Nut Free Coconut Lime Energy Bites! These school-safe energy bites are perfect for meal prep, healthy snacking, or packing in lunches. Gluten free, vegan, and paleo approved!
We are a month into school already (can you believe it!?) since we start so early, and I’m already hard at work defending my title as the reigning champion of boring lunches. Our lunch box formula is pretty simple. We try to choose a few colors of the rainbow and include some healthy fats and protein with each lunch.
Sophie isn’t into (read: will not eat) sandwiches or very many forms of protein, so we’ve had to get a little more creative with her lunches this year. Often, that means including things like grain free mini muffins, or trail mix, or energy bites.
These coconut lime energy bites are one of my FAVORITE combinations. They’re sweet and delicious like a treat, but made from a really healthy ingredient list (that also helps me give Sophie a dose of healthy fats while we’re at it). The other big bonus? These are completely nut free!
I’ll clarify that they *do* contain coconut, but many people with nut allergies tolerate coconut just fine, and at least at our school, coconut is A-ok to include (even if peanuts aren’t and tree-nuts are a big no in many of the classes). Instead of using my usual almonds, cashews, or pecans, these rely on a combination of unsweetened coconut and pumpkin seeds/pepitas (we love these sprouted ones from Thrive, Amazon, or Costco).
Paired with Medjool dates for sweetness (they have a whole host of benefits themselves!), some fresh lime zest, and a little vanilla, these energy bites come together in no time and taste almost like truffles. In fact, we even dipped some in more coconut to even look like truffles! Sophie feels like she’s getting a treat, and I feel satisfied knowing she’s getting in some healthy fats that will help keep her full till after school.
I love that I can make a batch and snack on them throughout the week or pack them in lunches with no extra effort. Basically: make a batch of coconut lime energy bites. You’ll never run out of occasions to eat them!
Notes on the Recipe:
- What food processor do you like? My mom never owned a food processor when I was growing up, so I totally thought they were a fluffy extra kitchen appliance. I WAS WRONG. I literally use this or my blender almost every single day. I’ve had great luck with Cuisinart brand. (I just replaced mine after 9 years!)
- What if I don’t have a food processor? You can make these using a blender, too. Unfortunately, there really isn’t another great way to grind the nuts/coconut/dates down into a really even texture besides a blender or food processor.
- Where do you find unsweetened coconut? I can find it at Target, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Amazon, Thrive Market, etc. It’s more places than you think! If you really can’t find it, you can *technically* use the sweetened stuff, but these will probably be really sweet if you do them that way.
- How long will these keep? About one week in the refrigerator. I store mine in an airtight container in the fridge and they keep really well!
- What if my mixture isn’t coming together? Dates have different levels of dryness. Some dried dates are still quite soft inside, and others are a little more dried out. All you need to do is add a *TINY* bit of liquid. In this case, I recommend lime juice. I usually only need 1-3 tsp of liquid if my mixture isn’t coming together.
Want More Snack Ideas? You Might Like…
- Nutella Energy Bites
- Apricot Cherry Snack Bars
- 15 Healthy Snacks You Can Make Right Now
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothies
- Trail Mix for the Week
If you’re doing a Whole30, omit the vanilla extract. You can substitute a small amount of vanilla powder or vanilla bean if desired, but they’ll still taste delicious without it!
- 2 cups Medjool dates, pits removed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut (shredded or flakes)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (I like sprouted pumpkin seeds)
- Zest of 1 lime (plus 1-3 tsp lime juice, if needed)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: additional coconut for decoration
- Place dates, coconut, pumpkin seeds, lime zest, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal S blade. Pulse or mix until the mixture comes together in a big ball. If your mixture is a little dry, add 1 tsp of lime juice at a time as needed to help everything come together.
- Roll into small bite-sized balls. Dip in additional dried coconut if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.