These cocoa-coconut bliss balls make a perfect lunchbox treat—both for your kids and you. They are dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and aside from the coconut, nut-free, making them very allergy-friendly.
So while I have an array of nourishing dinner ideas lined up to feature on this blog, they need to be balanced out with nourishing treats. Right?
Good, I thought you would agree.
No-Bake Energy Bites or Balls
One of my favorite snacks/treats to keep on hand are no-bake energy balls sweetened with Medjool dates. These cocoa-coconut bliss balls are my family’s favorite.
Personally, I love them all, which is funny since I actually don’t like plain dates! Here are the other no-bake energy bite and bliss ball recipes on my site:
- Cashew Coconut Bliss Balls
- Pumpkin Spice Balls
- Chocolate Energy Bites
- Cranberry Cocoa Bliss Balls (also nut-free)
- Raspberry Almond Power Bites
With so many families and schools being totally nut-free these days I’ve been getting more requests for nut-free recipes. While the coconut is technically a nut, it’s a less common allergy than other nuts.These nut-free cocoa-coconut bliss balls make a perfect lunchbox treat! Click To Tweet
Ingredient Spotlight: Hemp Hearts
So where does that creamy goodness come from here? It’s primarily from the coconut, but also from the hemp hearts. In case you haven’t tried hemp hearts yet, you should! They are loaded with heart-healthy fat, protein, and other nutrients. They make a tasty addition to everything from oatmeal to avocado toast to smoothies to salads.
In case you are curious, hemp comes from the cannabis plant, however, it doesn’t contain the active ingredient found in marijuana (THC).
I keep my hemp hearts in a glass jar in the fridge. This is also how I store my chia seeds, flax seeds, and shredded coconut. Having them clearly visible and labeled in the refrigerator also reminds me to use them!
Boost Protein to Enjoy as Snack
The protein, carbohydrate, and fat ratio of these cocoa-coconut bliss balls make them more dessert-like than snack-like, perfect as a lunchbox treat. But you can keep them nut-free and increase the protein content by subbing sunflower seed butter for the coconut oil.
You can also enjoy them as part of a balanced snack with some additional protein or veggies on the side: a glass of soy milk, sliced raw veggies, pumpkin seeds, or edamame would all be great!
Cocoa-Coconut Bliss Balls
- 12 Medjool dates soak in water for 10 minutes if hard
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats certified gf if needed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup hulled hemp hearts increase up to 1/3 cup if desired
- 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt for sprinkling on top
- Add the dates to a large food processor and pulse a few times until well chopped. Add the oats, coconut, hemp hearts, coconut oil, and cocoa. Pulse until well combined and a ball starts to form. If the mixture seems dry, add 1 tablespoon of water and then pulse more.
- Tip onto a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Form into about 20 balls. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut and sea salt and then roll around to cover.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!
My one final piece of advice: Like most of these date ball recipes, it can be hard to have just one! That’s why I make them small: so that you can have two! I also recommend storing them out of sight in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!