaxseeds in the fridge - this will preserve their freshness/help maintain nutrients.
Step 1: Add all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a food processor or high-speed blender. Tip: I find a food processor works best.
Step 2: Pulse on high until all ingredients are broken down and "walls" along the outer edge of the food processor begin to form.
Step 3: Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Step 4: Scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture and roll into individual balls. Store finished balls in the refrigerator.
Note: mixture will be crumbly, and that's okay! Squeeze the mixture in your hands before rolling into balls - this will help release some natural oils and will help in forming the balls.
Step 5: Lastly, enjoy your nut-free energy balls!
Frequently Asked Questions
These nut-free energy balls will last in the refrigerator for up to 10 days and can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Ensure you store in an airtight container. If you know me, you know I love Stasher bags for storing.
For short periods of time, yep! I love sending them to school for my kids as a morning snack. When I send them, I don't keep them cold knowing they will eat them within a few hours.
Yes, to keep these nut-free, you could use SunButter in it's place. If you don't need them to be nut-free, any nut butter works.
Expert Tips & Notes
Here are just a few additional things to keep in mind when making these nut-free energy balls/nut-free bliss balls.
Dates - if your dates are on the hard side/seem like they are stale, fret not, they are still good! All you need to do is soak them in some extremely hot water for 10 minutes, drain, and then your dates will be brought back to life and are perfectly good to use.
Tahini - tahini tends to harden at the bottom of the jar – don't use this! Make sure the tahini you are using is pourable and smooth.
The mix - before rolling into balls, the mixture will be crumbly. That’s okay! Once you roll into balls, the natural oils from the flax seeds and tahini will come out and they will be easier to roll and will keep their shape. If you feel it’s too dry, add additional tahini before removing from your food processor.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
If these nut-free energy balls with dates and oats are your thing, be sure to check these out too!
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! I would so appreciate you leaving a star rating and/or comment below. And don't forget to share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Nut-free Energy Balls
- 10 pitted dates (about 1 cup packed)
- ½ cup ground flaxseeds
- ⅓ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips works too)
- Place all ingredients, except the mini chocolate chips, in a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Blend until all ingredients have been finely ground down. When the mixture starts to form "walls" on the side of the food processor and it sticks when you smash some between your fingers, it's ready. You may need to scrape down the sides of your blender or food processor a few times to get it all fully blended.
- Scoop mixture into a separate bowl and fold in the chocolate chips. Note: the mixture will be crumbly.
- Scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of mixture into your hands and roll into balls (see notes for additional tips). You should get about 18 balls total.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay good for up to 10 days.
- If you aren't gluten free, you don't need certified gluten free oats.
- Tahini tends to harden at the bottom of the jar – make sure the tahini you are using is pourable and smooth.
- The mixture will be crumbly. That’s okay! Squeeze the mixture in your hands before rolling into balls – this will help release some natural oils and make it easier. If you feel it’s too dry, add additional tahini before removing from your food processor.
- These can easily be frozen too - will stay fresh in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months.