almond butter energy bitesThese almond butter energy bites taste more like a dessert than a healthy protein bite. They are sweet, chewy, tender, and take minutes to throw together. They are also vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

Energy bites are really just a variation of energy bars (protein bars, snack bars, nutrition bars… so many names for pretty much the same thing).

What makes energy bites (and energy bars) so great is that they typically contain more protein, vitamins, and minerals than regular granola bars. Energy bars may have 15 to 20 g of protein per bar, whereas granola bars contain approximately 1 g per bar. This is a big deal if you’re trying to refuel after a workout, build muscle, or improve physical performance.

When I buy protein bars in the store, I look for ones with:

  • Plant-based sprouted protein blend. Some of the best plant-based protein sources include hemp, pea, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. The best type of protein is sprouted because sprouting reduces the amount of carbohydrates, heightens the amount of protein, and increases the nutritional profile, making more nutrients bioavailable to the body. A good energy bar should contain at least 15 g of protein per serving.
  • Natural sugars. If you read nutrition labels or glance at them occasionally, you may have noticed a couple of new lines appearing on more and more products. Food manufacturers are now required to list “total sugars” and “added sugars” under “total carbohydrates.” Naturally occurring sugars are inherently present in food. On the other hand, added sugars are the kinds created or put in during the manufacturing process. I always go for energy bars with natural sugars (e.g., from dates or dried apples) or natural extracts (e.g., monk fruit or stevia, which drastically lower the sugar content). 
  • Only a handful of (real food) ingredients. The fewer and more wholesome the ingredients, the better. Of course, the only way to control the ingredients is to make your own energy bars or energy bites. 

almond energy balls

Tips for Making Almond Butter Energy Bites

Ingredients

Energy bites are one of those recipes that are very customizable. To make these almond butter energy bites, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Medjool dates: the majority of energy bites contain dates. Medjool dates are sticky and naturally sweet, acting as a binder and a sweetener. If you don’t have access to Medjool dates, you can substitute them for other dried fruit, such as figs or apricots. Just keep in mind that Medjool dates are fresh fruit. So, depending on the dried fruit you use, you might need to soak it in warm water first, so it softens and blends easily.
  • Almonds and almond butter: using both almonds and almond butter in this recipe yields the most textural variety. I like almonds because they taste naturally mild, sweet, and nutty and pair well with fruit. However, any nuts (and nut butter) work in this recipe.
  • Cocoa powder: chocolate and cocoa powder pair well with so many ingredients! One of those is almonds, hence the cocoa powder. If you don’t like chocolate flavor (really?!), you can leave the cocoa powder out.
  • Salt: sea salt offsets the sweetness of dates and the bitterness of cocoa powder to bring balance. A little bit of sea salt also intensifies the chocolate flavor.
  • Sprouted protein powder (optional): not all energy bites are high in protein. In fact, carbohydrates are the most important source of energy. But if you want to boost the protein content, protein powder is a great way to do that. Alternatively, you could also add hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.

almond butter energy balls ingredients

How to Make Almond Butter Energy Bites

I have made countless energy ball recipes that require just stirring all the ingredients together and rolling them into balls. This recipe requires a food processor and a few more steps:

  1. Process the ingredients. Add the almonds to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are chopped. Add the dates, almond butter, cocoa powder, and protein powder (optional) to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, pulse it a little bit more or add 1 Tbsp./15 ml coconut oil to help bind everything together.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and gently roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  3. Chill. Transfer the almond butter energy bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.

how to make almond butter energy bites

Energy Bites Variations

You can customize these energy bites in many ways, so feel free to get creative. You can:

  • Add mix-ins: I like the simplicity of this recipe, but you can add superfoods, such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, and cacao nibs, along with ingredients purely for their taste, like mini chocolate chips or dried fruit. Just maintain the ratios in the original recipe and chop any mix-ins to a small size so that the energy bites still hold together.
  • Add spices and extracts: if you’d like to give these energy bites some extra flavor, add in a little bit of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or vanilla extract.
  • Swap the nuts: use hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds instead of almonds. The same goes for the almond butter – use any nut/seed butter you prefer. 
  • Make energy bars: besides mix-ins, you can press the mixture into a parchment paper-lined 8 x 8 inch/20 x 20 cm baking dish and then cut it into bars (instead of rolling the mixture into energy balls).

How to Store Energy Bites

  • Refrigerating: transfer the almond butter energy bites to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: transfer the almond butter bites to an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper so the balls don’t stick together, and freeze them for up to 1 month.

almond butter protein bites

More Energy Bites Recipes

I consider myself a bit of an energy ball enthusiast. These sweet treats take minutes to make, are filled with good-for-you ingredients, and make for quick, portable breakfasts and snacks. Here are a couple of recipes you might enjoy:

  • Carrot cake energy bites: these raw carrot cake bites taste just like a carrot cake – slightly sweet, cinnamony, moist, and tender.
  • Nut-free energy bites: these nut-free energy bites provide the right energy boost, whether first thing in the morning or midafternoon. They have the perfect sweet and tart flavor and a tender, slightly crunchy texture.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

5 from 1 vote

Almond Butter Energy Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 bites
These almond butter energy bites taste more like a dessert than a healthy protein bite. They are sweet, chewy, tender, and take minutes to throw together.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Process the ingredients. Add the almonds to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are chopped. Add the dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, and protein powder (optional) to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it's too dry, pulse it a little bit more or add 1 Tbsp./15 ml coconut oil to help bind everything together.
  • Roll the mixture into balls. Using a 2-Tbsp./30-ml cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out the mixture and gently roll it into a ball. Place the ball onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
  • Chill. Transfer the almond butter energy bites to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 20 minutes.
  • Store. Leftover energy bites keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*If you add the protein powder, use only ¾ cup/109 g of almonds.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please feel free to make your own calculations. Nutrition information is calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12, Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
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