Replace your pre-packaged energy/protein bars with this homemade version!

Pre-packaged stuff might be convenient, but you never really know what's in it. Even the highest quality / most expensive versions are questionable. With these homemade energy bites, you'll save money, you'll have the freedom to customize, and best of all you know exactly what's going in them.  

Like all of our recipes, the ingredients here are totally adjustable: you can add or subtract any number of things according to your own health needs, taste preferences, dietary restrictions, availability of ingredients, etc. 

These bite-sized treats are high in energy from healthy fats and seeds. They are filling, delicious, and convenient. They do take a few minutes to prepare, but once ready, you can store them in your freezer and have them on hand for anytime you need.

Prior to trying this recipe, I had never really used dates in any cooking or snacking -- I wasn't sure how it would taste. I found that they are delicious and easy to work with. One of the most satisfying parts of this recipe is mixing the dates in the blender with a small amount of vanilla -- it tastes and smells just like cookie dough! 

As with all nutritious yet sweet foods, enjoy these only in moderation as they are relatively high in natural sugars. Avoid if diabetic. 

Prep time: 10 - 15 minutes
Cook time:  Zero. No cooking. Store in freezer. 


  • 10 Mejdool dates (slice them open to remove the pit) 
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (I used vanilla hemp protein in this batch) 
  • Pinch of sea salt 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp all-natural vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (such as all-natural peanut, almond, or cashew butter) 
  • A handful of dried fruit (like cranberries or blueberries) - preferably with no added sweetener
  • A large handful of some combination of seeds, nuts and/or ancestral grains (ideas: flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, chopped hazlenuts, chopped almonds, pre-cooked wild rice, etc.) 
  • Other optional additions: cacao powder (as opposed to cocoa powder -- big difference), cacao nibs, non-dairy chocolate chips, cinnamon, turmeric powder, ginger powder, etc. Use your creativity! 

Directions :

In a food processor or Vitamix, pulse the pitted dates and vanilla extract until the dates turn into a big ball with dough-like consistency. In a large bowl, mix by hand with all other ingredients. If the mixture is too powdery, add more coconut oil or more dates. If the mixture is too thin, add more nuts, seeds, or protein powder or cacao powder. Ultimately, the consistency should be like a firm yet malleable dough. 

When the "dough" is ready, form into balls or press into the bottom of a glass pan (slice once hardened) -- whatever shape you prefer. Cover and store in freezer. 

Remove them from the freezer as you're ready to eat them. They can melt fairly quickly/easily, so pack accordingly with ice or in a small container if taking them out and about.