Give the Gift of A Healthy Snack (Your Friends Won't Even Know Its Healthy!)

December 1, 2010   32 Comments

Looking for that perfect gift for that special someone? Put down your credit card and rev up your food processor.

Brownie Balls Recipe

What do your friends and family REALLY need this holiday? Statistically speaking, one out of every three Americans is either overweight or obese. So, do they need a diet?


They need to know that they can eat something healthy, delicious, AND nutritious.

They need you to make them some No Bake Brownie Balls, wrap them in some lovely tissue paper, and include the recipe. (Make sure they read the recipe AFTER they taste them.)

The recipe for No Bake Brownie Balls does not include eggs, butter, or processed sugar but they taste like they do. Why? I think it is the combination of the dates and almonds (sugary and buttery).

These have been a HUGE hit on Snack Girl and I am positive your friends, family, and coworkers will love them.

There are a couple great reasons to give No Bake Brownie Balls as a special holiday treat. They:

1. Include chocolate.
2. Take almost no time to make.
3. Are super healthy and yummy.

And, your gift is original, homemade, and filled with love :)

Kids love making these as well and are a fun addition to the regular holiday cookie route. They will love rolling them in their hands and not having to wait for them to come out of the oven.

To make these brownie balls vegan - use maple syrup or agave syrup.

(or you could give your special someone a food processor -see below- and get him or her to make them for you :)

What food gifts do you give during the holiday season?


No-Bake Brownie Balls

1.6 from 15 reviews

(20 balls)

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15 pitted dates
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
1 cup roasted almonds (no salt added)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
confectioner's sugar (optional)


Add almonds to food processor and pulse until ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, honey, and water. Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency). Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner's sugar on a plate. Roll balls in your hand and then roll in sugar or cocoa (or both). Eat! These can be store in the fridge for a week.

Nutrition Facts

For one bite = 55 calories, 2.8 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 8.1 g carbohydrates, 5.1 g sugar, 1.7 g protein, 2.0 g fiber, 4 mg sodium, 2 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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I love the idea of no flour and how yummy are dates, almonds, cocoa and honey. Great idea, Snack Girl.

Is that unsweetened cocoa powder?

Yum! Those would make cute appetizers for a holiday party, stocking stuffers for friends and family or a nice Midnight snack for ME.

Hehe, that's funny, I JUST made some chocolate truffles (similar to your brownie recipe, except I use different ratios of nuts etc... essentially the same idea, though) for my aunt for her birthday! And I'm planning on making them again for Christmas presents :) I love giving out (healthier) edible gifts for the holidays.

Great idea! I really can't stand the taste of dates but I think these would be great with prunes in them!

Anyone have any idea if these would freeze well?

I was thinking I really need to put a food processor on my Christmas list... Lol. Maybe I should just get one and then give brownie balls to everyone;-) It sounds good though, I really want to try it. I'm off to search for deals on food processors...

Would another nut work?

I have a friend with a pile of food intolerances, including almonds and dairy but she loves chocolate ... what about peacans?

@Dani - unsweetened cocoa powder - I just changed the recipe to reflect that - thanks!

@Alicen I don't know if they will freeze well. You could make a bunch and just freeze one and see how it goes. My family ate the ones I made for the photo and now I don't have any to test :(

@Sarah - any nut will work, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc.

just made my second lot my kids love them

These are AWESOME! Will definitely make again! Thanks!

Oh wow! You made almost the same delicious idea that Annie Phyo calls almond date balls. Have you tried her vegan chocolate "cake" she bases a lot of her recipes on the almond paste-date mixture as its sweet, nutritious and chewy. I bet this would make beautiful bar cookies too with maybe toasted coconut on top? Just an idea! Thanks for the fab suggestion. ps Annie does a cooking demo of the aforementioned almond-date balls on Youtube. She is a famous vegan chef from San Francisco.

So I really adore these and want to make them for my best friend, but she HATES chocolate. DO you think peanut flour would be a good substitute for the cocoa?

