These raw vegan brownie bites are the best snack! They’re sweet and chocolatey, but nutrient dense ingredients keep them wholesome.
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.
Leave a Comment
Do you know the calorie count of these delightful treats?
Hi Rita! I don’t share the calorie counts of my recipes on this site, but you can always try calculating by inputting the ingredients into a program like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Can you share the original recipe from 2012 that included cacao nibs and the amount? (i.e. Was it a 1/4 cup)? I just loved the crunch that came with the ‘nibs… Thank you in advance!
I just made them, and ate one, without letting its flavors meld. Very good.
So very delicious and simple to make! Yummm
Thanks for sharing your recipe. I used almonds and tossed in some figs I needed to use up. Other than that, I followed your recipe. I am eating one as I type. Yummy! Not a Vegan but stuff like this could sway me. I tried Chocolate Moose Dragon Cookies by Liz Lovely yesterday and they are Vegan too. But I had to make something sweet until they arrive (ordered some after sampling one). Well done Vegans!
Husband and I agree… these brownie bites are exceptionally good and so worth making!!!
Delicious. I bet these would be better with just the walnuts but I didn’t have as much as I had thought in the panty. Did a mix of cashews, almonds, and peanuts. Still rolled out nicely. I was amazed how much they tasted like baked brownies. Thanks!
I am thinking of making these for an upcoming workshop. Do you know what amount of cacao powder I could use instead of the nibs?
What are cacao nibs and where may I find them?
These are super cute =) And they sound so simple to make. I love portable snacks.
I made this last week and they were absolutely yummy ! The only problem with them is that they taste better after a few days (like all dark choc things, imop) but making them last that long is very difficult !
Will be making some more tonight 🙂
Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes and ideas you give on your blog !
My sister inlaw makes something pretty much identical to these. She gave me the recipe a few months ago and I made them, but with half walnut and half macadamia nut. But what really finished these off beautifully is that I live in Australia and had recently come across a native bush food – roasted and ground wattle seeds from the acacia victorie tree. The seeds taste like mocha coffee but are naturally caffeine free. So I rolled the brownie bites in wattle seeds. Oh my goodness! If they were good before this just took them to a new level of decadent! You’re probably not likely to come across them in Washington (they’re still hard to find here), but if you ever do, do try them. xx
Yum! Thanks Rach.
I loved your ‘Food Diaries’ article!! (I also loved your comment back to the typical, token cantankerous commenter). I find it really handy to see an entire day of vegan eating, to get ideas for balance etc in my diet, also to help me stray away from repetition.
How could you not finish your day with 2 of those raw brownie bites? YUM!
Hahaha. Glad you appreciated the response. Comes with the territory 😉
Glad you liked the post, too!
these look delicious! they look like the chocolate dunkin donut holes i used to love when i was little, except a million times healthier.
They’re so good, Caitlin! Hope you enjoy them.
I’m going to make these because, although I’m not a big fan of chocolate, because I think they would taste nice with a hot cup of black coffee. 🙂
What doesn’t taste good with a hot cup of black coffee?
(Also, not a big fan of chocolate? Did we discuss this? I’m not sure I believe you.)
These look amazing, I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. I love the mason jar idea too, the perfect transport system. Me thinks I’ll be bringing my own dessert to Thanksgiving… 🙂
I’m definitely someone who likes to have a little something sweet after a meal. These would do the job perfectly!
These sound great! Sometimes, the simpler, the better. When I make these, though, I am going to add some peppermint extract for a lovely, cooling flavor. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!
I’m eating a raw ball right now!! Its an almond butter-raw protein powder ball. But these brownie ones sound great!!
I’m totally making these this week! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Yumm!! I was craving chocolate yesterday. I should make these tonight. Thanks Gena!
I made some similar balls over the weekend, but not so healthy as I then dipped them in chocolate!
I love that about raw desserts. The same basic recipe can be used in so many ways!
I read the magazine post, and I really enjoyed peeking into a day of your eats! I love your blog because it isn’t just a food diary, but at the same time I think it would be fun to see your daily eats once in a while. It’s a great example of how to balance a vegan diet over the average day.
need them STAT.
This is definitely one of those treats that can convince ANYONE that raw desserts are divine (and fun to make).
I was just reading your “food diary” piece and I was thinking I wanted to try those brownie bites! I can’t wait to give them a try! Thanks for sharing!
Gena, these are fabulous! Right on with my favorite foods. I usually use almonds in a raw recipe, but I’ve come to adore walnuts lately. Their omega 3 content has really been beneficial to me, along with their satiety rating. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love your beautiful photos and will be sending my Green Recovery Story your way very soon:)
Walnuts are such a delicious nut in bites/balls! One thing I love about this kind of dessert is how easy and quick it is to through together, and there are so few dished to clean afterwards haha… Often with baked goods I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of all of the dishes that need washing, but one food processor? Count me in!
I’m also looking forward to that Green Recovery post 🙂
*throw together, not sure what happened there