Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Balls

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Bites | Naturally Sweetened, Vegan, and Gluten Free

Sometimes I feel like I am constantly mixing up batches of “cookie dough balls” for my kids. They have truly been a God send for  (particularly my pickiest princess…). My two kids go through a single batch in just about 3 days, I swear. And if I would let them, they’d probably finish it off sooner! Haha. Definitely a staple in our household since becoming vegan.

Fortunately, these “cookie dough balls” I’m referring to are SUPER good for them! So, sure it gets annoying making them every few days…. but it’s a total win-win for my kids nutrition and I would never argue with that.

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Bites | Naturally Sweetened, Vegan, and Gluten Free

I’ve made a few different types and variations so far: Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes, Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Balls, Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Crunch Bars, Chocolate Cookie Dough Freezer Fudge, Chocolate Coconut Cream Bars, and Chocolate Chip Almond Pulp Cookie Balls.

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Bites | Naturally Sweetened, Vegan, and Gluten Free

I seem to have the most success with the ones made from nut butters and maple syrup rather than those made from nuts and dates in the food processor. Mostly because of the textural difference. Scarlett has a very obvious preference for things with a smoother, cookie dough-like consistency, rather than the semi-crunchy nature of the ones made from whole nuts.

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Bites | Naturally Sweetened, Vegan, and Gluten Free

One of the things that I find so tedious about making these recipes is the measuring and melting of coconut oil. I loathe it. Absolutely loathe it. My coconut oil is always solid at room temp so to measure it out… well, it gets tedious. Fast. Finally I said, “Enough is enough! I’m making a recipe WITHOUT coconut oil gosh darn it!” Or something along those lines. Haha.

And here it is. I’ve had just as much success with this recipe as any of the others with my kids.

Try it out with yours!

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Bites | Naturally Sweetened, Vegan, and Gluten Free

5.0 from 4 reviews
Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Balls
Serves: 18-24
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ cup peanut or almond butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ¾ cup oat flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  1. Mix cacao powder, nut butter, liquid sweetener, vanilla, and salt together in a bowl with spatula until smooth. Add oat flour and almond flour; stir until well combined.
  2. Roll into balls and store in an air-tight container.
For a plain, vanilla version omit the cacao powder and add an additional 2 tablespoons oat flour.
To make your own oat flour, just process old-fashioned or quick oats in food processor until fine.
Sometimes when I am feeling lazy I just press the dough in a parchment lined pan and cut them into squares after they have chilled.



23 Responses to “Kid-Friendly Chocolate Energy Balls”

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  • Tamara February 10, 2015, 1:02 pm

    I hate dates, so I don’t usually make raw desserts. This was perfect!

  • lmachell February 13, 2015, 7:52 am

    I feel the same way- I am not a huge fan of the date/nut raw type desserts. I feel the date taste and texture is too strong sometimes.

  • Kariann February 13, 2015, 3:36 am

    What kind of flour would be the best substitute for the oat flour? I have a two year old that has liked every recipe from your site. Thank you!

  • lmachell February 13, 2015, 7:50 am

    I’m happy to hear that Kariann! I’m not sure what else you could substitute oat flour for here… maybe just some quick oats? You can easily make your own oat flour by taking old-fashioned or quick oats and processing them in the food processor.

  • Kariann February 13, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Sorry I wasn’t very specific in my question. My daughter is allergic to oats and I’m not sure what flavor the oat flour lends. Do you think coconut flour would work? Thanks again.

  • lmachell February 16, 2015, 1:37 pm

    Oh, sorry Kariann! I would try maybe Barley flour?? Coconut flour might work, but it absorbs moisture differently so you may need to adjust the amount needed. Also, the texture will change a bit.

  • Sandy February 14, 2015, 9:08 am

    My son is allergic to oats as well. I’m going to try coconut flour instead and see how it works out.

  • jp May 4, 2015, 7:50 pm

    Could you use ground flax seed instead of almond flour?

  • lmachell May 5, 2015, 3:08 pm

    If you don’t want to use almond flour, I would use more oat flour. You can add a tablespoon or two of ground flax AND oat flour if you want, but it can’t completely replace the almond flour- flax is super absorptive.

  • Jp May 6, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I did replace the almonds with flax meal to try it. The last few balls were crumbly and hard to make but overall they tasted good. They did need more moisture, so maybe add more PB. I looked at almond flour but it was $10 a pound. So we got an extra omega boost anyways.

  • lmachell May 9, 2015, 6:46 pm

    Haha I’m glad it worked out well for you in the end.

  • Sharice May 11, 2015, 6:36 pm

    I just made these last night! They are great! I probably ate at least 5 of the balls myself :) I haven’t given them to my son yet, but I’m sure he’ll like them as much as I do! Thanks for the recipe. I think next time I’ll reduce the salt a little bit, because I’m not as much on the sweet/salty bandwagon as so many others are. FYI, I also recently made your green spinach muffins and I really enjoyed those as well! Great job doing tasty but healthy recipes!

  • Jacinta May 16, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Yes, one of the best tasting and easiest to make of the energy ball genre.

  • lmachell May 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

    Glad to hear it Sharice! I hope that he likes them.

  • Buka June 17, 2015, 9:46 am

    Can I use rice flour instead of almond flour?

  • lmachell June 24, 2015, 3:07 am

    Not sure…they have kind of different consistencies. Give it a try and let me know!

  • Jp July 4, 2015, 10:40 pm

    I used
    carob powder this time, tastes just as good.

  • Jp July 4, 2015, 10:41 pm

    Opps i also used whole oats as well. Yummy

  • Paige December 6, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Hi! I was wondering, do these have a peanut butter taste at all? If not, do you think I could add a little less flour and a little bit of PB2? Also, I was wondering about how long these last, and if they need to be refrigerated or not?

  • lmachell January 27, 2016, 8:50 pm

    I guess it would depend on how much pb flavor u are looking for. The pb2 idea is great! And yes, refrigerate them and they should last up to 2 weeks.

  • Lucas January 18, 2016, 7:21 pm

    SO MUCH PEANUT BUTTERY FLAVOR I MIGHT EAT ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW!!!!sorry rating isn’t working:(.But I rate it good :)

    All of the above is from an 8 year old!!!!

  • lmachell January 27, 2016, 8:32 pm

    Glad you enjoyed them!!

  • Melanie October 31, 2016, 11:42 am

    Hi I tryed these & they are lovely. Does anyone know if they freeze well?