Healthy Vegan Brownie Balls: Your new favorite, guilt-free, easy-to-make snack


I’ll be the first to admit I have a major, major sweet tooth. I also am a bit obsessed with working out, eating healthy, and staying fit, so the two interests have been known to collide at times.

Thankfully, I learned from a young age (thanks, mom!) that indulgent sweets don’t need to be packed with processed sugars, saturated fats, and artificial ingredients. And, living in Bali, Indonesia for two years, I also have been constantly inspired by how delicious “desserts” can taste while still being packed with nothing but healthy, natural ingredients.

My favorite go-to sweet treat to make at home are these Healthy Vegan Brownie Balls. I know I know, nothing about that sounds healthy. But hear me out: these energy balls are sweetened naturally with dates, and flavored with healthy nuts and nut butters, phytonutrient-rich unsweetened cocoa, shredded coconut (high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals), and superfood chia seeds (rich in omega-3 fat, antioxidants, protein, and fiber), and other fresh ingredients that are all low in fat and sugar.

These brownie balls are easy to modify, and below I give a few tips for how to switch up the basic recipe to give these tasty chocolatey bites an entirely new flavor. 

Really, these Healthy Vegan Brownie Balls are a healthy protein snack masquerading as an indulgent dessert, so whether you’re grabbing one before a morning workout, or treating yourself to a couple with a glass of wine at the end of the day, they’re a guilt-free snack that will make you feel as good as it tastes.


1 cup Medjool or other dates

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup chia seeds (or substitute with flax seeds)

¼ cup water

¼ cup nut butter (I prefer almond butter, but peanut, hazelnut, or even cashew butter work well, too! Try to find unsweetened, natural nut butters, as the processed kind can often be packed with preservatives and added sugar.)

For dusting: ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder OR ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut


1. Remove the pits from the dates and discard. Add the dates to a food processor.

2. Along with the dates, add shredded coconut, cocoa powder, chia flax seeds, and water to the food processor.

3. Blend until a sticky paste forms. If the mixture feels too dry or dense, add more water a teaspoon at a time.

4. Add your preferred nut butter to the food processor, and blend to combine with the paste.

5. Roll the paste mixture into bite-sized balls about 1.5-inches in diameter. It helps to get your hands wet with water before rolling the balls, as this helps the mixture not stick to your skin.

6. Make a layer of cocoa powder or shredded coconut (whichever you choose to dust onto the outsides of your brownie balls, which keeps them from being too sticky) on a flat plate. Gently roll the brownie balls into the cocoa powder or shredded coconut until the outside is lightly coated.

7. Place brownie balls in a dish and refrigerate for at least one hour until set.


These Basic Vegan Brownie Balls are absolutely delicious, and taste just like a rich, dark chocolate truffle (but without the added sugar or high fat content). If you're feeling creative, try some of these recommended modifications to add a boost of interesting flavors and healthy ingredients to the Basic Brownie Balls recipe above!

1. Spicy Chai Ginger Brownie Balls

If I could add fresh ginger to absolutely everything I eat, I’d do it. Not only is ginger loaded with antioxidants, but studies show it may also help fight against high blood pressure and heart disease, can aid in digestion, and can help your body fight off the common cold or flu. Plus, it’s super refreshing and flavorful, and the spice perfectly balances the sweetness of the dates in these energy balls.

The cinnamon also helps lower blood sugar levels, and can reduce heart disease risk factors, giving these brownie balls an extra dose of natural medicinal properties. 

Modification: In addition to the ingredients listed above for the Basic Vegan Brownie Balls, peel and grate (or finely chop) 1 inch of fresh ginger. Add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the food processor. Blend to combine.

Proceed with steps 3-7 above.

2. Protein Brownie Balls

The chia or flax seeds in these brownie balls already contain quite a bit of protein, but for an extra dose, adding a couple scoops of protein powder can transform these brownie balls into the perfect post-workout snack. 

Be careful with what flavor of protein powder you’re adding, but chocolate or vanilla is always a safe and delicious bet! To keep these brownie balls vegan, be sure to use a vegan protein powder.

Modification: In addition to the ingredients listed above for the Basic Vegan Brownie Balls, add 2 scoops of protein powder. Blend to combine.

Proceed with steps 3-7 above.

3. Hearty Oats Energy Balls

This recipe makes a chunkier, hearty energy ball rather than the sticky smooth Basic Brownie Balls. The oats are a great healthy carbohydrate to add to your diet, with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and tons of fiber to keep you fuller for longer.

These Hearty Oats Energy Balls are great for a quick and filling snack before a workout, when you’re running out the door in the morning, or as an afternoon pick-me-up if you aren’t in the mood for something very sweet! 

With the added oats and whole nuts, these balls are a bit higher in fats (the healthy ones!), calories, and protein. If you prefer these balls to be even less sweet, and more like a hearty and nutty snack, swap the cocoa powder for 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 1 pinch of salt, and use coconut to dust the outsides.

Modification: In addition to the ingredients listed above for the Basic Vegan Brownie Balls, add ½ cup quick or rolled oats and 1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts. For a less sweet option, swab the cocoa powder for 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and 1 pinch of salt. Coat the outsides with unsweetened shredded coconut. Blend to combine. 

Proceed with steps 3-7 above. 

4. Zesty Orange Brownie Balls

There are few flavor combinations I love more than rich dark chocolate and sweet and tangy orange. These Zesty Orange Brownie Balls combine both, with a source of vitamin C, as well as several other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contained in fresh oranges.

Modification: In addition to the ingredients listed above for the Basic Vegan Brownie Balls, add the zest (finely grated) and juice of one large orange. Blend to combine.

Proceed with steps 3-7 above. 

Get Creative!

Once you’ve mastered the Basic Vegan Brownie Ball recipe, it’s easy to add different spices, dried or fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, or other flavors and ingredients to transform these energy bites. Get creative, and enjoy this new healthy, delicious snack that will surely become a staple in your kitchen and an indulgent treat for guests!

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

American travel photographer and writer, based on the beautiful island of Bali. Two years ago, I left my job as a Washington DC lawyer, sold everything I owned, and booked a one-way ticket to Indonesia to turn my creative dreams into reality. I have traveled to 60 countries, have worked with major airlines, luxury hotels, tourism boards, and fashion/adventure goods companies. When I’m not working or traveling, I spend my free time writing, doing yoga, learning to surf, or swimming at my favorite beaches in Uluwatu in south Bali.


More from AlexandraSaper

Comments / 0