These raw vegan brownie bites are the best snack! They’re sweet and chocolatey, but nutrient dense ingredients keep them on the wholesome side of the snacking spectrum.
The brownie bites are just one iteration of homemade energy balls, one of my favorite snacks in general. It’s incredible what nuts and dates can become after a little time in the food processor.
There’s no shortage of flavors and variations to snack on this way. Some of my favorites include my chai spice energy balls, raw peanut butter and jelly balls, hemp cacao energy bites, and chocolate peanut protein balls.
You can make these kind of energy bites with almonds, walnuts, and other types of nuts or seeds. But I really do like cashews the best. I think they have the best texture for a tender, chewy energy bite, and I like their neutral and subtly sweet flavor.
I use raw cacao powder in these raw vegan brownie bites. Raw cacao is increasingly easy to find; I like this one a lot. However, you don’t need to make the recipe with a raw cacao powder unless you feel strongly about it being raw! A regular cocoa powder will work well, too.
Medjool dates can’t be beat for their caramel-like flavor. They’re the type of dates that I always have in my pantry (these are my favorite). I use them for raw desserts, oatmeal, and snacking.
Because the dates in this recipe become pulverized, it isn’t 100% necessary to use Medjool dates. You can use deglet noor dates as well; you’ll lose a little of the caramel flavor, but you’ll still get natural sweetness in the recipe. (If you’re curious to know more about different types of dates and how to cook with them, this article is a good read!)
Theoretically, there’s no type of recipe that’s easier to make than raw, vegan energy bites! But I’ve learned a few things about making them along the way.
If you don’t give the energy bites enough time to get ground up in the food processor, they’ll end up gritty. I like my energy bites to be very soft, chewy, and tender. This requires at least 1-2 minutes of blending after the dates have been added.
Along the same lines, using more dates than nuts will give the energy bites that addictively chewy texture. They’re also the source of the sweetness that makes this snack naturally energizing! For a long time, I always used nuts and dried fruit in equal proportions. Now, I’m a stickler about a 1 : 1.5 ratio of nuts to dates.
“Dry ingredients” includes the cacao powder used for these raw vegan brownie bites, but it could also be protein powder or spices. If you use too much, the energy bites will become dry and gritty, unless you add liquid sweetener. I stick to 3-4 tablespoons at the most.
I always store my energy balls/bites in the fridge. Kept this way, they can last up to several weeks. If you’d like to make a huge batch at one time, you can also freeze some of them for up to four weeks. In either case, though, I challenge you not to finish them more quickly than you expect to: they’re hard to resist!
As you’ll see in the recipe, you can give the raw vegan brownie bites an extra dose of chocolate intensity by rolling them gently in extra cacao or cocoa powder. This way, they resemble truffles more than bites and feel a bit fancier! It’s up to you.
I like keeping these little guys in larger mason jars, or smaller ones to transport around as a snack. Mason jars would also make a cute presentation for holiday gift-giving. You can also shape the bites into bars by following the instructions in my lemon kissed cashew hemp bars.
This is one of the most satisfying-yet-simple treats I can think of. Appropriately, I just mentioned them in a feature in Washingtonian Magazine’s Well + Being blog today. It’s for the magazine’s “food diary” series. While I typically don’t show daily eats, I thought this would be a fun opportunity to share my plant-based routine with the magazine’s readership. Check it out if you’re interested!
Enjoy the recipe, friends! Tomorrow, a new Green Recovery story.