When you want to eat something sweet and healthy, these naturally sweetened almond date balls are a delicious option. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
When I first published this recipe two years ago, on the last day of the year, I wrote: “If one of your New Year resolutions is eating healthy, here are my almond and date truffles”. And now I republish it with new pictures and extra information. Summer is on its way. So today I want to write if one of your resolutions in the New Year was meeting the Summer with an ideal weight, these date balls may help you. 🙂
Dates work as natural sweeteners in this recipe. If you crave sweet but want to eat healthy, these almond balls will give you what you want. You’ll eat deeply flavored chewy sweet almonds. There is a bonus: the dates are very nutritious and they boost energy.
These healthy snacks are so easy to make. I make a ball from dates and almonds, then cover with some shredded coconuts. That’s all!
If you like, you can eat them without coconuts but even a small amount of shredded coconut gives an extra nice flavor.
This recipe can be a good base when you want to make healthy balls. You can even increase the flavor with cinnamon or/and vanilla extract. They taste great too.
The Ingredients For Almond Date Balls
- Dates (I prefer using Medjool dates that are softer and chewier compared to others.)
- Almonds (I toast them for the aroma)
- Shredded Coconut
Before I go through the recipe, I want to answer some of the questions you may have.
Health Benefits of Dates
- Nutritious as they have various minerals and vitamins
- Rich in fiber which helps to control the blood sugar
- High in antioxidants which may be good for brain function, may prevent Alzheimer disease
- Natural sweetener, so they can be used instead of white sugar
You can read more about the health benefits of dates by clicking the link.
Health Benefits of Almonds
- Nutritious as they contain Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, fat, protein, fiber
- Protect cell from oxidative damage as they are very rich in Vitamin E (1 ounce serving of almonds contains 37%of RDI)
- Controls blood sugar due to the high magnesium content. (1 ounce serving of almonds contains 20% of RDI) content.
- Increase fullness due to fiber and protein. As you want to eat less, you take lower calories
- Lower the bad cholosterol, reduce the heart attack risk
You can read more about the health benefits of almonds by clicking the link.
How Long Do Almond Date Balls Last?
If you make these energy balls in large batches, you can keep up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer.
How to Pit a Date
Below you’ll see that the recipe starts with soaking the dates in warm water for 15 minutes. It may be even longer if your dates don’t soften after this time.
When the dates are soft enough, you take the dates from the water. As you hold the date between your two fingers, it will come out easily.
If soaking is not the case, you should put the date on a chopping board. You should hold the date with your two fingers so it could stay still when you slice it lengthwise. You should stop when you hit the pit. Just like the other method, as you hold it between your fingers, it will be easily removed.
How to Make Almond Date Balls
First, soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes until they are soft. You can see the change of the dates below as they soften. You may need more time depending on the softness of the dates.
Then toast the almonds on the stove in a pan over medium heat and stir the almonds or swirl the pan to prevent them from burning. When their strong aroma fills in the kitchen, take them from the stove.
Toasting step is the key in this recipe. Almond’s rich aroma is essential. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet and let them cool before grounding.
It is important not to ground the almonds while they are hot. If we were making almond butter, we could have used hot almonds just like we do when making the homemade peanut butter so that the machine would process quickly. But here we want some control so we can have nicely grounded almonds, not almond butter.
When the almonds are cool, ground the almonds in a food processor. Then add in the pitted dates and mix until they form a paste.
If your machine doesn’t process easily and the mixture looks dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of water to make the process easier and make the mixture moister. You may need more or less water depending on your dates. Make sure you mix the almonds and dates well before adding the water so you can decide the right amount.
This recipe makes 10 balls so you can divide the dough equally into 10 pieces and roll each into a ball. Finally, roll the balls into the shredded coconut to give the final touch.
If you enjoy these healthy balls, you may also want to try my Hazelnut Date Bars.
Almond Date Balls
- 75 g (1/2 cup) pitted dates*
- 75 g (1/2 cup) almonds
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- Place the dates in a small bowl and soak in warm water for 15 minutes or until they are soft. Remove the pits. Set aside.
- Toast the almonds on the stove in a pan over medium heat. Stir them in every 20-30 seconds or swirl the pan to prevent them from burning. When the almonds give off their strong aroma, take them from the stove. Spread them on the baking sheet and let them cool before grounding.
- When the almonds are cool, put them into the food processor and ground them.
- Add in the pitted dates, and process until they form a paste. If the mixture is dry, add 1 teaspoon water. Pulse again and if needed add 1 teaspoon or more water. Make sure to mix well before adding water not to add excess water.
- Divide the dough into 10 and roll each into a ball(almost 15 grams). Then roll the balls into the shredded coconut.
- I prefer using Medjool dates that are softer and chewier compared to others.