These delicious naturally sweetened no bake energy bites are packed with flavor and tons of texture from dates, cashews, unsweetened shredded coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and fresh orange zest. They can be prepared in less than 15 minutes (excluding chilling time) and make the perfect travel, pre or post workout snack, or afternoon pick me up! Gluten free, Vegan, and Dairy Free.
⅓cup + ¼ cupshredded unsweetened coconut, divideduse the more desiccated variety for best texture, flavor, and results
¼cupraisinssee notes for substitution ideas
zestof ½ orange
3tablespoonswhite sesame seeds
Place the pitted dates in the bowl of a large food processor. Note: If your whole dates are hard or on the drier side, place them in a bowl, pour hot boiling water on top of them, and allow sit for 10 minutes before draining and using. Pulse in food processor until a thick paste forms.
Add ½ cup whole cashews, ⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, ¼ cup raisins, orange zest, and salt. Pulse mixture continuously until it forms large clumps and just starts to come together, this will take about 30 seconds or so. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl. It will be thick and sticky.
Add the remaining ⅓ chopped cashews, ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. Mix and press together with clean hands until all of the ingredients are incorporated evenly. The 'dough' will still be slightly tacky, but it will firm and dry slightly as it chills in the fridge.
Transfer dough to a parchment lined loaf pan (9 x 5 inches wide) and press into an even layer until it reaches all sides. Use the bottom of a measuring cup (or flat glass) to press and flatten the surface evenly.
Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least one to two hours, or overnight if desired. If chilling overnight, cover lightly. Once chilled, remove from the loaf pan. Slice into roughly 1-inch pieces, using a sharp knife (note: slice lengthwise into 4 one-inch long strips, then cut crosswise into 8 rows.)
Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to two weeks or longer, separating the layers with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking; you can also sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut on the bottom of the container and in between layers too. Best served chilled from the fridge.
Note: While these bites can be packed for travel, they will be much softer at room temperature. I prefer the texture when chilled. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months; simply thaw in the refrigerate before eating.
Tips for Success:
For best results and texture, use the more desiccated unsweetened shredded coconut, as opposed to the fluffy, moist variety.
If you hate raisins, feel free to substitute the raisins with another dried fruit of your choice. Tart cherries would be great, and even dried figs would be delicious.