Cacao and Date Energy Balls (simple and yummy)

by | May 12, 2017 | Gut Healing Recipes

Dairy Free Cacao and Date Energy Balls


Since finding out that my 2yo probably has a casein intolerance I’ve been on the search for casein free recipes. It’s much harder than I thought with lots of “dairy-free” recipes simply calling for dairy-free milk or dairy-alternative cream… um hello? That’s why I’m looking up dairy-free recipes so I don’t have to use poor dairy imitations that are expensive and sometimes loaded with chemical ingredients… grrr.


Dairy free?! But what about calcium?

With lots of people asking me about how I’m going to make sure they get their calcium, well, let’s just say this week hasn’t been my calmest! Calcium is important for bone density – but so is weight bearing exercise and vitamin D. As a trained nutritionist I also know the importance of getting enough iron and zinc into little people which is often hard. I think with the intense focus on calcium we can neglect other important nutrients.


So I thought I’d adapt a cocoa and date recipe that I found on Taste to be lower in processed foods and higher in protein and calcium and completely dairy free.


In my quest to find a healthy, dairy free snack for my boys I think I’ve hit the holy grail with this one. It’s absolutely delicious and stupid easy. I literally threw it all in my food processor and whizzed it up until it was a pulp. Then I rolled them into balls and put them in the fridge for an hour. Done.

How to make cacao and date energy balls


1 cup almond meal (about 265mg of calcium)

14 dates, chopped

1/2 cup sesame seeds (about 700mg of calcium)

3 tablespoons cacao powder/wholefoods cacao protein powder (about 18mg of calcium)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted



  1. Boil kettle and cover chopped dates in hot water. Let stand for 20 minutes to soften, then discard water.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to food processor and whiz until blended.
  3. Turn food processor to low, slowly add melted coconut oil to mixture.
  4. Take a handful of mixture at a time and roll into balls. Place on a tray and transfer to fridge for one hour to set.



Cover in desiccated coconut or extra cacao powder for variety.

These are NOT FODMAP friendly! Almond meal and dates are both high in oligosaccharides so if you are intolerant to oligos, please avoid. To make this recipe low FODMAP make the following alterations:

  • exchange almond meal for buckwheat flour or rice flour
  • exchange dates for brazil nuts (160mg of calcium per 100g) or less than 20 hazelnuts (114mg of calcium per 100g).