Cherry Vanilla Energy Bites are a delicious and energizing mid-morning or early-afternoon snack.
We all have a favorite snack that we reach for over and over again when hunger strikes between meals. I like to pair protein and healthy fat for longer-lasting satisfaction, and sometimes I just need a sweet treat.I make a lot of dried fruit and nut energy ball-type things because they’re a real favorite of mine. It started out with my Coconut Walnut Date Bites, which have a pretty classic flavor profile (but they’re also delicious if you switch things up a little and add about 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon!). My fudgy Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Brownie Bite Truffles are perfect if you’re craving chocolate, but still want to eat clean. The great things about these treats is that you can whip up a batch and stash it in the fridge for anytime you need a quick bite.
There is something so enticing about the cherry + vanilla flavor pairing, and that’s what shines through in this recipe. I used walnuts as my nut base because they’re delicious with cherries and full of healthy fats; pecans would also be a good choice.
What’s your favorite snack to help you power through mid-meal hunger?
- 1 cup (120 g) dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup (slightly packed) pitted Medjool dates (about 6 Medjool dates/120 g)
- 1 cup (120 g) raw, unsalted walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch ground mahlab (optional, but recommended)
- 1 small pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
- If the cherries and/or dates are very dry and hard, soak them before making this recipe. To do so, put the cherries and/or dates in a bowl, cover with boiling water by 1/2 inch, let them soak for 3 minutes, and then drain well.
- Add all ingredients except the coconut to a food processor, pulse a few times to help break everything up, and then puree until the mixture forms a sticky ball of “dough”.
- Use a 1 tablespoon-sized measuring scoop to scoop out the dough and roll it into balls (I get about 16 to 18 1-tablespoon-sized bites). If you find the dough is too sticky to work with immediately after processing, you can refrigerate it so it’s slightly chilled, but I don’t usually have a problem working with the dough immediately.
- Roll each ball in coconut, and store the bites covered in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.