Date Balls are little snack-sized balls of chopped pecans, sweetened dates, shredded coconut, and a touch of chocolate. They are easy to make and perfect for an on-the-go treat.
These date balls are one of John's favorite snacks. He's been eating them for years, and I make it a habit to pick some up for him anytime I go to our local organic food store.
On one of our recent trips to my grandmother's house, she had a batch waiting for us. I'd never actually tried them, so I decided to since she made them.
They were so good! I got her recipe and intended on using it for today's post, but it uses rice krispies.
We are all out of rice krispies, so that will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, here's a recipe for date balls with rice krispies in case you're curious. 🙂
For now, I'll share my recipe that I started making for John. It's super simple and only uses a handful of pantry ingredients.
How to make date balls:
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place ½ cup of pecans in a food processor. Pulse until the pecans are finely ground or chopped to the desired consistency.
Add the dates (these need to be pitted and coarsely chopped ahead of time), shredded coconut, coconut oil, ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, cocoa powder, and salt. Pulse several more times until the mixture begins to come together and the dates are well processed.
Test the mixture with your hands by pressing it together to see if it will hold. If it's too dry and doesn't stick together, pour in 1 tablespoon of water and pulse again.
Add more water if needed. The mixture should be just slightly sticky and hold together when pressed.
It should be very easy to shape into a ball.
Use a tablespoon measuring spoon or a small scoop, and scoop out small amounts of the date mixture. Form it into balls, and roll the balls into the remaining ½ cup shredded coconut.
Press the coconut gently into the date balls, then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
I was able to get about 15 balls in one batch. The amount may vary depending on how large of a scoop you use.
Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the date balls to set and firm up.
Serve the date balls chilled, and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Are date balls sweet?
Date balls are lightly sweetened due to dates being naturally sweet.
How can you make date balls sweeter?
To make date balls sweeter, use sweetened shredded coconut in place of the unsweetened shredded coconut.
Can you freeze date balls?
Yes, when stored properly in a freezer safe container, they freeze well, and stay good for about 3 months. Unthaw them in the refrigerator before eating.
Can you use almonds or walnuts instead of pecans?
Sure! Use your favorite variety of nuts just be roughly chop thicker nuts like almonds before placing them into the food processor.
Can you make these without a food processor?
Yes, this recipe will work in a high powered blender. Make sure your blender will chop nuts and dates into a fine mixture. The only drawback may be getting the mixture out from around the blades.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 cups medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- ¾ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, divided
- 1 tablespoon(s) coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon(s) cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon(s) water, optional
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Place the pecans into a food processor, and pulse until they are finely chopped.½ cup pecans
- Add the dates, ¼ cup of the coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and salt. Continue to mix until the ingredients are well combined. If the mixture is dry, add the optional tablespoon of water.2 cups medjool dates1 tablespoon(s) coconut oil1 tablespoon(s) cocoa powder¼ tsp. kosher salt1 tablespoon(s) water
- Scoop out the mixture into tablespoon sized amounts, and roll into balls. Dip each ball into the remaining shredded coconut. Place the date balls on the prepared baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the date balls to set. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.