I feel silly for asking, but when you mix the dates, cocoa, honey & water into the ground nuts, you are actually adding them to the food processor and blending it together that way right? Sounds great, but I want to make sure I follow the recipe right when I try it.

Are you using fresh or dried dates? These look great!

OMGsh! These are fantastic! Very RICH. I didn't have enough Almonds so I used half almonds and half walnuts. Soooooooooo Good!

I made a batch of these yesterday and I was not sure I would even like them myself but I was looking to make something that one of my friends who is allergic to gluten & dairy could eat when she comes over for a visit she has not tried them yet but I really like them myself and my husband said they were good as well, my kids are not 100% sold on them yet but they have tried a couple of them with the conclusion that they like them better when they are rolled in powder sugar at the end instead of just chocolate dusted.

I am thinking of making a batch for bunco night where I substitute the water with Malibu Rum and roll them in shaved coconut..

I avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners (hard to avoid entirely in the occasional bun or what have you), so I'm always on the lookout for fruit/honey-sweetened yummies and this no-bake brownie ball recipe looks awesome! Thank you, Snack Girl! :)

A friend shared another that I've made several times and is really good.

In medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp butter, ~1 tsp Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning and stir.

Add 1 cup of pecans (halves or pieces, just not crumbs/dust) and stir until dark brown (almost burnt).

Remove from heat and drizzle 1-2 tbsp honey on top and stir to completely coat.

Dump on plate and let cool.

I'm told that they're better cool, but there usually aren't too many left to see. :)

I loves these brownie bites! I made them half the size, making 30 balls instead, and stored them just fine in the freezer- they have lasted great for over a month- I just take one out and pop it in my mouth when I need a sweet fix. . . and I actually like them cold better than warm. Thanks, Snack Girl!

Also, Snack Girl, check out and search for her "cookie dough balls Light" These are also excellent, and they are medjool dates and nuts, with a bit of vanilla, sea salt and chopped dark chocolate- They taste just like cookie dough! We love them, and these delicious brownie balls!

I found the link for the "cookie dough balls light" recipe Meg mentioned:…

I avoid refined sugar, so this looks another great idea for me; thank you for mentioning it! :)

Can you give me an idea of the size of your brownie,is it Iabout a tablespoon amount? Just so I have an idea .

Finally decided to make these and did just half a batch. I only had that much cocoa left. I really liked them. My daughter thought they could be a bit more sweet, but I'm going for less sugar. She will adjust! Amazing flavor IMHO!!! This was a real treat for me.

@Gloria - I would say one tablespoon is a good size. Maybe a tablespoon plus one half. Thanks for your question!

Snack Girl, what would be a healthy alternative for the cocoa & confectioners sugar? My husband doesn't eat chocolate and I'm not so sure the confectioners sugar would be a good alternative for me.

I wonder if I could make my own confectioners sugar from raw (Turbinado) sugar, would that work, and would it be a healthier choice than using the traditional box stuff?

Dates- fresh or dried, and does the type of date matter? This question was asked earlier in the post, but I didn't see a reply. I am wondering the same thing. Thanks!

I tried this recipe and dusted half the batch in icing sugar and the other in cocoa. Do not dust them in cocoa. The bitter chocolate taste is way too overpowering, do yourself a favour and just use the icing sugar.

These sound yummy! I make something like this, but as a bar. I combine prunes, peanut butter, pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes to make these delicious bars.

I made a variation of these last week, though I changed the almonds to homemade peanut butter, and added some vanilla extract. They're fantastic, thanks!

I would love to add more protien. If I used my chocolate shakeology would I just subtract the amount of protien from the unsweetened chocolate powder?


1. Include chocolate.
2. Take almost no time to make.
3. Are super healthy and yummy.
Enough said - I'm sold!

Wonderful flexible recipe. Good "energy bar" for when I bike. I've used dates, prunes and even some bourbon-soaked raisins. Num!

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