no-bake dark chocolate and lemon energy balls -- the perfect mid-day snack!

Chocolate Lemon Energy Balls

Lemony citrus meets delicious dark chocolate in the these chocolate lemon energy balls! The perfect no-bake, gluten-free snack. 

Chocolate energy lemon balls are my favorite snack! via @danielleomar

What do you get when you ask healthy food bloggers and foodie dietitians to create a healthy chocolate creation? You get happy! This month’s recipe redux theme is chocolate — an ode to Valentine’s Day and a great way to get rid of any chocolate lying around the house!

I would not consider myself a chocolate fiend, but I do love chocolate. I have some every day – mostly in the form of cacao nibs or cocoa powder. I’m currently hooked on a smoothie I make with cocoa powder, frozen cherries, PB2, protein powder and coconut milk. It really hits the spot.

no-bake dark chocolate and lemon energy balls -- the perfect mid-day snack!

Dark chocolate has a place in a healthy, clean eating diet. It’s a great source of magnesium which helps you out in so many ways, especially us ladies. It’s my secret weapon for beating PMS blahs, keeping things “moving” digestively, and getting good sleep. Dark chocolate is also an antioxidant and mood improver and cacao nibs contain a bit of iron, too.

If you’ve ever had cacao nibs, you know they can be pretty bitter, especially if you’re not used to eating dark chocolate. I love cacao because in smoothies and bars it provides that rich chocolate taste without all the sugar and fat. So you get the essence of chocolate and that’s it. I like to use nibs when I want a crunch effect (I use them a lot in my raw balls and bars) and I use powder mostly in smoothies when I just want straight-up chocolate flavor.

For this recipes, I was inspired by the Redux theme but also by the bountiful box of winter citrus I received from Sunkist. I think citrus and chocolate are an amazing combination, don’t you?  I considered using one of the orange varietals from the box but ultimately decided to go with Meyer Lemons. I love all-things lemon!

dark chocolate and lemon energy balls

These little chocolate lemon balls of heaven have the perfect amount of sweet-tart crunch and just enough chocolate flavor to satisfy a chocolate fix. I don’t usually go big on chocolate with my bars but for these I went for it – using both cocoa powder and cacao nibs. The trick was keeping the flavors balanced. I think I succeeded. Each bite delivers exactly what’s promised, chocolate and lemon in perfect harmony!

These chocolate lemon energy balls are so good, they might replace my favorite Chocolate Cookie Dough Lara balls, which have been my go-to for years!

dark chocolate and lemon energy balls

Make a batch of these chocolate lemon energy balls today for your mid-day snacks next week. They might be just what you need to cure a bad mood and to ensure a good night’s sleep!

Chocolate Lemon Energy Balls

Chocolate Lemon Energy Balls


  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1 Meyer lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • dash salt


  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Once the mixture is well combined and looks like large sand granules, roll into your hands to make balls. If desired, make a coating by mixing 1 Tbsp shredded coconut and 1 Tbsp cocoa powder in a small bowl.Roll balls into this mixture. Makes about 12 large balls.

These are the kind of delicious treats we eat in Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating. Join us this September:

Join Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating this fall! Registration opens Sept. 1st!

17 replies
  1. genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens says:

    I would have never thought to put dark chocolate and lemon together, even though chocolate and orange are paired together all the time! I’m excited to start my chocolate and lemon education- I saw another recipe with chocolate and lemon earlier and I’m really curious! Gotta whip up some of these in my own kitchen. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  2. EA - The Spicy RD
    EA - The Spicy RD says:

    Oh, my goodness, yes! Great minds do think alike 🙂 🙂 Love your take on lemon and chocolate & can’t wait to make these and have a Chocolate Lemon Energy Bite tasting party!!

  3. Deanna Segrave-Daly
    Deanna Segrave-Daly says:

    Why oh why have I never paired chocolate & lemon? It just sounds so right and divine. Love that you & EA did chocolate lemon energy balls but 2 very different recipes – can’t wait to make them both 🙂

  4. jen
    jen says:

    finally found cocoa (sometimes spelled cacao)nibs for a decent price at Trader Joes if you have one nearby!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Flax seeds are a great source of ALA Omega-3s. They’ve got a nutty flavor that’s perfect for adding a boost to oatmeal and baked goods, and they’re also rich in protein and fiber. Just make sure you buy flaxseed meal or grind them up before you use them – your body can’t digest the seeds when they’re whole, so you won’t get any of the omega 3 benefits unless they’re ground! Flax gives a boost of healthy fat to my Sweet Apricot Almond Granola and Chocolate Lemon Energy Balls. […]

  2. […] Remember these? Oh wait, I did drizzle a lovely orange glaze on those. Well, there’s still these, these and these. Actually, every energy ball snack you’ll find on this site is sweetened […]

  3. […] healthy, delicious foods for every kind of eater. The recipe I hear about the most is the one for Chocolate Lemon Energy Balls. These balls are fantastic because they are pop-able and stay well in the […]

  4. […] being very efficient today by combining my monthly Recipe Redux post with a Formula Meals post! This month’s Redux theme is spring cleaning. We were […]

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